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Come and see the beauty of the cascades

Informal Cascades

The informal cascades were originally built in the 1740's and then sympathetically restored in the 1980's. Two interesting features, the Grotto and the Gazebo are to be found at the top of the cascades. Both were originally built as 'follies'.


The Grotto had been unearthed after disappearing under a landslide some time in the late 18th century. The Grotto is a dome roofed room some 18ft across. The floor has been paved and set in mortar made from manmade stalagmites from limestone and cockle shells. 

The Grotto would have been used as a cool place to sit and rest, and there would have been objects of interest for visitors to look at. The Gnoll stones (now kept in Swansea Museum) probably formed part of this display. The Grotto was also at one time adorned internally with shells attached to the walls and roof. These shells were brought from places all over the world, and in particular the West Indies.

Formal Cascades                     

The formal cascades were created by Sir Humphrey Mackworth during 1730. At this time he extended Gnoll House and had 28 men working to beautify the gardens. The formal cascades were built in Fishpond Wood and have recently been refurbished to their former glory.

© Neath Port Talbot Council