Cathays Park was first laid out as a private park in 1812 by the first Marquis of Bute to accompany his newly built mansion. It was purchased by the Council in 1898, both to provide recreational space and to obtain land on which to place a new town hall. Beginning in the early 1900s, some of the former parkland was used for new public buildings, while three garden areas were created: Alexandra Gardens, Gorsedd Gardens and Friary Gardens. The modern Cathays Park is synonymous with Cardiff's Civic Centre, comprising the City Hall, Law Courts, National Museum, Cardiff University, University of Wales Registry, Welsh Government (formerly the Welsh Board of Health) and the Temple of Peace and Health. Many postcards have been produced showing the Civic Centre buildings, gardens and statues, and these can be viewed via a clickable map. As well as the postcard images there is a section which explores the documented history of Cathays Park, and some aerial photographs.
The 1¾ minute video clip below showing various parts of Cathays Park is an excerpt from the cine film Cardiff the City of Flowers, produced by the Cardiff Parks Department c.1960. (The audio on this video clip is a little distorted.)
Sources of Information