It’s the largest urban park in Swansea and is enjoyed by thousands of people across the city every single week.
One of the city’s real treasures, Singleton Park is a place which most people across the city hold dear for their own special reasons.
Whether it be a family picnic, a game of crazy golf, a pedalo ride around the boating lake or your very first concert, the stories and moments which have been shared in its vast confines are endless.
But the historic story of how we all came to be given free reign of the park is perhaps the most unique of all.
It all dates back to the 1800s.
In 1847, John Henry Vivian purchased Veranda House for his son Henry Hussey Vivian and his wife Jessie.
But tragically, within a year Jessie had died after giving birth to their son. Henry was distraught and resolved not to live in the house.
By 1853, only the estate lodge remained, as the principal part of Veranda had been dismantled and St Paul’s Church in Sketty, was built as a memorial to Jessie.
The Singleton Estate as it had now become had amalgamated some 12 farms to amass 250 acres, and by 1851 the Walled Garden had become the kitchen and flower garden to serve the needs of the Vivian family.
A unique feature in the park is the Swiss Cottage.
Built in 1826, it was designed by Peter Frederick Robinson, the man behind nearby Sketty Hall, also for the Vivian family in the early part of the 19th century.
The cottage was originally a home but it has been used as a cafe and more recently as a storage area.
Mr Robinson had visited Switzerland and been impressed by the country’s timber-built houses with balconies and external stairs.
Fast forward 68 years and the vast array of fields were about to take on a brand new life.
The County Borough Council purchased Singleton Estate in 1919 for use as a public park.
Daniel Bliss, who was trained at Kew Gardens, was the driving force behind the purchase of the Singleton Estate, and in early 1920 he began to oversee the transformation of the park and garden.
The layout of the gardens that we see today has much to do with his vision and plans.
In the years that have followed, the park has welcomed esteemed guests, including The Queen on June 26, 1965.
And it has become home to many of the city’s biggest ever cultural music events.
Among them was Party In The Park , which ran from 1997 until 2007, and attracted star line-ups that once read like a who’s who of the British pop industry.
Another popular fixture was Escape Into The Park , which ran from 1995 until 2011, which created a decade of memories for a generation of people from Swansea and beyond, and in many ways defined an era which was renowned for the emergence of dance music and the culture which went with it.
In the years that have followed, there has been plenty of incredible one off gigs, including Noel Gallagher , Stereophonics, Olly Murs and Jess Glynne.
The park also hosted BBC Radio One’s Biggest Weekend in May 2018, which saw an incredible line-up of the best pop acts including Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.
Sixty thousand people attended the event, and it was estimated by Swansea Council it was worth at least £2.4m to the local economy.
In the future, it looks like a new woodland is set to be planted at the park to help remove carbon from the atmosphere, improve air quality and create new habitat for wildlife including bees, butterflies, birds and small mammals.
Swansea Council’s cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, Mark Thomas, said: “Swansea is blessed with many great parks looked after by specialist staff and we are very proud that six council parks, including the Ornamental Gardens at Singleton, were awarded the prestigious Green Flag again this year.
“Singleton is undoubtedly one of the most popular which is why we were delighted to support the Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Gardens Complex (FCSBC) when they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the park entering public ownership this year.
“As well as housing the complex, Singleton has great walks and large open spaces with some lovely views out over Swansea Bay.”
The council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Robert Francis-Davies, added: “Singleton is also a great location for major outdoor events including the Proms in the Park, this summer’s brilliant performances by Stereophonics and Jess Glynne and last year’s BBC Biggest Weekend which saw a stellar line-up including Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith.
“The park and events such as these play a big role in attracting visitors, raising Swansea’s profile as a great destination and supporting our local economy.”