In the early 1920s the Council opened talks to acquire some land in Sloper Road for an additional recreation ground in Grangetown. This land belonged to the Welsh Church Commissioners and was known as Gillard's Field because the tenant was a Mr Albert Gillard. These discussions fell through but were resumed in the late 1920s, finally leading to the purchase by the Council of Gillard's Field in October 1929.
Mr Gillard's tenancy was terminated and in September 1930 the Parks Committee was informed that he had vacated the field. The Committee wished to start levelling the land, which was well below that of the adjoining roads. A.A. Pettigrew wrote in 1931 that this was approaching completion, and in the summer of 1931 arrangements were made to let part of the field for a pleasure fair and another portion for Bertram Mills Circus.
In May 1932 the Parks Committee decided to call the new recreation ground Sevenoaks Park, though it was often referred to as Sevenoaks Recreation Ground. Pettigrew wrote that the name Sevenoaks was in honour of the Chairman of the Committee, Alderman. R.G. Hill-Snook, whose surname was said to be a contracted form of that name. Seven oak trees were planted in March 1936 to commemmorate the opening of the ground and its association with the name of the Chairman.
Sevenoaks Park became a regular venue for circuses, fairs and shows. In 1934 the Parks Committee received a petition signed by 37 residents in the vicinity protesting against the recreation ground being let for circuses and shows.
The Parks Department Inventory of Parks Buildings and Equipment, compiled for insurance purposes in April 1938, included the following information for Sevenoaks Park:
During the 1939-45 war there were ARP (Air Raid Precautions) decontamination, cleansing and rescue centres at Sevenoaks Park. In addition, part of the ground was turned over to allotments, which were still present in late 1946. Some wartime buildings were retained after the war ended. As early as April 1945 it was agreed that rescue centre could be used as a dressing room for the sports fields.
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 5.
Other sources are: