Before the park was constructed the area comprised fields and hedges. Some time prior to the 13th May 1946 allotments were put down in the area which today is a children's playground and car park. These were most likely put down just prior to or during WW2. An aerial photograph taken in May 1962 shows the park has sports fields marked out. A much later aerial photograph taken in August 1991 shows the park with a children's play area and various pitches marked out.
Before 1960, Ordnance Survey maps show the land that became Parc Caedelyn as fields with a footpath crossing. It was first named on OS maps in the 1960s at which time it was shown to include a pavilion. By the 1980s OS maps indicate that a playground had been added on the north west side.
The date of the opening of Parc Caedelyn is not known but it was in use in 1952 when a notice in the Pontypridd Observer advertised a fete and rally to be held on Caedelyn Road playing field (adjacent to Whitchurch Station and Manor Way Bus Terminus) on Saturday 5th July 1952. In 1956 there was a visit by Reginald Maudling, Minister of Supply, to speak at the Barry Conservative and Unionist Association fete at Caedelyn Playing Fields on June 30th.
From late 1957 the Whitchurch Parish Council was managing the daily use of Parc Caedelyn, for example receiving enquiries from sports clubs about use of pitches, and receiving reports of cycles and motor cycles riding dangerously there. Additional supervision was agreed during evenings and weekends by Parish Council workmen wearing official armbands. The clubs enquiring about use of pitches included Whitchurch Athletic Football Club, Rhiwbina Monarchs Football Club and Rhiwbina Athletic Football Club.
In January 1959 a children's roundabout had to be moved owing to development of the playing fields. A new pavilion was being planned by the Cardiff Rural District Council as part of these developments and the Parish Council requested that a drinking fountain be placed near it. In May a notice in the Western Mail from Cardiff Rural District Council invited tenders to build a bungalow and equipment store with toilet facilities at Parc Caedelyn Playing Fields, Whitchurch. Tenders were to be received by noon on Wednesday 3rd June 1959.
The Cardiff Rural District Council's plans for building a bungalow, equipment store, mess room and toilet facilities were agreed by the Whitchurch Parish Council in May 1959. In October 1959 the District Council reported that works at Parc Caedelyn would be completed by 17th October, and the Parish Council agreed that it would then take over and maintain the park in accordance with an existing agreement between the two councils. Also in October 1959 it was agreed to appoint a temporary park attendant for Parc Caedelyn, and to lock the entrance to the park from Manor Way in the evenings, though not the entrance from Caedelyn Road..
In April 1960 the Parish Council General Purposes and Burial Committee approved the proposal from the Rural District Council that the opening of the new pavilion take place on the 17th May 1960 at 4:30pm. In July the Parish Council received an application from Whitchurch Rugby Club for permission to use the ground and pavilion on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during August 1960, the Club also offering to present their goal posts to the Council. The use of the ground, pavilion and showers was approved at a cost of 5/- per occasion, and the goal posts were accepted with thanks. Later that year the Whichurch Parks Committee accepted a quotation of £26-4s-1d for the supply of a uniform for the Parks Attendant.
In November 1960 the Cardiff Rural District Council requested that the Parish Council take over maintenance for the machinery store and public convenience in accordance with the existing agreement between the two councils.
It was agreed to purchase an additional set of rugby posts in February 1961. In May 1961 the Parish Council received a letter from the Cardiff Rural District Council seeking advice on fencing around the bungalow. The Whitchurch Parks Committee recommended a dwarf wall of concrete blocks with chain link fencing to a height of 4 feet.
In April 1962 it was decided to accept an estimate from A. G. Pudge & Sons to supply swings and a slide at a cost of £35-10-0, and to erect a rock faced wall adjoining the Parc Caedelyn entrance at a cost of £54-15-0.
The pavilion was regularly used for other purposes as well as by sports teams. For example, in April 1965 an application was approved for the Treoda Women's Branch of the Barry Conservative and Unionist Association to hold meetings in the pavilion on three dates in April and May 1965 for a charge of 5/- on each occasion.
Parc Caedelyn is mentioned in the Cardiff "Blue Book" for 1967, when Whitchurch became part of the Cardiff local government area (on 1st April 1967) at which time Parc Caedelyn was said to be the most important of the former Whitchurch parks and recreation grounds.
Former Cardiff Parks Horticultural Officer Terry Davies recalls that Parc Caedelyn was well established when he was involved with it in the 1970s, and it had a range of very well kept pitches for hockey, football and cricket. (The Blue Book also mentioned baseball.) The bungalow was occupied by the park keeper, and there was also a messroom, garage and tool store.
The following information was supplied by former Cardiff Parks Horticultural Officer Terry Davies:-
In the 1970s there were:-
|2||Hockey pitches (mown with a 36" Dennis or 30" Ransome mower with a grass box)|
|Baseball pitches could be quickly marked by any of the skilled groundsmen on any part of the site not otherwise in use|
For cricket the outfields were marked and measured from the centre of the squares, such that the diameters crossed between pitches (as there was not enough space), which meant that, when both were in use, the games had to share a pointed ellipse 10 metres wide at the widest point.
The Pavilion was (and still is) is a large building with a well-lit central room, six changing rooms, showers and toilets, plus a kitchen. In the winter season there could be 16 teams using it on Saturdays, with lesser numbers on Sundays and mid-week. It was a very busy place and also accommodated a nursery school on weekdays from 8.00a.m.
The park keeper was Lance Rogers. The skilled groundsmen, Kevin Spurgin and Terry Dyer, were often loaned to other Cardiff Parks sports grounds when the need arose.
Two pitches were lost in the 1980s when Welsh Water had to construct a storm relief valve at the top end (near Rhiwbina Station). The structure was buried in top soil and planted with Cotoneaster. The relief discharged directly into Rhiwbina Brook, which runs along the south perimeter of Parc Caedelyn.
There was a tool-shed on the north west side of the garage, which also served as an office.
The South Wales Echo of the 19th April 1995 mentions the stonedust paths in "Caedelyn Park", Whitchurch, installed in the late 1970s and due for repair and resurfacing in the summer of 1995.
More recently the perimeter stonedust path has been tarmaced. Both hockey pitches are now rugby pitches with floodlighting, and the southerly one has been fenced. A new pavilion
has been added for the Rhiwbina Rugby Club. Beyond this pitch is an area of rough ground designed as a flood relief scheme. It includes a wide depression where rushes and
whips have been planted and where there is standing water in places. The cricket squares are no longer present.
Sources of Information