External view of The Baltic Inn in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire

Situated a 15 minute drive from the main A48 at Cross Hands, halfway between Llanelli and Carmarthen, the Baltic Inn and Restaurant is located in Gwendraeth valley in the heart of the Carmarthenshire country side. Only 10 minutes from the shopping centres of Carmarthen and Llanelli, and 5 minutes from the racecourse at Ffos Las, we are the perfect base for business or leisure. Relax in one of our seven en-suite rooms and stay with us for visits to the Welsh Motor Sports Centre at Pembrey, the National Botanical Garden of Wales, Kidwelly Castle or the renowned Carmarthen Bay coastline.

The Baltic Inn is licensed to hold civil marriage ceremonies and makes an ideal setting for your wedding. Our spacious function rooms and attractive restaurant cater for large and small receptions.The luxurious new Bridal Suite is decorated in a contemporary style and comes as a complimentary addition to your wedding package.

We have two function rooms which can hold up to 70 and 180 guests respectively.

Our traditional conservatory with it’s high wooden beam structure is a particular favourite amongst our guests.

Come and dine with us at the Baltic Inn Bar and Restaurant and you won’t be disappointed. We have recently launched our brand new Grill House menu, featuring a variety of speciality dishes. Our Sunday carvery is a favourite attraction, with its selection of prime roasts and delicious sweets.

Look out for our entertainment nights. We regularly host top class cabaret acts, and tribute shows. They are popular with couples and parties alike, as are our cabaret weekend breaks.

The Baltic Inn and it’s extensive facilities are available for your exclusive use and we cater for all kinds of private parties, celebrations, business functions and meetings.

History of the Baltic

The origins of The Baltic Inn date back to the late 16th century during the emergence of Carmarthenshire’s iron industry.

Originally called The Red Lion, The Baltic apparently became known by its currten name due to a Swedish ironmaster who constructed an Iron Furnace on the site, selected due to the abundance of woodland the nearby stream.

Clamps were constructed, in which wood would smoulder for several days, providing the charcoal needed to fuel the furnace. A conduit was also built to channel water to and from the water-wheel which powered the bellows and tilt hammers. Conduits provided a regular water supply from the nearby stream and during recent construction works to the car park, remains of the stone built channels were unearthed.

An early 19th century poem by J. Jones of Foy recounts the arrival of the enterprising Swede who, in addition to the furnace itself, constructed a smelting house, a water-wheel, two bellows and also sank an iron ore mine.

His endeavours proved profitable, especially when the crown commissioned the manufacture of cannonballs for Elizabeth I’s campaigns against Spain, and a mansion, now lost, was built nearby. Further military connections exist in that munitions later manufactured during the English Civil Wars of 1642-51, for Oliver Cromwell’s Republican’s forces.

Ponthenry Colliery

According to the Inspector or Mines Report of 1896, several mines operated in the immediate vicinity: Lambert’s, Danybanc and Caebontpren in Pontyates, The Slants, Gynhebog and Pentremawr (or Capel Ifan) at Ponyberem, Great Mountain at Tumble, and Ponthenry Colliery, employing a total of about 1800 underground and surface workers.

Ponthenry Colliery was established with the formation of the Ponthenry Colliery  Company in 1865.

Six coal seams of superior anthracite were mined deep below the ground: The Big Vein, Felin, Braslyd, Pumpquart, Gwendraeth and Gras, and at its peak, the  mine employed over 800 men and boys over 10 years old.

The Mines Act of 1842 prohibited the employment of boys under this age to work underground.

Due to its mining of the Pumpquart seam, the mine gained its subsequent notoriety as being one of the most hazardous mines in the UK.

Outbursts caused by the lethal combination of coal dust and methane rendered the mine too dangerous to work, and mining ceased with the closure of the Ponthenry Colliery in 1936.