Penllergare Valley Woods

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Down Memory Lane

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Meet Peter Bench – with his corgi pup Candy in the back garden of 20 Llewellyn Road, Penllergaer around 1957 – now living in Nottinghamshire. This week Peter got in touch to share some memories as well as photos taken by his father Edgar Bench of the Big House at Penllergare.

Peter Bench with his Corgy pup in 1957

Peter Bench with his Corgy pup in 1957

“My family were the first to live at what I believe may still be 20, Llewellyn Road, though I recall that the numbering changed at some point. We moved in in May 1953, just before the Coronation. I attended Penllergaer Primary from September 1953 – July 1960. One of my class mates was John James who lived in one of the gate houses.”

Peter Bench - the tallest in the middle

Peter Bench – the tallest in the middle

Here are photographs of the ‘Big House’  – “all taken by my father, Edgar Bench, and a clipping from the Evening Post, dated April 1974. The lady standing in front of the ‘Big House’ in one of the photographs is my grandmother, Hilda Bench.”

The Big House by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Big House by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Big House with Hilda Bench by Edgar bench (1950s)

The Big House with Hilda Bench by Edgar bench (1950s)

The Big House by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Big House by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Stables by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Stables by Edgar Bench (1950s)

The Big House was demolished in 1961 as an exercise for the Territorials of the Royal Engineers in a series of weekend exercises under Major Attwood. And all that remained was a large heap of rubble.

Clipping from the South Wales Evening Post - April 1974

Clipping from the South Wales Evening Post – April 1974

A big thank you to Peter for sharing his photographs and for allowing us to share them with you.

Penllergare Valley Woods is a very special place and we are all part of its history and future. If you have memories or photographs of the Penllergare estate that you’d like to share to help us better understand its significance to history, wildlife and/or people, please do get in touch. Email contact@penllergare.org or call 01792 344224.

If you’re interested in the voices and images of the Penllergare estate over two centuries, do read “Penllergare. Echoes from Valley Woods. An Anthology” compiled by Jennie Eyers. It’s a great read!

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