Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

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Sophia Gardens
Gerddi Sophia
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff is located in Cardiff
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Location within Cardiff
Type Public park
Location Cardiff, Wales
Coordinates 51°29′07″N 3°11′25″W / 51.4851639°N 3.19013889°W / 51.4851639; -3.19013889Coordinates: 51°29′07″N 3°11′25″W / 51.4851639°N 3.19013889°W / 51.4851639; -3.19013889
Area 44 acres (18 ha)
Created 1854 (1854)
Operated by Cardiff Council
Status Open year round
Website Pontcanna Fields and Sophia Gardens
This article is about the Cardiff park. For the Cricket stadium in the park, see SWALEC Stadium.

Sophia Gardens is a large public park in Riverside, Cardiff, Wales, on the west bank of the River Taff. It was named after Sophia Rawdon-Hastings, the second wife of John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute. International test cricket matches and county cricket matches are held in the SWALEC Stadium, the home of Glamorgan County Cricket Club.[1]

The gardens were laid out in 1854 on the site of Plasturton Farm by the architect Alexander Roos at the instigation of the Marchioness of Bute. They were opened to the public by the Marchioness in 1858, to compensate for the closure of Cardiff Castle grounds.[2] The park was extended northwards by 28 acres in about 1879.[3] The park was acquired by Cardiff Council (then the Cardiff Corporation) in 1947.

The park is located close to Cardiff city centre and is adjacent to Bute Park and Pontcanna Fields, forming part of the city's 'green lung'. Sophia Gardens is linked to Bute Park by the Millennium footbridge over the River Taff (1999).

Sophia Gardens Pavilion was built in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, and was used as a concert venue until it collapsed under heavy snowfall in 1982.[4][5]

As well as the Glamorgan County Cricket Ground, Sophia Gardens contains the Sport Wales National Centre, Y Mochin Du public house, an exhibition area and a car park with coach parking facilities.

Sophia Gardens formerly hosted the Cardiff Horse Show. Between 20 and 26 September 1891 the park was home to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show during his tour of British Provincial towns.[6][7]

Opening ball of the 2009 Ashes series


  1. ^ Cardiff Council[dead link]
  2. ^ "Sophia Gardens". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Wales". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Sophia Gardens - Pavilion". Retrieved 2014-06-01. 
  5. ^ Misstear, Rachael. "Wales weather: Before St Jude Storm see some of the worst weather to hit country". WalesOnline. Media Wales. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Western Mail, 14/9/1891, p.1
  7. ^