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The Poplars

A Grade II Listed Building in Pontlliw, Swansea

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Latitude: 51.684 / 51°41'2"N

Longitude: -4.0094 / 4°0'33"W

OS Eastings: 261185

OS Northings: 200270

OS Grid: SN611002

Mapcode National: GBR GX.6SND

Mapcode Global: VH4JW.GX8Y

Entry Name: The Poplars

Listing Date: 23 November 2018

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87782

Building Class: Domestic

Location: At the end of a private drive off the E of Swansea Road, marked by entrance gates and derelict lodge at the S end of Pontlliw.

County: Swansea

Community: Pontlliw and Tircoed (Pont-lliw a Tircoed)

Community: Pontlliw and Tircoed

Built-Up Area: Pontlliw

Traditional County: Glamorgan


Constructed c1890 by a local industrialist Friedrich William Dahne and originally called Friedrichsruh. Dahne is believed to be Austrian. He is recorded as advertising for a ‘Working Housekeeper’ in October 1899 and the house and grounds are first shown on the 2nd ed OS map of 1900. It is referred to as an ‘Attractive modern country mansion’ on its sale in 1913, by which point F Dahne had presumably died as the house was occupied ( October 1914) by Friedrich’s son David. By the mid C20 it had been renamed The Poplars.

The design of The Poplars has been attributed to Glendinning Moxham (1865-1946) an architect active in South Wales and resident in Swansea. Moxham published Country Homes & Cottages in 1910 illustrated with his own designs of built and proposed houses. In it he outlines his stylistic preferences for white painted roughcast walls and half timbering rather than exposed local stone, and red tiles used for walls and roofs. Internally oak is used for principal joinery elements (stair, beams, doors and panelling) with the remainder painted. He also puts forwards ideas on plan types, with practical plans with deep windows preferred over an attractive elevation.

Moxham designed the Glyn Vivian Art Gallery (1909), banks, hospitals and markets and other buildings throughout Wales. Glen Hir on Gower Road (1900-1910) designed with a French influence of shutters and swept roofs has been attributed to Moxham. Moxham was responsible for the Old English style Bristol Channel Yacht Club (1904) on Mumble s Road. Swiss or Alpine styles had been used in the Swansea area during the C19 with the Swiss Cottage in Singleton Park constructed in 1826 and the Old Rectory in Llanmadoc village (1876-77) by the Rev J D Davies.


Detached house in Alpine Chalet style. Red brick with stone dressings, plinth and ground floor cill band. Decorative timberwork painted white. Slate roofs, half hipped with lead rolled hips and deep projecting eaves and moulded rafter ends. Tall brick stacks, decorative ridge tiles and finials. Segmental headed 6-light casement windows, ground floor with 2 upper lights.
Rectangular ‘C’ plan arranged N E-SW on a gently sloping site. Long 2 storey garden range facing SE, gabled 2 storey end wings at NE and SW ends linked by single storey block enclosing what may have once been an internal courtyard, closed off by an entrance screen wall). Tower in S corner with decorative finial and slating breaking through roof of 2 storey ranges.
Entrance elevation to SW dominated by large full height projecting 2 tier timber veranda on brick plinth, wrapping round at first floor to left hand elevation. Gabled end of the garden wing breaking forward. Moulded posts with bracing, arched on the ground floor and shorter on the first floor with incised and scalloped detailing. Posts irregularly spaced to the left but grouped into 3 bays on the garden wing gable with wider central bay. First floor projects and is supported by corbels. Enclosing low close boarded panels to ground and first floor with pierced decoration with the same applied as gable boarding. Behind 3 windows to the garden wing, central retains stained glass with Alpine folklore scenes in central panels with text below and surrounded by floral designs. doors in outer bays on the ground floors, 3 windows to the end wing, central bay French doors with leaded glass with oval stained glass cartouches of females. Tiled floor up steps on the ground floor, timber boarded on first floor.
Elevation to NW with gable ends of 2 end wings with shallow timber verandah as before but close to façade and more decorative than functional. 2 window to NE end wing, SW end wing with 5 windows to ground floor and 4 to first floor, irregularly spaced. Single storey range in between with wide central door and flanking windows.
NE elevation, single window to return of end wing, blind door to ground floor. Projecting lean-to 2 store block on garden range, window in right return, door in left return, blocked door and low opening in main face.
Garden elevation of 5 paired window bays (10 windows), projecting stacks in between the 2nd and 3rd pair (reduced) and 4th and 5th. First floor cill band and projecting cills to ground floor windows. Left hand windows to ground floor blind with small lean-to structure to right. Modern entrance porch added in 4th bay with boarded door.


Interior retains original layout substantially intact with doors, skirtings etc surviving. Main entrance from SW front retains large entrance hall with single flight oak stairs with moulded newell, balusters and handrail. Raised and fielded 4-panel doors with veneered panels, door surrounds. Full height panelling, fireplace on left hand wall removed and tiled over. Tiled floor. Below stairs cupboard.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its special architectural interest as a late C19 house of exceptional style and quality, retaining its original character and designed (probably) by a prominent Swansea architect. A good physical reflection of the movement of successful industrialists into this part of Swansea, with its design and touches of detail reflecting the background of its original owner.
This structure has been afforded Interim Protection under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. It is an offence to damage this structure and you may be prosecuted.
To find out more about Interim Protection, please visit the statutory notices page on the Cadw website. For further information about this structure, or to report any damage please contact Cadw.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Former Stables at The Poplars
    Off the S side of a private drive to The Poplars, accessed from the E side of Swansea Road, marked by entrance gates and derelict lodge at the S end of Pontlliw.
  • II Pont Lliw Mill
    Beside former mill race to rear of Nos. 70 and 74 on the main Swansea road.
  • II Penderi Fawr Farmhouse including attached cowhouse
    Situated high above the north side of the motorway between the village and forest of Penllergaer; reached by farm roads from S and W.
  • II Gwenlais-uchaf
    At the end of a track off Clordir Road approximately 1km NW of the centre of Pont Lliw village.
  • II Barn at Gwenlais-uchaf
    On the W side of the farmyard at Gwenlais-uchaf approximately 1km NW of the centre of Pont Lliw village.
  • II* The Equatorial Observatory, Penllergare
    Situated some 60m NW of the Neath Port Talbot Borough Council offices in Penbwl Wood.

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