If you go down to Thompson’s Park today (only as part of your exercise walk, of course), you might be puzzled, as I was, by the many strange stones poking up amongst the grass and wildflowers on the park’s verdant slopes. I had hoped to return to get photos of the many other stones to be found around the park, but the corona virus lockdown means I can no longer access this park, so the stones pictured here are just a taster of what can be found with a little searching.
The land that is now known as Thompson’s Park was once owned by Charles Thompson, a senior partner in the well known Cardiff milling company, Spillers, and Thompson’s house, Preswylfa, once adjoined the park on the eastern side (the house was demolished in the late 1990s and the site is now occupied by a modern housing development).
The land adjoining Preswylfa was then known as Sir David’s Field (in Welsh, Cae Syr Dafydd), and Thompson opened up this property to the public in 1891. Later, in 1912, he gifted the park to Cardiff City Council, and the stones we see today relate to that transfer of land from Thompson to the Council.
The stones, all of which have Roman numerals inscribed on their sides, were boundary markers. Originally, there were 17 such stones but only 10 are now visible, and one of those has been turned on its side, so its number can no longer be read.
When I last visited Thompson’s Park, in February, I only found four stones but it was a cold day with intermittent hail showers so I didn’t explore far. During my subsequent research to uncover the story behind the stones, I discovered the excellent information on the Cardiff Parks website, which also includes a map of the locations of the additional stones. When I am finally able to return to this lovely Cardiff park, I will try to find all the other stones and will add their photos to this post.