Aberdare Park is in Trecynon, towards the north end of Aberdare. There are entrances to the park off Hirwaun Road (B4275), top entrance to the park via Park Lane or from Glan Road for disabled car access. Alternatively the main gates to the park are via the lodge at the junction of Glan Road and Gadlys Road.
Aberdare Park is a well-preserved Victorian public park. The park was laid out on part of Hirwaun common on the instigation of R.H. Rhys, chair of the local board of health. In 1863, he informed the board that the 'Pleasure Grounds' of nearly fifty acres (20.25ha) would soon be given to the overseers of the parish so that a pleasant place for the inhabitants of Aberdare could be constructed. The park opened on July 27, 1869 and in 1870, the local board of health borrowed £5,000 to wall, drain and plant the park.
The landscaping and planting of the park was carried out by William Barron (1805-1891) a nurseryman who laid out many public parks in England from 1860 onwards. It was during the period 1860-1870 that the main phase of construction of the park was carried out, with such features as fish ponds, a circular walk and the building of the boundary wall.
In 1911, Lord Merthyr donated to the inhabitants of Aberdare an elaborate cast iron fountain to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Mary in 1911. This is one of only three fountains of its type and period in the country.
In 1956, the National Eisteddfod was held in the park and a fine Gorsedd circle was erected to commemorate this event.
Aberdare Park has many facilities making it a great place for a family trip. The wide open spaces make it an ideal place for children to play in, and when they have tired of that, how about taking them to feed the ducks and geese on the lake.
For the adults and older children, there is plenty to do and see. There are two bowling greens, tennis courts and in the summer, local bands play on the bandstand.
For the ultimate adrenalin rush, visit the park during July and watch the motorcycle races. In the past, such greats as Jeff Duke, John Surtees and Mike Hailwood showed their excellence and skill as they raced around the National Road Racing circuit consisting of the circular walk of the park.
For the keen horticulturalist, there is plenty to see with many fine mature specimen trees such as the Metasequioia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwoods) and Fagus heterophylla laciniata (Fern Leaf Beech). The spring and summer bedding displays provide splashes of vivid colour while in the spring, the rhododedrons and azaleas brighten the Falls area.
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