The Neath Antiquarian Society
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About the society
- President: Mrs. Virginia Jones
- Chairman: Miss Annette Jones
- Secretary: Mrs. Janet Watkins
- Treasurer: Mrs. Christine Davies
The Neath Antiquarian Society (NAS) was founded in 1923 as a natural successor to the Neath Philosophical and Antiquarian Society which had its origins in 1834. The badge of the former Society, depicting the great seal of Neath Abbey, was adopted by the new NAS as its emblem.
The NAS was formed to maintain and restore ancient monuments of Neath and District; to study history, manners, customs, art and literature; to visit places of archaeological and architectural interest; to arrange lectures and meetings; to collate all available information that shall be of interest and value to the Society and to publish transactions; to set-up and maintain and, when possible, add to the Society's library, manuscripts, records, books and objects of interest; to maintain a Museum and Repository of records; and to pursue such other activities as are incidental to, or conducive of the attainments of these objects.
Soon after its foundation the Society was involved in the major excavation of Neath Abbey ruins. This took many years and involved the removal of over 7,000 tons of industrial waste. Later excavations took place at St. Margaret's Chapel and at Neath Castle.
The Society has had a number of different homes in the town but in 2001 it moved to its present accommodation at the Neath Mechanics' Institute in Church Place. In a joint venture with the West Glamorgan Archive Service the extensive archives of the Society were properly catalogued and made accessible to a wider readership. The Society shares the building with the West Glamorgan Archive Service. The Mechanics' Institute is only 5 minutes walk from the railway station or the bus station and is alongside St. Thomas' Church in the middle of the town.
Click here for a location map.
Meetings are held monthly at 7 pm on the third Monday of each month from September to April at the Old Town Hall, Church Place, Neath. A guest speaker is arranged for each meeting. The Society organises a visit to a place of historical interest each September and may arrange other visits as appropriate.
See the society's current programme
The Society maintains an extensive library and a collection of manuscripts, records and other objects of interest at the Mechanics' Institute in Church Place. These are accessible to the general public. Members may withdraw library books on loan. There is also a photographic collection which is not yet available to the public, but photocopies for private research are available at the discretion of the society. These are subject to the usual copyright restrictions.
See details of the Neath Antiquarian Society's archive collections
The membership fee is £12 per annum. Student membership (under 25 on 1st January) is half that of an ordinary member.
Apply to become a member
Neath Antiquarian Society
Neath Mechanics' Institute
4 Church Place
Neath SA11 3LL
Tel. 01639 620139 (Monday to Thursday only)
The Society produces its own publications periodically. Browse the list below to see what is available and how to buy it.