Vivian & Sons was a British metallurgical and chemicals business based at Hafod, in the lower Swansea valley. The firm was founded in 1810, disappearing as a separate entity in 1924. Its chief outputs were ingot and sheet copper, with sulphuric acid and artificial manures as by-products.
By the 1840s, the Hafod Works were the largest of their kind in the world, and their output represented one-quarter of the entire copper trade of the United Kingdom.
During the last decade of John Henry’s life, 1845–1855, his eldest son, Henry Hussey Vivian, managed the Works and took full control of the business on his father’s death.
The combined Hafod and Morfa Works site continued rolling copper until its closure in 1980.
The Lower Swansea Valley Project, KJ Hilton – Geography, 1963 – JSTOR.
SC Bird – 1985 – University College of Swansea, Change and industrial redevelopment in the Lower Swansea Valley.
Dealing with dereliction: the redevelopment of the Lower Swansea Valley, RDF Bromley, G Humphrys – 1979 – University College of Swansea.
Parc Singleton Sgeti (Welsh)
Near Wynberg House in Sketty Swansea is Vivian Road and Sketty Green.
The village of Sketty is centred on Sketty Cross which are the junction roads to Gower Road, Vivian Road, De-la-Beche and Dillwyn Road is the amazing historic Singleton Park.
When you enter Singleton Park from Gower Road in Sketty; there to the north is a walk that leads down a shallow green valley, it’s open to beautiful flanked trees belted by wide open rolling hills of green spaces.
Those along the east are ancient lime, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut and pine trees. To the west of the walk is the Gorsedd Circle of stones.
The stones are known as the Gorsedd Stone Circle. It was erected in Singleton Park, Swansea in 1925 for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Proclamation Ceremony.
To the south of the Gorsedd Circle, set in the bank below the east side of the old kitchens and gardens that once served the Vivian Copper Barons of Swansea. Just below is a semi-sunk, water wheel in a stone pit that brought the water up to the house.
There are orchards of trees on the bank; mainly horse chestnuts, sweet chestnuts and conifers. Their fruits have fallen, some still green into the shade labored underneath its branches.
A small stream bed, with some rocks, runs southwards to a damp area made into a bog garden. A gravel path winds along the slope.
Near the south side of the botanical garden are the footings of a stone wall, probably the remains of the south wall of the original Veranda garden.
A flight of concrete steps in the middle leads down to a path flanked by fastigiate yews and a gravel terrace with seats. On the south boundary is a fence and hedge.
All this was part of the Veranda House was first built in 1799-1800 on land which had been part of Gwerniddiff Farm, on the site of the farmhouse.
The Singleton Estate as it had now become had amalgamated some 12 farms to amass 250 acres. By 1851 the Walled Garden had become the kitchen and flower garden that once served the needs of the Vivian family.
The property where the Botanical Garden is now of 44 acres includes the garden grounds, and former Vivian plantation. The seeds that were planted have sown, taken root in soil lined essays and poetry of the earth; Tended to with great care.
In 1847 John Henry Vivian purchased Veranda House for his son Henry Hussey Vivian and his wife Jessie. Within a year Jessie had died after giving birth to their son.
Henry was distraught and resolved not to live in the house and by 1853 only the estate lodge remained, the principal part of Veranda having been dismantled. St Paul’s Church Sketty, was built as a memorial to Jessie.
The approach is the main and service drives from the north, a branch from the main drive leading to a small, rectangular walled garden to the west.
There are grounds to the north of the house that remain today and a narrow garden area, bounded by a wall, to the south. To the south of there was a rectangular orchard.
The inner (Veranda) walled garden survived until at least 1914. It was situated on the area now occupied by the gardeners of the botanical garden. Its north wall is incorporated into the walled garden.
The footings of the garden’s south wall have been found in a flowerbed in the botanical garden.
The modern Swansea botanical garden has been developed on the part where the old Veranda House and Singleton Farm is now thanks to the Vivian Family.
This is where I walk almost everyday. It is so beautiful I had to find out how it all became this and wanted to share the wonders of this place.
The brilliant legacy of Singleton will never fade. A fragile memory still lingers here in the colors of the trees and in the People who once call it home.