Penllergare Valley Woods
lie on the northern fringe of the city of Swansea, and within sight of the M4 motorway. Although the names are similar, the village of Penllergaer grew up as a separate entity from the Dillwyn Llewellyn Penllergare estate. Here, deep in the valley, away from the noise and fumes of the passing traffic and encroaching development, you’ll find the overgrown but still visable remnants of an important historic landscape.
Penllergare Valley Woods is a secret and magical place. A place where you can enjoy the sound of birds, delight in the profusion of wild flowers, discover evidence of exotic plantings and uncover for yourself the hidden features of a grand design. The romantic and picturesque Penllergare was once created for the enjoyment of its creator John Dillwyn Llewelyn – a pioneering mover in science, nature, photography and astronomy in the 19th century. After over half a century of neglect, today, it is a place that can be enjoyed and explored by everyone. It is a landscape that is gradually being revived, restored and regenerated by us all.
At the height of its prosperity in the 19th century, the Penllergare estate was an outstanding example of a picturesque, romantic landscape, created for the enjoyment of its owners. Its creator was John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-82), a man distinguished not only for his contribution to landscape design and horticulture, but also for his scientific experiments and pioneering photography. He exploited the majestic natural beauty of the site to create an idyllic landscape. With its lakes and waterfalls, panoramic vistas, secret places and horticultural and botanical riches, Penllergare provided an infinite variety of subjects for his camera. The Dillwyn Llewelyn family and their Penllergare estate influenced the growth of the local community by providing employment, housing and education.