Llanelli is town in south Wales situated on the mouth of the river Loughor within the county of Carmarthenshire. It lies some five miles from the town of Carmarthen itself, on the road to Swansea and derives its name from its church being dedicated to a Saint Elliw.
The town first entered the historical record as "Llanethli", a village in the Marcher Lordship of Kidwelli when it was only a small fishing village and of lesser importance than the town of Kidwelly itself, one of the oldest boroughs in Wales. But in the late 18th century the discovery nearby of an anthracite coalfield, changed Llanelli into a coal port. It was however the manufacturing of nonferrous metals that was to be the foundation of the town's prosperity - firstly with copper, in 1805 the Penrhos Copperworks were opened, and later from the mid nineteenth century onwards it was tinplate that came to dominate the local economy.
These traditional industries gradually declined during the 20th century; the docks were closed in 1951, and the old tinplate mills have all ceased trading but there is a large cold-reduction mill at Trostre, which remains one of the centres of the South Wales tinplate industry.
Llanelli remains an industrial town and has more in common with the industrialised valleys of Glamorganshire rather than the largely rural Carmarthenshire in which it lies. It is very much a rugby town and is home of the famous Scarlets rugby union team.
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