Adamsdown Gardens was one of several "town square gardens" created by the Bute Estate at the same time as housing development. These gardens were conveyed to the Cardiff Corporation on December 28th 1889, and they were opened to the public the following spring.
In 1890 there was debate in the Parks Committee as to how Adamsdown Square Gardens should be laid out, whether it would remain as a playground for the children of the neighbourhood, or be laid out with paths and shrub borders. It was initially decided in April 1890 that the space be gravelled, and the perimeter fenced and planted with trees and shrubs, so that it could both serve as a playground for children, and be inexpensive to maintain. In December 1890 the Committee received a report that shrubs had been planted, mainly taken from Howard Gardens. A caretaker was appointed and took up his duties in July 1890, but it was not until April 1891 that a timber shelter/ toolshed was built for the caretaker.
Following protests to the Council from residents of Adamsdown Square, who wanted grass, borders and walks, it was decided to change the original layout in favour of a more ornamental space. In June 1891 the Parks Committee agreed that paths would be formed in Adamsdown Gardens similar to the other open spaces.
During the 1914-18 War some at least of the space was allocated to allotments, and remained so until the end of 1920. The Western Mail reported in July 1918 that "Adamsdown-square Gardens - a small, but picturesque little park in Cardiff - is now given up entirely to vegetable production. The potatoes, cabbages, peas, and leaks are looking well."
The Parks Department Inventory of Parks Buildings and Equipment, compiled for insurance purposes in April 1938, included the following information for Adamsdown Gardens:
During the 1939-45 a supplementary water supply for fire fighting purposes was placed in Adamsdown Gardens. The Parks Committee gave consent in November 1942 for the construction of a static water basin to hold 150,000 gallons. By May 1946 this had been removed: the Director of Parks reported to the Parks Committee that all emergency water supply basins had been removed and he had made a claim for restoration of the sites to their original condition.
Sources of Information
In general, the information in this section is taken from A. A. Pettigrew. The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff. Volume 2.
Other sources are: