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Cardiff Castle Grounds and Bute Park, Cardiff

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Bute Park, with the grounds of Cardiff Castle, constitute one of the largest urban parks in Wales. With nearby Pontcanna Fields and Llandaff Fields (nprn 301656) and Sophia Gardens (301657) to the west it forms a huge open space accessible by the public within the centre of Cardiff. The park formed part of the pleasure grounds of Cardiff Castle, the seat of the Marquises of Bute. It became public after 1947.

The castle grounds have a long history of landscaping, going back to the medieval period. They owe their present-day appearance to late eighteenth-century landscaping by Lancelot Brown and later alterations by the 3rd Marquis of Bute. The grounds are enclosed in a high, crenellated stone wall, with a walkway around the top (18021). The space within the wall is roughly square and flat, with a large earthen bank against the wall on the north, east, and part of the south side. The level area is laid out to a large lawn, with grass and mixed trees on the banks. The castle motte is a circular, steep-sided mound, with a stone shell keep on top (33). A disused spiral path winds up the mound and around its foot is a wide water-filled moat.

Bute park was laid out ornamentally on the land of five farms, part of which is known as Cooper's Fields, as part of the pleasure grounds of Cardiff Castle, then the seat of the Marquises of Bute. The park, west and north-west of the castle, is elongated north by south, bounded on the west by the river Taff, and on the east, for most of its length, by the dock feeder canal (34240). The character of the park is informal and flowing: spacious grounds, laid out with winding walks (now tarmac or concrete) and areas of open grass alternating with specimen trees in grass, borders, and less manicured woodland. The park's designer and planter, Andrew Pettigrew, was one of the most important park designers of the second half of the nineteenth century, and the design allowed a smooth progression from the more highly ornamented southern private pleasure ground through the specimen tree area in the centre to playing fields and woodland at the more 'natural' north end.

Drives through the park were from the north, at an entrance and lodge close to the river (19597), and from the south at West Lodge (302126) on Castle Street. Within the park are the remains of Blackfriars Priory (307772).

Cadw 2000: Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, Glamorgan (ref: PGW(Gm)22(CDF); designated as Cardiff Castle & Bute Park).
Ordnance Survey Second Edition 25-inch map of Glamorgan, XLIII.15 (1899).

RCAHMW, 7 July 2022

application/pdfCAP - Cambrian Archaeological Projects ArchiveArchaeological Watching Brief Report relating to North Lodge, Bute Park, Cardiff. CAP Report Number 655.
application/pdfCAP - Cambrian Archaeological Projects ArchiveFinal archaeological watching brief for Bute Park Bridge, Cardiff (CAP Report 578) by K W Collins.
application/pdfAWP - Archaeology Wales Project ArchivesArchaeology Wales Report no. 1590, entitled "Bute Park, Castle Street, Cardiff. Archaeological Watching Brief", produced by Sian Thomas, June 2017.
application/pdfCPG - Cadw Parks and Gardens Register DescriptionsCadw Parks and Gardens Register text description of Cardiff Castle And Bute Park, Cardiff. Parks and Gardens Register Number PGW(GM)022(CDF).