Penllergare Valley Woods

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The Upper Lake and Waterfall

Here’s the first in a series of blogs about the historic features of Penllergare Valley Woods. This week we’re focusing on the Upper Lake (also known as the Fish Pond) and the waterfall – both of which are incorporated in the current restoration project. Here goes…



Fairy Land Alive Again

Above Upper Lake - Watercolour painting by Emma Charlotte c.1860

Above Upper Lake – Watercolour painting by Emma Charlotte c.1860

On the west bank of Upper Lake, there used to be a little boathouse (the Shanty) made from old timbers with the front supported by an old tree. In the summer this was decorated with roses growing all over the roof and when photographed was called Fairy Land. It was photographed many times in the 1850s and is shown on a painting by his daughter, Emma Charlotte. The Upper Lake (which John Dillwyn Llewelyn called the Fishpond) was probably John Dillwyn Llewelyn’s favourite location and mirrored the rugged picturesqueness of the steeply sloping valley and diversity of planting on both sides. At one end, damming the river, John designed a waterfall of rough quarried stone that, today, has become the focal point of Penllergare. See further photos: Fairyland, Shanty and Wigwam (from 2008 Conservation Management Plan) (more…)