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The History of Ynysangharad War Memorial Park

 

Originally laid out on land which was made of allotments and fields, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park was bordered by the river Taff to the west and south; Ynysangharad House and the Brown Lenox Chain and Anchor Works to the east.
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Ynysangharad War Memorial Park

Established in 1818, Brown Lenox Chain and Anchor was the sole supplier of anchor chain to the Royal Navy and even supplied great ships such as the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary and even the Titanic. The Brown Lenox Company played a paramount role in providing work to the local community. A bell, which is currently stored in Pontypridd Museum, used to be located in the park (1849) and was used to signal to workers the beginning and the end of their shift. In 1873, Gordon Lenox who established the iron works lived in Ynysangharad House but the land was already used in part by the public. He also gave his permission in 1890 for the first Pontypridd annual flower, fruit and vegetable show to take place. Records show that people would travel from as far as Cowbridge, Powys or even Carmarthen to show their fruits or vegetables.

Although the park did not open its doors until the 1920s, there were talks about the creation of a public park as early as 1903. There is also evidence that recreational areas had already started to be created as early as 1909. Finally in December 1919, thanks to public subscriptions and grants from the Miner’s Welfare Fund, 13.4ha were bought for ‘providing enjoyment and pleasure for its [Pontypridd] inhabitants’. On 6th August 1923, Field Marshal Viscount Allenby officially opened the park as a war memorial park to commemorate the sad loss of many local men to the Great War.

The designs for the layout of the park evolved over time but the layout we currently see today matches the final agreed layout minus a section which was lost during the construction of the A470 in the early 1970s. Since then Ynysangharad War Memorial Park has retained most of its original features.