WW2 Military Use of Cardiff's 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, though information may be incomplete.

The table below shows general defence functions and events with sources of information. The font colours in columns have been chosen to aid reading the table.

  Allotments Static
Water
Supply
Barrage
Balloon
Search
Lights
War
Damage
Public
Shelters
Removal
of
Railings
Council
Food
Production
ARP
Wardens
Post
ARP
First Aid
Post
ARP
Cleansing
Station
ARP Rescue &
decontamination
Centre
ARP
Control
Centre
ARP
Watching
Post
ARP
Report
Centre
Adamsdown Gdns   [13]                          
Africa Gdns             [10]   [114]            
Cathays, Crown Gdns     [17]                        
Ely Racecourse (Trelai Park)           [122]                  
Ely Recreation Ground                 [6]   [103] [125]      
Cyncoed Gdns                 [102]            
Grange Gdns   [11] [117]             [6]         [10] [124]  
Hailey Park [7]                            
Howard Gdns   [11] [117]             [6]            
Insole Court                 [101] [100]       [111]  
Jubilee Park [14]     [12]   [107]     [108]            
Kitchener Gdns   [11] [117]       [5] [107] [10]                
Llanbleddian Gdns                 [116]            
Llandaff Fields [7] [14] [119]   [1]   [1000] [10]     [117] [103] [110] [127]      
Loudoun Square                 [115]            
Maindy Pool                 [112] [121]   [110] [126]      
Pentre Gdns     [2] [19] [21]       [10]                
Plasturton Gdns   [118]                          
Pontcanna Fields           [23]                  
Roath Park               [7]   [114]   [110]     [109]
Roath Park Rec [7] [14]   [2]     [8] [10]       [103] [126]     [104]
Roath Park Boat Stage                 [105]            
Roath Park Pleasure                 [6]            
Roath Park Wild Gdns                 [105]            
Rumney Hill Gdns   [120]                          
Sevenoaks Park [14]                   [103] [110] [126]      
Sophia Gdns         [4]                    
Splott Park [7] [14]   [18]     [107]         [103] [110]      
The Marl     [20]           [6] [123] [107] [1001]      
Thompsons Park   [11] [115]     [9]       [113]            
Victoria Park [14] [11] [115] ?     [5] [107]   [7] [6]            
Waterloo Gdns [14][A]   [B]                        
Windsor Esplanade Gdns     [19]       [10]                
  Allotments Static
Water
Supply
Barrage
Balloon
Search
Lights
War
Damage
Public
Shelters
Removal
of
Railings
Council
Food
Production
ARP
Wardens
Post
ARP
First Aid
Post
ARP
Cleansing
Station
ARP Rescue &
decontamination
Centre
ARP
Control
Centre
ARP
Watching
Post
ARP
Report
Centre

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    
4 Parks, Baths & Cemeteries Committee 11th October 1949 Rebuilding of lodges
5    
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, Fire-watching
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    
16    
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    
23 Personal communication Shelters
     
     
100 Air Raid Precautions Committee 31st March 1939 First aid post
101 Air Raid Precautions Committee 24th April 1939 Air Raid Wardens posts, Llandaff Area para 4106
102 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 19th May 1939 Air Raid Wardens post
103 Air Raid Precautions Committee 26th June 1939 ARP cleansing station
104 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 24th July 1939 Report Centre
105 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 3rd October 1939 Public shelters (Kitchener 3 in progress & Victoria 2 in progress)
106 Air Raid Precautions Committee 12th October 1939 Air raid wardens post
107 Air Raid Precautions Emergency Committee 17th October 1939 ARP cleansing station, public shelters
108 Air Raid Precautions Committee 8th March 1940 Air Raid Wardens post
109 Air Raid Precautions Committee 29th March 1940 ARP Report Centre
110 Air Raid Precautions Committee 13th September 1940 ARP Cleansing & Decontamination Centre
111 Air Raid Precautions Committee 18th October 1940 ARP Watching Post
112 Air Raid Precautions Committee 13th December 1940 Air Raid Wardens post
113 Air Raid Precautions Committee 28th March 1941 Air Raid Wardens post
114 Air Raid Precautions Committee 23rd May 1941 First aid post & air raid wardens post
1000 Air Raid Precautions Committee 20th June 1941 Public shelters (16 proposed at Llandaff Fields)
1001 Air Raid Precautions Committee 15th August 1941 Rescue and Decontamination Station
115 Air Raid Precautions Committee 19th September 1941 Air Raid Wardens post
116 Air Raid Precautions Committee 26th September 1941 Air Raid Wardens post
117 Air Raid Precautions Committee 10th October 1941 Static water supply
118 Air Raid Precautions Committee 19th December 1941 Static water supply
119 Air Raid Precautions Committee 6th February 1942 Static water supply
120 Air Raid Precautions Committee 13th February 1942 Static water supply
121 Air Raid Precautions Committee 19th June 1942 First aid party
122 Air Raid Precautions Committee 2nd October 1942 Shelter colony
123 Air Raid Precautions Committee 20th November 1942 First aid party depot
124 Air Raid Precautions Committee 10th September 1943 Fire party headquarters
125 Air Raid Precautions Committee 12th November 1943 Rescue station
126 Air Raid Precautions Committee 21st March 1947 Rescue service garages
127 Air Raid Precautions Committee 23rd May 1947 Rescue service garages
128 Air Raid Precautions Committee  
129 Air Raid Precautions Committee  
     
     

This table shows specialised uses of parks and open spaces:

  Use Reference
Parks and Open-
Spaces in general
Trenches in parks and open spaces to be filled in because they were waterlogged & in a dangerous condition, but Sophia Gardens to retain its 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