Richard Janion Nevill
" He elevated his workpeople socially and morally, and liberally supported all institutions tending to improve the conditions of the masses. The establishment of the Copperworks school, which ranked as one of the first in its class in the Principality, was a practical exemplification of his zeal for the diffusion of education."
A tribute to Richard Janion Nevill,
Richard Nevill was originally from Birmingham where his father was Mayor of the City and managed a Copper works. The family decided to move to Llanelli because of the heavy demand for coal in the newly developing industries in the South Wales area. Coal was plentiful in Llanelli.
In 1804, they approached a number of pit owners to secure a supply of coal for their proposed Copper Works. The construction of the Copper Works and its associated docks began in 1805.
The Nevill family were caring employers and created a mini welfare system for their employees. All the needs of the employees and their families were taken care of, midwives, healthcare, social care, housing and education were provided by the Nevill family.
Copperworks School was initially established as a works charity school, a free school for the children of parents who were employed at the Copper Works and the Caemaen and Box Collieries, by Richard Nevill in the early years of the 19th.century. The school existed in the yard of the Copper Works, and not on its present site.
Eventually, after many years the present school building was built by Richard Nevill along with contributions made by local industrialists. The school, which came into commission in 1847 was ranked as one of the outstanding schools of its type in the 19th.century.