Seaport and county (pop., 2001: 223,293), southern Wales. Lying along the Bristol Channel, it is the second largest city in Wales. It dates from the 12th century. Until the early 18th century it was a small market town and coal port; thereafter it grew steadily with industry, and by the mid-19th century it was the focus of the world copper trade. The city centre was almost totally destroyed by German bombing in 1941 but has been redeveloped, and Swansea is now the chief shopping and service hub for southwestern Wales. The poet Dylan Thomas was born there.