In 1898, Barry Town Council acquired the rights to an area of parkland from the Romilly estate (at a nominal rate), and Romilly Park was opened to the public.
Romilly Park is close to my brother’s house in Barry, and I have strolled its close-mown grass many times. This 19th century park has a mix of woodland and grassy areas, with tennis courts and a children’s playground, and lots of grassy slopes to enjoy; there is also a bowling green, which was laid out more than one hundred years ago. Safe and, in today’s dire ecomony, a cheap alternative to other forms of entertainment (harking back to the Victorian craze for public parks as recreation for the industrial masses).
As well as catering for family outings, Romilly Park has been the venue for everything from traveling circus performances to flower and vegetable shows. Even a Teddy Bears’ Picnic has been held (as part of Barry Carnival). Perhaps the most singnificant annual event has been the Annual Scout and Guide Fete, with its popular arena performances (motorcycle display teams, and the like) attended by thousands of people. It is usually held during the first weekend in July each year, and raises around half of all the annual income needed to sustain the Scout and Guide movements in the area.