The Neath and Tennant Canals are two independent but linked canals in South Wales, usually regarded as a single canal. The Neath Canal was opened from Glynneath to Melincryddan, to the south of Neath, in 1795 and extended to Giants Grave in 1799, in order to provide better shipping facilities. With several small later extensions it reached its final destination at Briton Ferry. The canal was 13.5 miles (21.7km) long and included 19 locks.
The Tennant Canal was a development of the Glan-y-wern Canal, which was built across Crymlyn Bog to transport coal from a colliery on its northern edge to a creek on the River Neath. It closed after 20 years, but was enlarged and extended by George Tennant in 1818, to link the River Neath to the River Tawe at Swansea docks. To increase trade, he built an extension to Aberdulais basin, where it linked to the Neath Canal.
Use of the canals for navigation ceased in the 1930s, but because they supplied water to local industries and to Swansea docks, they were retained as water channels. The first attempts at restoration began in 1974; the section north of Resolven was restored in the late 1980s, and the canal from Neath to Abergarwed has been restored more recently. This project involved the replacement of Ynysbwllog aqueduct, which carries the canal over the river Neath, with a new 32-metre (35yd) plate girder structure, believed to be the longest single-span aqueduct in Britain.
Asser (d. 908/909) was a Welshmonk from St. David's, Dyfed, who became Bishop of Sherborne in the 890s. In about 885 he was asked by Alfred the Great to leave St. David's and join the circle of learned men which Alfred was recruiting for his court. After spending a year at Caerwent due to an illness, he accepted. In 893 Asser wrote a biography of Alfred, called the Life of King Alfred. The manuscript survived to modern times in only one copy, which was part of the Cotton library. That copy was destroyed in a fire in 1731, but transcriptions that had been made earlier, allied with material from Asser's work that was included by other early writers, have enabled the work to be reconstructed. The biography is now the main source of information about Alfred's life, and provides far more information about Alfred than is known about any other early English ruler. Asser also assisted Alfred in his translation of Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care, and possibly with other works.