On close examination, figures on the quay are discernable as well as items of merchandise no doubt recently unloaded from the steamer alongside. The doors of the warehouse have been opened for the receipt of goods.
The definitive dating of the photo to pre 1875 (the old bridge shown in the photo was replaced in 1875) enables identification of the steamer as the “Prince Cadwgan” of the Aberayron Steam Navigation Co.
She was built of iron on the Clyde in 1864 and was of 133 tons gross, with dimensions : length 110.6ft; beam 19.3ft; depth 10.1 ft. Powered by a two cylinder engine driving a single screw she provided a fortnightly service from Bristol to Solva, Fishguard and also Aberaeron.
In September 1876 she struck rocks and sank shortly after leaving Solva, at the entrance to Ramsey Sound, all the crew managing to get safely ashore in the ships boats.
This photograph is very likely the only image of this ship that survives.
For other information about this photo go to Yr hen bont – the old bridge