Swansea, Swansea County Borough, Wales

Swansea Castle

The Swansea Devil at the Quadrant Shopping Centre

The Quadrant Shopping Centre has a rather curious agricultural addition to its structure - a gargoyle of the "Swansea Devil" that looks upon them as they pass through the east entrance. The background to this piece of Welsh folklore is fascinating.


In 1896 it was decided that St. Mary's Church in the centre of Swansea would be rebuilt, and the task of designing the new church was natuarally up for tender. Among the applications was alocal architect whose plans were rejected. He perceived this as a slight against his talents. He took his revenge several years later, when he purchased a row of cottages adjacent to the church and tore them down. In their place he constructed a red brick building to house the brewery offices, on which he placed a carving of Old Nick, facing the church. The local man is reputed to have prophesied: "When your church is destroyed and burnt to the ground my devil will remain laughing." Swansea was bombed heavily during the Second World War. One of the buildings destroyed during the three night blitz in February 1941 was St. Mary's Church. The building on which the carving of Satan was mounted was unscathed and remained standing through the war. Today he still sits smiling.


For further information, please read Haunted Britain by Richard Jones.


Visitor Information

Swansea is a coastal city in Swansea County Borough, Wales.

It is situated approximately 40 miles west of Cardiff.

Pictured is Swansea Castle courtesy of Mark Hogan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.