- Vegetation and rubbish clearance underway -
- Repair work to Carmarthen Road retaining wall started -
- Graves mapped and catalogued -
- Photos of the Babell Chapel & graveyard added -
The Babell Chapel graveyard in Cwmbwrla needs some help. Since the Babell Chapel was demolished and the graveyard deconsecrated its been neglected, overgrown by non-native invasive plants, a site for fly-tipping and a venue for anti-social behaviour. The graveyard's current condition makes many of the graves inaccessible to relatives and those interested in understanding the history of this corner of Swansea.
The future of the graveyard has been in question for years with speculation that it would inevitably be re-developed for housing, and many thought that this outcome moved a step closer when it was sold at auction in December 2017. They were wrong.
There are no plans to re-develop the graveyard and a strategy is being developed to regenerate it to allow safe access to the graves and remove an eye-sore from the community.
Inscriptions on the monuments in the graveyard record the lives and deaths of around 1,100 people who died between 1867 and 1986. Many of the dead would have worked in the local industries of coal mining, steel smelting, copper smelting and tin plating, but there are also designated war graves.
The graveyard has been neglected for many years and realistically it will take some time to reverse the decay and no one should expect an overnight transformation.
The question of sustainability is important - money can be spent and time invested to restore the graveyard, but this will count for nought unless the local community values the graveyard as an asset. So, if you are interested in seeing this important local landmark restored ask yourself what you are prepared to do to preserve the site as it goes through the restoration process...and beyond.