This area of parkland prevented the urbanisation of Pontypridd spreading across the valley east of the river Taff. It was still farmland at the start of the 19th century but became part of the estate of the Lenox family, which had established the Brown Lenox chain factory on the east side of the valley in 1818. The family had a mansion here.
After the First World War, a large area of the grounds became the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, with the help of public subscriptions. This site was opened as a park by Field Marshal Viscount Allenby in 1923. The house became a clinic, operated by the local authority, and was demolished in preparation for construction of the A470 dual carriageway.
In 2011, two Roll of Honour walls were unveiled in the park. They list the people who died in the First and Second World Wars respectively.
Near the centre of the park stands a memorial to father and son Evan and James James, who wrote Wales’ national anthem ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’.
Elsewhere in the park is a sunken garden featuring a coal dram, the type of wagon used in collieries. This area commemorates the funds raised by miners for the park’s creation. Another feature of the park is the 1920s lido, a set of buildings around an outdoor swimming pool. The architect was inspired by the form of baths in the Roman empire. The lido closed in 1991 and fell into dereliction, but reopened in 2015 after a £6.3m restoration.
Today the park is in the care of Rhondda Cynon Taf council. It hosts events such as Ponty’s Big Weekend, an annual music festival, and fireworks displays in November.