Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Two - The Era of Optimism, Investment & Development - Some reports . . .

St. Margaret's church at Roath, Cardiff

St. Margaret's church at Roath, Cardiff, with its pink alabaster interior stonework which was mined at Penarth Head. Lavernock cliffs. [058]

I was contacted in June 2016 by Michael Statham who informed me that alabaster was not mined at Penarth Head but at the Lavernock cliffs. What was quarried on a small scale at Penarth Head up to WWI was gypsum which was typically utilised for plaster production. Thank you Michael. [412]

geological survey of Penarth Head

above : The reference to a disused alabaster mine on Penarth Head in the newspaper report of a hermit being arrested for not maintaining his wife intrigued me, so I decided to investigate further. The above geological survey map lists alabaster 'gypsum in the cliffs' at Penarth Head. [050]

below : When a Penarth cave dweller was arrested! was the headline to an article within the Cowbridge GEM newspaper who ran the following story :

'A local historian, Brian Keitch of Penarth, recently discovered a number of fascinating old photographs of the area – taken by a relative more than 100 years ago! Brian explained: “Over 100 years ago, my great grandfather, John Lewis, lived in the Penarth area and was a very keen photographer. “A collection of the glass plates he took circa 1905 to 1910 have come down to us and provide a glimpse of what interested him all that time ago.

Brian has called this ‘Penarth’s Caveman! This is the only known image of the once famous ‘Alabaster Cave’ – situated on the beach between Penarth and Lavernock – probably near the point known years ago as the Seven Sisters (a row of trees at the end of Cliff Walk. It is most likely that it was the outlet of a local sewage system – but the press of the day gave us this report: ‘Penarth Hermit Arrested!’ Samuel Baldwin, who for some time past, has lived on the shore at Penarth, occupying a cave which formed the entrance to an abandoned alabaster mine, has been arrested on a warrant for neglecting to maintain his wife.' - The Cowbridge GEM [638] [639] - 14th January 2018.

The photograph was probably taken by Mr. John Lewis sometime after December 1906. I contacted Brian who gave his kind permission to use this photograph on the Penarth Dock website. Thank you and best wishes Brian.

When a Penarth cave dweller was arrested!
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