WW2 Military Use of Parks and Gardens

On this page the known use of parks and open spaces in Cardiff during the Second World War(1939-45) is summarised, however information may be incomplete.

The table below shows general defence functions and events with sources of information.

 
Allotments
Water
Storage
Barrage
Balloon
Search
Lights
War
Damage
ARP
Presence
Public
Shelters
Removal
of
Railings
Council
Food
Production
Adamsdown Gdns   [13]              
Africa Gdns               [10]  
Cathays, Crown Gdns     [17]            
Ely Rec           [6]      
Cyncoed Gdns           [15]      
Grange Gdns   [11]       [6]      
Hailey Park [7]                
Howard Gdns   [11]       [6]      
Insole Court           [22]      
Jubilee Park [14]     [12]          
Kitchener Gdns   [11]         [5] [10]  
Llandaff Fields [7] [14]     [1]       [10]  
Pentre Gdns     [2] [19] [21]         [10]  
Pontcanna Fields             [23]    
Roath Park                 [7]
Roath Park Rec [7] [14]   [2]     [16] [8] [10]  
Roath Park Boat Stage           [3]      
Roath Park Pleasure           [6]      
Roath Park Wild Gdns           [3]      
Seven Oaks Park [14]                
Sophia Gdns         [4]        
Splott Park [7] [14]   [18]     [6]      
The Marl     [20]            
Thompsons Park   [11]     [9]        
Victoria Park [14] [11] ?     [6] [5]   [7]
Waterloo Gdns [14][A]   [B]            
Windsor Esplanade
Gdns
    [19]         [10]  
                   

References for the table above:

  Reference Key Words
A Aerial photographs and local knowledge do not support this  
B Barrage balloon shown on aerial photograph on land just outside the S E entrance  
     
1 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 10th January 1939 Search light training
2 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 12th September 1939 Barrage balloons
3 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 12th October 1939 ARP Wardens posts
4 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 11th October 1949 Rebuilding of lodges
5 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 3rd October 1939 Public shelters (Kitchener 3 in progress & Victoria 2 in progress)
6 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 5th March 1940 ARP occupancy of bowls pavilions
7 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 9th July 1940 Allotments
8 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 15th October 1940 Shelter
9 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 8th January 1941 Damage
10 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 18th February 1941 Railings
11 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 9th September 1941 Static water for firefighting
12 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 13th January 1942 Search lights
13 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 17th November 1942 Static water for firefighting
14 Joint Meeting of the Parks etc. Committee and Small Holdings and Allotments Committee 25th September 1946  
15 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 19th May 1939  
16 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 25th July 1939 Report Centre
17 Old Cardiff pics: Barrage Balloon at Crown Gardens, Cathays Park, 1939 Barrage Balloon on the site of Crown Gardens, Cathays Park, 1939
18 Aerial Photograph of Splott Park RAF Medmenham FNO/17 8 OTU frame 6.4 25th June 1942 Barrage Balloon at Splott Park
19 Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 16th April 1940 Balloon site at Pentre Gardens
20 Aerial Photo RAF Medmenham Collection AC476 8th April 1942 Barrage Balloon at The Marl
21 Aerial Photo RAF Medmenham Collection AC478 8th April 1942 Barrage Balloon at Pentre Gardens
22 Air Raid Precautions Committee 24th April 1939 Llandaff Area air raid wardens' posts para 4106
23 Personal communication Shelters

This table shows specialised uses of open spaces:

  Use Reference
Parks and Open Spaces
in general
Trenches in parks and open spaces to be filled in - waterlogged & dangerous condition. Sophia Gardens to retain trenches.

Parks, Baths and Cemeteries Committee 10th January 1939
Air Raid Precautions Committee 25th January 1939

Heath Park Military Camp Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 28th November 1939
Heath Park Temporary aircraft landing strip for camp Ivor Jones, Cardiff Airfields, published 2003, pages 82-85
Heath Park Prisoner of war camp Denis Morgan, Cardiff a City at War, published 1998, page 125
Insole Court ARP District Office & First Aid Post Air Raid Precautions Committee 26th June 1939, 24th July 1939
Llandaff Fields Territorial Army & Air Force Association in Concert Pavilion Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 29th November 1938
Llandaff Fields Part of park used by anti-aircraft section Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 12th September 1939
Sophia Gardens Tank testing Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 13th June 1950
Trelai Park A probable WW2 bombing decoy installation 1942 Aerial photograph of this site