Little Park was south of Coopers Field in the Castle Grounds, on the north side of Castle Street. It was not a municipal park but rather an area of land that the public were permitted to use by the Marquis of Bute.
It originated as part of the low-lying land between the River Taff and the line of the old west town wall, which in the 18th century became known as "the park". With the building of a new bridge in 1794-95 (the original Cardiff Bridge), and subsequent road alterations, "the park" was divided into two unequal portions, the smaller of which (north of the new road) became "Little Park", and the larger (south of the road), the "Great Park".
By the 1860s Little Park had been enclosed with the enlarged private grounds of Cardiff Castle. A "Grand Display of Fireworks in the Little Park" was one of the festivities celebrating the coming of age of the 3rd Marquis of Bute in September 1868.
Great Park had became known as Cardiff Arms Park, as it was the field behind the Cardiff Arms Inn (later Hotel), on the site of the present day Angel Hotel.
(On the 25 inch Ordinance Survey plan for 1880 the site of Cardiff Arms Park is incorrectly marked 'Little Park', and this error also appears in the Cardiff Records, Volume 5, page 384, where Little Park is stated to be "an earlier name for Cardiff Arms Park".)
Sources of Information
The information in this section is taken from A.A. Pettigrew: The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff, Volume 1 , "The Pre-Municipal Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff (3) Cardiff Arms Park"
Other sources are: