Pontypridd (1)

The old pavilion at Ynysangharad Park, as seen in 1982. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd hosted 43 first-class fixtures for Glamorgan between 1926 and 1996 as well as nine of the Welsh county’s List A contests from 1970 until 1999. Cricket in Pontypridd dates back to 1858, and like many other cricket clubs in these industrial communities, its origin was the result of the influx of English-born and educated migrants. Pontypridd CC was created in 1870 with games being staged in the grounds of Gelliwasted House, before a move in 1873 to a more spacious area of farmland owned by Gordon Lenox, the resident director of Brown Lenox, the town’s largest ironworks.

The company, who manufactured anchors, chains and cables for the Admiralty, acted as generous philanthropists by giving the cricket club money to buy equipment besides overseeing the laying of a decent wicket in one of the fields at Ynysangharad Farm (loosely translated as Angharad`s Isle) alongside the River Taff. These decent facilities allowed Pontypridd to enter in 1897 the newly-formed Glamorgan Cricket League, playing fixtures with clubs from Treherbert, Treorchy, Merthyr Tydfil, Ferndale and Mountain Ash.

A postcard from the early 1930s showing the extent of the town’s new park and war memorial. Image Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

The farmland home of Pontypridd CC was transformed after the Great War into a memorial for the hundreds of soldier from the town who lost their lives fighting for King and Country. Thanks to public subscriptions and grants from the Miners Welfare Fund, the farmland was converted into a spacious park and public recreation ground. Opened on August Bank Holiday Monday 1923, the Ynysangharad Park complex also included a bowling green, rugby pitch, swimming lido, tennis courts and bandstand.

Click here to continue reading about the ground’s history.