Cathays Park - Gardens

Gardens

Gorsedd Gardens with the Gorsedd Stones in the background
Friary Gardens with a statue of the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the background

In addition to the large lawn in front of the City Hall, Cathays Park includes three formal gardens. All of the spaces are within conservation areas and many of the surrounding buildings are listed. The open spaces are very important to the image of the city. Several important buildings overlook these well kept spaces. Each of the three gardens has its own very different character and each retains its original layout. Given their location, large numbers of people visit and pass through and they are popular venues for lunchtime breaks.

Alexandra Gardens Named after Alexandra of Denmark, the Queen consort of Edward VII, Alexandra Gardens is located at the heart of the civic centre. It consists of 2.5 hectares of beautifully maintained flower beds and grass, with the Welsh National War Memorial standing at its centre. In addition, there are memorials to Raoul Wallenberg, to those who fought in the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War, and to the servicemen of Cardiff who served in the Falklands War.

Gorsedd Gardens Situated in front of the National Museum, this garden has as its centrepiece a stone circle constructed in 1899, when the National Eisteddfod of Wales was held in Cardiff. The garden's name refers to the Gorsedd of Welsh Bards, the ceremonial order that governs the Eisteddfod. The landscaped garden has statues of subjects including David Lloyd George and Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart. Overlooking Gorsedd Gardens, though not strictly part of the Cathays Park complex, is Park House (or McConnochie House), an influential work by the Neo-Gothic architect William Burges.

Friary Gardens Constructed in honour of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, it contains topiary, a statue standing upon a stone pedestal blazoned with a coat of arms, and clipped hedges around the perimeter.

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