The park occupies nearly fifty acres (20.25ha). It opened on 27 July 1869. It was landscaped and planted by William Barron who had laid out many parks in England. The park was created at the instigation of Rees Hopkin Rhys.
In April 1948, 33-year old Polish national Jerzy Strzadala was murdered in Aberdare Park in a case that is still unsolved.
The park is the location of the annual Aberdare Park National Road Races, which is a motorcycle road race held on the 0.9-mile (1.4 km) circuit of public roads within the park. The road races are usually held over a weekend in July and is run on one of only four anti-clockwise motor racing layouts in the UK, the others being Oliver's Mount, Blyton Raceway and Rockingham Speedway. It is said to be one of the best and hardest to master despite its relatively short length. It is also one of only two street circuits in regular use on the UK Mainland (the other being Oliver's Mount).
Sculptures and Features
The park contains a mixture of native and exotic trees most of which date back to the Victorian era, the following trees can be found at the park.
- Araucariaceae; Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle tree)
- Birch; Betula pendula
- Beech; Fagus sylvatica
- Cedars; Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus libani
- Hawthorn; Crataegus monogyna
- Maples; Acer palmatum, Acer campestre, Acer platanoides, Acer pseudoplatanus
- Pines; Pinus nigra, Pinus wallichiana
- Poplar; Populus nigra 'Italica'
- Oaks; Quercus robur, Quercus ilex
- Cherries; Prunus serrulata
- Chestnuts; Castanea sativa
- Redwoods; Sequoiadendron giganteum, Sequoia sempervirens, Metasequoia
- Spruce; Picea sitchensis
- Willows; Salix 'Chrysocoma'
- Yew; Taxus baccata
An inquisitive Canada goose