Belle Vue Park, Penarth

Belle Vue Park, Penarth

This park occupies the site of a former quarry, which produced some of the blue lias limestone used in the local houses. A deep pool of water collected at the bottom of the quarry. In 1877 two brothers – sons of a ship’s captain – from Plassey Street drowned there. William Richards, aged nine, died trying to save Frank, three, who had fallen in while they played with a “little boat”. Their brother Harry, seven, ran for help.

The quarry was filled in c.1900 and used for grazing livestock. The ground would never settle to allow house building, and the council acquired the land in 1912 to develop as leisure gardens. The gardens opened in 1914, with the bowling green opening in 1915. The park is named after the plant nursery and cottage previously sited in Albert Road.

During the Second World War, most gardens and parks lost their fences to provide material for planes and ammunition. However, the Belle Vue pavilion was used as a warden`s hut and the original 1914 fencing was left in situ for security. That fencing is still in place today. You can also find two of the original waste bins in the park.

The Park declined during the 1990s but the Friends of Belle Vue Park was founded in 2000 and worked with Vale of Glamorgan Council to improve the park. Improvements included sculptures, new internal fencing , a new children’s playground and establishing the sloping play field which is used every year for the Belle Vue Music Festival. In 2006 the park was the first in the Vale of Glamorgan to be awarded Green Flag status.

At the park’s 2014 centenary event, a new American-designed drinking fountain (the first of its kind in the UK) was unveiled, replacing two that had been lost over the previous century. In the park you can also see a 50-year time capsule cairn, built by the Friends from blue lias limestone donated by local people from their gardens.

With thanks to Martin Gossage

Postcode: CF64 1BY    View Location Map

Website of the Friends of Belle Vue Park (Facebook)

Belle Vue Park on Vale of Glamorgan Council website