Summary

Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.

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Brief description of site

The site comprises around 14 hectares of land in Butetown, Cardiff. Much of the park is playing fields and open grassland crossed by broad, metalled pathways, screened from the Butetown Link Road by earth bunds which have been planted with trees. The Cardiff Bay Wetlands nature reserve is located south and east of the Butetown Link Road. Good views of the wetlands and the bay are afforded from the boardwalk, which is also a good place for bird watching. Features include the sandstone sculpture 'Cader Idris' by William Pye and a seat called 'Ship in a Bottle' by Melissa Gibbs.

Brief history of site

Until the closure of Cardiff Bay Barrage in 1999, which created a 198 hectare freshwater lake, the area comprised salt marsh and inter-tidal mud flats. Much of the area has since been raised with inert fill to create a park, whilst the southernmost part has been converted to a freshwater wetland nature reserve.

Location information:

Address: Clarence Embankment, Butetown, CF10 5UY

Locality: Cardiff

Local Authorities:

Cardiff; Butetown

Historical County: Glamorgan

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 171 Grid Ref: ST188741
Latitude: 51.46 Longitude: -3.17017

Directions:

Cardiff Bus Service 1 (from City Centre direction), 2 (from Grangetown & Canton direction) & 8 pass the northern end of Clarence Embankment. Services 1 & 2, 11 & 35 stop at Mermaid Quay and/or Techniquest close to the wetlands area.
The nearest train station is Cardiff Bay at the south end of Bute Street.
There is a Water Bus stop on Clarence Embankment.
There is usually (free) parking space on Hamadryad Road and there is a pay and display car park on Havannah Street, close to St. David's Hotel.

Key information:

Form of site: public park

Purpose of site: nature reserve

Context or principal building: parks, gardens and urban spaces

Site first created: 2002 to 2006

Main period of development: Early 21st century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 14

Description

Hamadryad Park together with the Cardiff Bay Wetlands comprises very approximately 14 hectares of land in Butetown, Cardiff. Until the closure of Cardiff Bay Barrage in 1999, which created a 198 hectare freshwater lake, the area comprised salt marsh and inter-tidal mud flats crossed on a flyover by the Butetown Link road. The area now varies in elevation from about 8.5mOD adjacent to built up areas, perhaps up to about 13m where earth bunds have been created to screen the park from the Butetown Link, to as low as 4.5mOD in the wetlands. (The water in Cardiff Bay is impounded at a nominal level of 4.5mOD, though this can vary somewhat.)

The park area is located north-west of the Butetown Link and is bounded at the northern end by Clarence Embankment, the grounds of the former Royal Hamadryad Hospital on Hamadryad Road (now the Hamadryad Centre, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust) and a children's play area immediately east of the Hamadryad Centre, close to the south end of Burt Street. The western boundary is formed by the estuary of the River Taff, now part of Cardiff Bay. Close to the north-west corner is a circular pond connected to the estuary and bordered by a Pennant stone wall with a viewing area on its southern side. The southern end of the site is also partly bounded by another Pennant stone wall with a large circular walled area adjacent to the river.

This area is mostly playing fields and open grassland crossed by broad, metalled pathways, screened from the Butetown Link Road by earth bunds which have been planted with trees. It can be accessed from:-

• gates at the south-west end of Clarence Embankment,

• gates on the western side of a children's play area close to the end of Burt Street (also accessible from Hamadryad Road and Pomeroy Street),

• gates under the Butetown Link Road approached from the south-west end of Windsor Esplanade and the wetlands area; see below.

Fishing is allowed in the river Taff from the banks in Hamadryad Park (Cardiff Harbour Authority and Environment Agency Licenses required). There is a slipway at Channel View Leisure Centre on the opposite bank of the River Taff for launching small craft (Cardiff Harbour Authority permit required).

The Cardiff Bay Wetlands nature reserve is located south and east of the Butetown Link Road and is bounded by the grounds of Cardiff Yacht Club (private), Windsor Esplanade (access at the south-west end and from the park via gates under the Butetown Link), the car park on Havannah Street (access at the end of the street) and St. David's Hotel.

The landward side of the area has open access from the newer western end of Windsor Esplanade, but the older, eastern end of the Esplanade, which is a part of the Pierhead Conservation Area, is backed by a stone wall which was formerly a sea wall. A broad path curves through the area from close to the entrance to the Yacht Club, where there is a boardwalk out into the bay, to St David's Hotel. All but one of the wetland areas are on the southern side of this path. Good views of the wetlands and the bay are afforded from the boardwalk, which is also a good place for bird watching.

The sandstone sculpture 'Cader Idris' by William Pye (1999*) is located close to the boardwalk and nearby near the western end of Windsor Esplanade a seat called 'Ship in a Bottle' by Melissa Gibbs (2004) can be found, whilst the bronzes 'Drift of the Curlews' by Sally Ann Matthews (2000) and 'Bowline Knot' by Andrew Rowe (2000) are to be found at the end of Havannah Street adjacent St David's Hotel.

*Moved from its original location outside Cardiff main Station.

Owner: Cardiff Council

Parks Service, Cardiff Council, Heath Park, King George V Drive, Cardiff

Environment

Soil type/s: Made ground/alluvial clay

External web site link: http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=2868,4407,4413&parent_directory_id=2865&pagetype=&keyword=&ID=427

History

Until the closure of Cardiff Bay Barrage in 1999, which created a 198 hectare freshwater lake, the area comprised salt marsh and inter-tidal mud flats. Much of the area has since been raised with inert fill to create a park, whilst the southernmost part has been converted to a freshwater wetland nature reserve.

The park owes its name to the wooden ship HMS Hamadryad. It was built in Pembroke Dock in the early-19th century but never saw active service and was laid up in 1866 to be broken up. However, Cardiff's first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Henry Paine, arranged for the ship to be loaned from the Admiralty for use as a Seaman's Hospital. It was grounded very close the present day Hamadryad Street and was used until the Royal Hamadryad Hospital opened in 1905. The Royal Hamadryad Hospital has mostly been demolished but the front elevation has been retained and is now part of the modern Hamadryad Centre, an NHS non-residential facility.

Referencehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1715694/pdf/brmedj00052-0034.pdf 

Features

sculpture

Feature created: 1999

?Cader Idris? by William Pye.

garden seat

Feature created: 2004

Ship in a Bottle by Melissa Gibbs.

sculpture

Feature created: 2000

Drift of the Curlews by Sally Ann Matthews.

sculpture

Feature created: 2000

Bowline Knot by Andrew Rowe.

References

Images

  • Hamadryad Park, Cader Idris

    Hamadryad Park, Cader Idris

  • Hamadryad Park, ship in a bottle

    Hamadryad Park, ship in a bottle

  • Hamadryad Park, view from the boardwalk

    Hamadryad Park, view from the boardwalk

  • Hamadryad Park, Bute link gates

    Hamadryad Park, Bute link gates

  • Hamadryad Park, the entrance

    Hamadryad Park, the entrance

  • Hamadryad Park, Drift of the Curlews

    Hamadryad Park, Drift of the Curlews

  • Hamadryad Park, the boardwalk

    Hamadryad Park, the boardwalk

  • Hamadryad Park, Bowline Knot

    Hamadryad Park, Bowline Knot