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Membership with the Friends of Parc Llewelyn Group is open to all. A small membership fee of £1 per annum is payable every July. More Info

History of Parc Llewelyn

In 1874 a meeting took place between William Thomas of Lan House, Morriston, pioneer of the Open Spaces Movement in Swansea, and John Dillwyn Llewelyn, (1810-1882) squire of Penllergare, to discuss the donation of a farm belonging to the latter. The farm at Cnap Llwyd was set within the heart of North Swansea’s industrial communities, and the land was given for the creation of a public park. John Dillwyn Llewelyn was a wealthy landowner and a local philanthropist with an interest in Swansea’s industry and politics. He was also a botanic scientist, historian, pioneering photographer and landscape designer, creating the estate gardens at Penllergare.

Donation of his land was to be for the improvement of the urban landscape providing a source of recreation and fresh air, the creation of a “People’s Park”. Cnap Llwyd lay to the west of the industrialised Swansea Valley therefore benefiting from the prevailing westerly winds.

Emma Thomasina Dillwyn Llewelyn, John’s wife, designed the parks lay out. She was an accomplished gardener who had gained expertise from her family connections at Margam and Penrice, Gower, known for fine gardens.
At a grand banquet on the day of the official opening, which was declared a public holiday, John who was unable to attend due to illness, wrote a letter to William Thomas, who by this time had become Mayor, expressing a desire for the park to be named “The Ladies Park”. This was disregarded as being too general, although still today there is an area within the park known locally as “Ladies Walk”.

The Deed of Covenant for the transfer of the park was signed and dated 24th July 1878. The document contains agreements and clauses that have ramifications for the management of Parc Llewelyn even today. The document passes ownership of the land to Mayor William Thomas and Alderman John Jones Jenkins, and stated that “the land (Cnap Llwyd Farm) shall forever hereafter be utilised as a Public Park only and for no other purpose or purposes whatsoever”, and also to “keep the said hereditaments and premises in good order and condition, to preserve, prune and manage the trees, shrubs and plants, replace by others each tree, shrub and plant that form time to time die or become decayed, and at all times keep the walls, roads, fences and borders in a good, proper and neat state”.

The park was officially opened on the 3rd October 1878 in a grand ceremony. There was however an earlier unofficial opening ceremony in June 1875 whilst the park was midway to completion. This was when neighbouring Dinas Chapel, with permission from the Mayor, held their annual tea party at the park.

Football, cricket, rugby and tennis have all been played on pitches within the park, with many a sporting legend started their playing days there, Ivor and Len Allchurch, John Charles, Ray Daniel and Mervyn Davies, the latter still the current President of the Parc Llewelyn Community Centre. However due to the hilly nature of the park all but two tennis courts remain, both in poor condition, as more suitable flat pitches were established nearby.

Since the Second World War, during which large area’s of the park were used for the “Dig for Victory” campaign producing oats, wheat and potatoes, the park has gone into a steady decline. Council cutbacks have seen the park gradually sink into a state of disrepair.

The Friends of Park Llewelyn, a group of local volunteers, was formed in 2006 following a presentation By Robert Skinner of his dissertation on Parc Llewelyn; their aim is to reverse this decline. (Read more about the Breathing Life Project here).

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