Cardiff Arms Park

Cardiff Arms Park

The name of this stadium is famous in rugby circles worldwide. The Wales rugby team played its home matches here until 1969. It remains Cardiff Rugby Football Club’s home ground.

The river Taff used to flow and flood across this area. In 1849 Isambard Kingdom Brunel diverted the river to reduce flooding and create space for an east-west rail station, now known as Cardiff Central.

The Bute family gave most of the land which had been reclaimed from the river for the people of Cardiff to enjoy recreation and sports. The land lay behind the Cardiff Arms Hotel, later demolished, and became known as the Cardiff Arms Park. Originally the Arms Park had a cricket ground to the north and a rugby union stadium to the south. The first stands, erected in 1881 for cricket spectators, were solely for women and children.

The site is owned by Cardiff Athletic Club and has been host to many sports, apart from rugby union and cricket; they include athletics, association football, greyhound racing, tennis, British baseball and boxing. The site also has a bowling green to the north of the rugby ground, which is used by Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club.

In 1872 the Arms Park held its first recorded event that saw spectators pay to enjoy a day of athletics and acrobatics to celebrate the marriage of the third Marquess of Bute. Cardiff RFC was founded in 1876 by merging two clubs, Glamorgan and Cardiff Wanderers. Its first competitive game was against Newport at Wentloog Marshes (east of the city) on 2 December 1876. The first home fixtures were played at Sophia Gardens but the club soon moved the short distance southwards to Cardiff Arms Park.

The Arms Park has subsequently hosted various international events including the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958.

By 1969, the cricket ground was moved to Sophia Gardens to make way for the present rugby ground and a second rugby stadium to the south, called the National Stadium. This became Wales rugby team’s home ground. It was replaced by the Millennium Stadium, on the same site, in 1999.

Cardiff RFC’s proudest moments at its home ground include the 8-3 win over the New Zealand All Blacks in 1953, and the 17-0 victory over the South African Springboks in 1907.

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Postcode: CF10 1JA

Website of Cardiff RFC

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