Singleton Abbey, Swansea, Records

Scope and Content

Singleton estate weekly pay book, detailing payments on account of farm, garden, house, shooting etc. together with some weekly receipts 1882-1886; sheets giving weekly payments on account of farm, garden etc. 1884; records of deliveries from Singleton Farm to Abbey for weeks ending August 8th, August 15th and August 22nd 1884; record of deliveries from Singleton Farm on the stables account: for week ending August 22nd 1884.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Singleton Abbey estate was the Swansea home of the Vivian family, originally from Cornwall but who came to Swansea after extending their copper concerns into South Wales during the early nineteenth century. The family established the company of Vivian and Sons who operated the Hafod and the White Rock Copper Works in the Lower Swansea Valley during the nineteenth century and early twentieth. In 1816 John Henry Vivian (1785-1855) married Sarah Jones and the couple bought Marino as their permanent home in Swansea. In 1829 John Henry acquired nearby Singletons Farm together with 42 acres of land. He later transferred the name Singleton to his whole estate and also used it in the name of the neo-gothic house he rebuilt around Marino, which he called Singleton Abbey. Singletons Farm became the home farm of this house. After John Henry's death in 1855, the house and estate were left in trust to his widow Sarah until her own death in 1886. After this date their son Henry Hussey Vivian (1821-1894) took over the house and estate. After the death of Henry Hussey in 1894 the Vivian family's links with both Swansea and Singleton Abbey began to loosen, especially after a terrible fire at the Abbey in 1896. Finally the house and estate were sold in 1919 and bought by Swansea Corporation. The land was used as the site for the present University of Wales Swansea and the house as the University's main administrative building.

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Geographical Names