Neath (Welsh: Castell-nedd) is a town and community (or civil parish) situated in the principal area of Neath Port Talbot, Wales with a population of 19,258 in 2011. The wider urban area, which includes neighbouring settlements, had a population of 50,658 in 2011. Until 1974 in Glamorgan, the town is located on the river bearing the same name, 7 miles (11 km) east northeast of Swansea.
Neath was a market town that expanded with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century with new manufacturing industries of iron, steel and tinplate. The Mackworth family, who owned the Gnoll Estate were prominent in the town's industrial development. Coal was mined extensively in the surrounding valleys and the construction of canals and railways made Neath a major transportation centre. The Evans & Bevan families were major players in the local coal mining community as well as owning the Vale of Neath Brewery. Silica was mined in the Craig-y-Dinas area of Pontneddfechan, after Quaker entrepreneur William Weston Young (1776–1847) invented the blast furnace silica firebrick, later moving brick production from the works at Pontwalby to the Green in Neath. Industrial development continued throughout the 20th century with the construction by BP of a new petroleum refinery at Llandarcy.
The River Neath is a navigable estuary and Neath was a river port until recent times. The heavy industries are no more with the town being a commercial and tourism centre.
Neath was a municipal borough from 1835 until 1974. (Source: A Vision of Britain through Time). In 1922 Neath was expanded when the neighbouring parishes of Briton Ferry, Llanilltud Nedd (or Llantwit Lower) were abolished. At the same time Port Talbot surrendered an area to Neath.
The first three maps are provided by A Vision of Britain through Time
These maps were found on Wikimedia Commons
These maps of Glamorgan post-1974 were found on another site and are very useful for sorting out the up-to-date geography of the area