Watering system

When the lake and promenade were built, a gravity fed water supply was included to provide water for the Botanic Garden. Pipes carried the lake water through a valve on the Promenade and a second valve near the bywash to irrigation points listed below. It is doubtful that plans for the watering system still exist and this information has been gathered by personal communication and observation.[1] The hydrant numbers below do not imply the water pipe routing.

Number Position Grid Reference
1 On westerly north-south path by middle entrance ST 18470 79115
2 On westerly north-south path, 30M from middle entrance ST 18467 79081
3 On westerly north-south path, 2M south of Rose Garden entrance ST 18472 79047
4 On West Specie Border, 40M from southern entrance ST 18487 79011
5 On east-west path, just west of the Conservatory ST 18523 78950
6 East Specie Border ST 18525 79037
7 Bog Garden, north of the Conservatory at approx. ST 18549 79086
8 South edge of Acer Lawn ST 18496 79141
Hydrant positions

Known hydrant positions

This water supply was used during a drought in 1955. In response to complaints that lawns and flowerbeds at Roath Park were being watered despite the drought, William Nelmes, the City Director of Parks, pointed out that the water being used was taken from the hydrants fed by Roath Park lake.[2]

The Parks Department had a bayonet-fixing standpipe made to fit the old irrigation points in about 1990. There was a lever at the top of the standpipe, which when turned would push down on a ball within the pipe, and the water flow was controlled by the number of turns of the lever.[3] The system was last used in a very hot summer around 1990, when the outlet near the conservatory was used to fill a large water tanker which was driven to various bowling greens in the northern part of the City. Owing to the head of water, the tanker filled very rapidly. A water extraction license was required in order to take water from the lake. At around the same time the watering system was also used to water beds in the Rose Garden.[4]

Watering system manhole

Hydrant #4 in the West Specii Border (December 2014)

Watering system manhole

Hydrant #4 in the West Specii Border (May 2022)

Sources of Information

  1. Personal communication (RJ, DJ, TD)
  2. Western Mail and South Wales News, Saturday, September 3rd 1955 page 5
  3. Personal communication (DHo)
  4. Personal communication (DJ)