Early History
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I will start my journey at the time of the Bronze age. Bronze age man had settled and begun to farm on Margam Mountain, several burial mounds exist to the North and East of the park.Those sites are easy to get too by a pleasant walk.

An Iron Age Hillfort, an area of about seven acres enclosed by a massive bank, which would have been topped by a wooden fence, a ditch and another smaller bank is established on Mynydd-y-castell. Again easy to explore on the hill up behind the present Castle House.

Evidence of the Roman occupation and early Christian occupation is provided by a number of stones found over the years around the district.Some of which can be seen today in the Margam Stones Museum adjacent to the Abbey Church.

The first people of Margam who I can put a name against were the Esyllwyr,
They were the people who occupied the local hillforts at the time when the Romans first arrived at Margam. It was the Romans who gave them the tribal name Silures, in Latin it means 'the people of the rocks', reflecting to the mountainous region in which they lived. The tribe's people were noted for their aggressive, firey nature and their mass of thick, black curly hair.

They defied the Romans until they were finally subdued in about 75-76 A.D.
Their presence in the Margam district are reflected in local place names, such as , Cwm Lladdfa [ The Vale of Slaughter ], above Cwm Gwineu. Cil y Gofid [ Retreat of Affliction ], in the Ffrwdwyllt Valley, and Rhiw Tor y Cymry in North Margam [ Mount of Conflicts].

Subdued but never really conquered, the Siliures from their vantage points on the hills above Margam could view the Romans across the plains below, approaching along the old Roman roadway known locally as the Via Julia Maritima [ the coastal road built by Julius Frontinus leading from Cardiff to Nidum [Neath]. ]. We can see a Roman milestone from this road in the Margam Stones Museum.
The Roman troops withdrew from the district in about 400 A.D.

The Monastic Era 1147 - 1536

1147 Cistercian Abbey of Margam founded.

1200 The twelve sided Chapter House built.
Cistercian monks hunt wild deer and mine coal.

1349 The Black Death reaches Margam and the number of lay brothers dwindle.

1400s The now ruined church of Cryke Chapel, Hen Eglwys, established to serve the needs of the local peasantry and yeoman who did not have the right to worship in the Abbey itself.

1536 Only nine monks left at the Abbey.

The Mansel Era 1536 - 1750
1537 Dissolution of the monastic establishment by the Crown Visitors of Henry VIII.

1540 Abbey bought by Sir Rice Mansel(1487-1559) of Oxwich Castle, Gower Peninsular and Old Beaupre, Vale of Glamorgan.

This brings us nearly up to the time when records of the Margam Estate were about to start being kept.
When this occurred we at Margam have a feast of documentation at our disposal