Taking its name from the Welsh prince Einon ap Owain Hywel Dda, who invaded Gower in 970 a.d., Port Eynon was a thriving and bustling village in the 19th Century, offering a good living to oyster fishermen, mariners and quarry men. Oyster dredging at Port Eynon was very successful until eventally "foreign" steam trawlers joined in the foray and the oyster beds were depleted. However, villagers continued to make a modest living out of crabbing and lobster catching when the limestone and oyster industries finished at the end of the 19th century.
Other trades were also prevalent that utilised the sea, one of these being smuggling. There is a popular legend that says the Old Salt House and nearby Culverhole cave were often used to store contraband (smuggled goods) during extensive smuggling operations led by the Lucas family. However, the source of this information, the Lucas Annotation No. 1 has been queried to be a bit dubious in places! There is little doubt that smuggling did occur at Port Eynon but the stories surrounding the Lucas's of Port Eynon may be the stuff of fantasy. What is known is the Old Salt House was used for the manufacture of salt by panning the sea water, since early Elizabethan times.
Today, this achingly picturesque seaside village is far quieter, its population having plunged from around 240 in 1850 to its current level of around 140. Of course, the hundreds of campers who holiday here each summer disguise the usual calm that settles over the village for the majority of the year.