Roath Park House

Roath Park House was built in 1897 within the Pleasure Garden as the official residence for the Parks Superintendent (later Chief Parks Officer).[1] It was home successively to William Pettigrew until 1915, his younger brother Andrew Alexander Pettigrew from 1915 to 1936, and William Nelmes senior, who was appointed Chief Officer of Parks and Open Spaces in September 1936. When Nelmes retired in 1967 his son, also William Nelmes, succeeded him as Director of Parks and moved into Roath Park House with his family.

One of the rooms in the house served as a departmental office until the new Parks Depot in Wedal Road was completed in 1901.[2]

A telephone line was installed in 1901 by the National Telephone Company for an annual charge (including unlimited use) of £8.[3] In April 1914 a tender was accepted to install electric lighting.[4]

In July 1949 repairs and improvements to Roath Park House in the form of a new kitchen and bathroom were undertaken at a cost of £53.[5]

There was a World War 2 Anderson shelter at the bottom of the back garden, near the tennis court, which still existed in the early 1970s.[6]

The house ceased to be the official residence of the Director of Parks in 1975 when William Nelmes junior vacated the property.[7] It was then used as accommodation for other members of the Parks Department. In February 1982 it was reported that the house had not been used for accommodation for employees since December 1981. The building suffered from serious dampness, had no adequate heating system, was slowly deteriorating and considerable finance would be necessary to bring it up to a condition in which it could be re-let. The Leisure and Amenities Committee agreed in principle that the building be converted to office accommodation as the district office for the northern area.[8]

Roath Park House remains in Council ownership.[9]

Sources of Information

  1. Meetings of the Parks, Open Spaces etc. Committee 15th March & 20th September 1897
  2. A. A. Pettigrew, The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff, Volume 2.
  3. Meeting of the Parks Committee 24th June 1901
  4. Meeting of the Parks Open Spaces and Burial Board Committee 9th April 1914
  5. Council Minute Book 1949-1950 page 130
  6. Personal communication (HN)
  7. Meeting of the Libraries, Leisure and Amenities Committee 1st September 1975
  8. Meeting of the Leisure and Amenities Committee 1st February 1982
  9. Roath Park Lake and Gardens: Conservation Area Appraisal 2008 page 17