The First (Lower) or Great Pond
This was almost certainly the first impoundment to be made on the Preswylfa Brook (c.1680) to supply water to the new industries built in the lower valley. In 1923 it was also developed as an outdoor swimming pool for Neath, with a concrete apron and bathing hut, remaining in use until 1963 when a new covered swimming pool was built in the town centre.
The First (Lower) or Great Pond is currently used as one of the Gnolls Fishing Ponds. The ponds have had substantial investment and now boast six new "all ability" angling platforms, which means they are now easily accessible to those who may have disabilities and/or mobility problems.
Also known as the Second, this reservoir is the most important in terms of its scenic value and recreational potential. It holds in the region of 6.6 million gallons of water and as such is the largest of the four water bodies on the Gnoll Estate Country Park.
It also has an interesting history since its enlargement by Herbert Mackworth involved the flooding of a minor road which led to a challenge in parliament at the time. In 1860, with the steam railway network in need of large quantities of water a lease was granted to take water from it via a 5" pipe. This pipe was led directly to Neath Railway Station.
The fishpond is now a popular attraction in its own right with many visitors coming along to feed the ducks or to take a stroll around via the French Cascades.
The Guinea Pond
The primary objective in building the Guinea Pond was to increase the industrial water supply. Unlike the First Pond and the fishing pond which both lie in natural valleys, the Guinea Pond was to be dammed on three sides with shallow embankments and the flow of water feeding the Fishpond was divided to provide the necessary water. The Guinea Pond had virtually disappeared by the 1990's and had to be excavated and re-lined with clay. It is now a reserve for wildlife.