Park Place feeder canal bridge, Cardiff
Look through the railings here to see the dock feeder canal which was built in the 1830s to maintain the water level in Cardiff’s new dock. The canal still carries vital water to the city’s operational docks.
In the March 1948 aerial photo, courtesy of the Welsh Government, the Park Place bridge is in the top right corner. You can follow the canal’s route from the castle on the left to what is now Churchill Way in the bottom right corner (where the canal was covered later in 1948 and uncovered in 2022). East of the Park Place bridge the canal turns almost 90 degrees – the bend has been covered over since the photo was taken.
The section of the feeder canal immediately north of Queen Street was one of the first to be covered, to enable construction of the Park Hall and Hotel in the 1880s.
In the early decades, the canal was a conduit for suburban sewage. In 1855 cast-iron sewer pipes were installed beneath the feeder canal at Crockherbtown (now Queen Street) for the town’s “drainage” system. However, in 1859 sewage from 200 houses in Cathays was still entering the feeder canal and Cardiff’s mayor feared an outbreak of malaria because the filthy water passed through the park by Park Place and others parts of the town.
By 1862 the feeder’s water was clean enough to supply the new Cardiff Baths, at what’s now the southern end of Churchill Way.
Postcode: CF10 3LN< View Location Map