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Together with its walled gardens and equatorial observatory, Penllergare is now recognised as being of special importance to the national heritage. It is described by CADW as being the partial survivor of a very important Picturesque and Romantic landscape of the mid-19th century and is listed Grade II.

The equatorial observatory is the second oldest astronomical observatory in Wales and of national historic and scientific importance.  John Dillwyn Llewelyn's pioneering orchideous house has been described as the saddest Welsh loss among hothouses.  Both are (or are about to become) Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Despite decades of neglect, dereliction, damage and encroachment of 20th-century urban development, the core layout of this very important Picturesque and Romantic landscape survives in its essential features and retains its special qualities of seclusion, surprise and charm. However, up to now the legal limbo effectively debarred the measures now increasingly needed to conserve those features and qualities, and to protect the site from further encroachment, through the active support of the public sector and local people.

There are five areas of special significance in John Dillwyn Llewelyn's landscape design, all melding form and function:

  • the arena centred on the upper lake (fishpond).
  • the conjoined arena of the waterfall (the dam for the upper lake), together with the former stone arched bridge.
  • the walled garden complex.
  • the lower lake and its setting of woodland and pasture.
  • the drive and its views out.

Owner: City of Swansea

Site designation(s)

CADW Register of Landscapes Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales Grade II Reference PGW(Gm)54(SWA)

Scheduled Ancient Monument Reference Observatory (Gm 410)

Principal building:

office Created 1961

The former mansion was blown up in 1961. Council offices were subsequently built on the site.


Terrain: Steeply sloping valley sides.

Underlying geology: Penllergare lies on a massive syncline in the Upper Carboniferous System in the Pennant sandstone series, rich in coal, overlain by boulder-clay and gravel. The hard sandstone gives rise to much of the undulating upland topography comprising most of the Penllergare demesne while the Upper Coal Series, incorporating more shale, generally occupies lower ground typified by the area south of the lower lake to Cadle.

External web site link:

External web site link: