Prior to local government re-organisation in 1996, it was the headquarters for the former Swansea City Council. The Guildhall complex comprises the City Hall, Brangwyn Hall and the County Law Courts for Swansea. The Swansea Crown Court is now located in a building immediately opposite the Guildhall.
It was designed by architectSir Percy Thomas and built on what was once part of Victoria Park. Construction commenced in 1930 and it was completed in 1934, opening on 23 October of that year. It was a controversial building at the time, being representative of the modern movement in architecture and is described as having a stripped classical style.
The building is finished in white Portland stone and features a tall art deco clock tower making it a very distinctive Swansea landmark. Part of the clock tower design features the prow of a Viking longboat, a reminder of Sweyn Forkbeard and the city's Viking founders.