With its proximity to Swansea and an abundance of small coves and caves, the Gower Peninsula was once a hotspot of smuggling activity, and the small village of Port Eynon played a major role in these nefarious goings-on. The ruined 16th century Salt House on Port Eynon Point used to belong to the Lucas family, a dynasty which reigned supreme over the locality's smuggling. One member of the family, John Lucas, set about building an underground passage between the Salt House and Culver Hole, a stronghold formerly known as Kulverd Hall which he allegedly used as a hiding place for arms and other contraband. Even the village church was used as a hiding place during the Battle of Trafalgar, with kegs hidden in the altar. The dunes at the back of the beach also proved to be a handy store.
Long before the caves attracted the attention of the smugglers, one of them, Longhole Cave, was a place of habitation during prehistoric times. The cave can be reached via a path overlooking Overton Cliff. Back in the village, the churchyard of St Cadoc's church has two memorial to three brave local lifeboatmen who lost their lives on New Year's Day in 1916 while going to the rescue of survivors of the SS Dunvegan, which suffered an engine failure and was driven ashore in heavy seas at Oxwich Bay. One of the memorials is in the churchyard, while the pulpit within the church includes a second memorial to the men.
Map of the area.
|Port Eynon Bay. Photo by Colin Smith, via Wikimedia Commons|