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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 410389

Map Reference ST17NE

Grid Reference ST17477823

Unitary (Local) Authority Cardiff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Cathays

Type of Site CYCLE TRACK


Period 20th Century

Site Description The development of the Maindy Stadium site began in the early 1920s with the filling-in of the Maindy Pool (a remainder of the former clay pits that were worked on the site in the late-nineteenth century). Using voluntary labour, Cardiff Corporation transformed the site into a simple public park complete with two bowling greens and a few tennis courts (the courts were removed during the building of the cycle track). The purpose of laying out a park on the site of the Maindy Pool was to provide unemployment relief dor those workers affected by layoffs at the Dowlais Works in Splott. Efforts to attract the British Empire Games to the city in the late-1930s focused their attention on the Maindy site as a potential location for a proper athletics stadium complete with running track and a modern cycling track, both of which Cardiff lacked at the time. Alternatives included the proposed sports village on Wood Street (the eventual site of the Empire Pool) though neither set of plans came to anything before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Maindy Stadium itself opened in May 1951 and was designed with the competition requirements of both the Amateur Athletics Association and the National Cycle Union in mind (i.e. four laps to a mile) - the aim still being to use Maindy Stadium as the location of any future Empire Games bid. Such a bid came in the mid-1950s but the Corporation were eventually convinced that Maindy lacked sufficient accommodation for spectators and the media to be a viable venue for the 1958 Games. Though it was used for the cycling events, the main venue thus switched to the Arms Park. Efforts to revive speedway in the city in the early 1950s were initially focused here as well. Cardiff Corporation refused and so speedway races too place at the purpose-built Penarth Road Stadium instead.

The cycling track, which measures 460 metres, is broadly unchanged since it was opened; however, the covered grandstand, judge's box and concrete terracing has all been removed and replaced with grassed banking . The six-lane cinder running track situated in the middle of the velodrome has also been removed to make way for several sports pitches in the centre. In 1993, the stadium was renovated and a modern swimming pool built. Maindy Stadium was recorded by RCAHMW aerial reconnaissance on 29 June 2006 (image reference: AP_2006_1823).

Daryl Leeworthy, RCAHMW, 23 February 2012.

Digital Images

Archive Records