The Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal was a canal and tramroad system in Carmarthenshire, Wales, built to carry anthracite coal to the coast for onward transportation by coastal ships. It began life as Kymers Canal in 1766, which linked pits at Pwll y Llygod to a dock near Kidwelly, access to the dock gradually became more difficult as the estuary silted up, and an extension to Llanelli was authorised in 1812. Progress was slow, and the new canal was linked to a harbour at Pembury built by Thomas Gaunt in the 1820s, tramways served a number of collieries to the east of Burry Port. In 1832 engineer James Green advised on extending the system, although Green had experience with inclined planes on other canals, he underestimated the cost and could not complete the work. He was sacked in 1836, but the company finished the new route the following year. The canal was successful, and shareholders received dividends from 1858. Kymers dock at Kidwelly continued to be used for the export of coal by coasters for another 50 years and it was used as a rubbish dump during the 1950s, but together with a short section of the canal was restored in the 1980s. A few of the structures of the canal can still be traced in the landscape, the area around Kidwelly is rich in coal reserves and contains ironstone. It was to exploit reserves that the canal and tramway system was built. Much of the coal was good quality anthracite, although other grades were also mined, Thomas Kymer began mining at Pwll y Llygod and Great Forest in 1760, and sought parliamentary approval to construct a canal at his own expense in early 1766. The Act of Parliament was granted on 19 February 1766, the Act included powers to divert the course of the Gwendraeth Fawr from Pwll y Llygod to Pont Spwdwr, where the Kidwelly to Llanelli turnpike road crossed the river. The canal was operational by May 1768, as built, the canal was about 3 miles long, and the channel was approximately 26 feet wide. From the wharf, a crossed the Gwendraeth Fawr to connect with the coal pits. The canal served the well for almost 30 years, but the dock. A new channel across the sands was created in 1797, but this too was affected by silting, a series of meetings took place in 1811 to consider how the situation could be improved. Two engineers, Edward Martin and David Davies, proposed an extension of the canal to the top of the Gwendraeth valley and this would pass through Pembrey, providing improved access to the harbour. The proposal was adopted, and an Act of Parliament passed on 20 June 1812 created The Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal and Tramroad Company. The Act envisaged an upper terminus beyond Cwmmawr at Cwm y Glo, and it listed a total of 13 collieries which would be served in this way
Kymer's dock at Kidwelly, reconstructed in 1990.
The bridge which carried Stanley's Tramway over the canal near Pembrey old harbour