Penydarren Park is a sports stadium in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, that is the present home ground of Merthyr Town F.C.. Historically used for varying sports, it has been the home to two professional football teams, Merthyr Town and Merthyr Tydfil F.C.. It has a capacity of 4,500.
|Full name||Penydarren Park|
|Location||Merthyr Tydfil, Wales|
|Owner||Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council|
|Operator||Merthyr Town F.C.|
|Merthyr Town F.C. (1908–34) (2011–present)|
Merthyr Tydfil RLFC (1907–10)
Merthyr Tydfil F.C. (1945–2010)
Penydarren Park is situated on a hill in the town of Merthyr Tydfil. The site was once used by the Romans for their local military encampment and during the industrial revolution it became part of the Penydarren House estate. In the latter half of the nineteenth century Penydarren Park was used by the locals as an open recreational for walks, athletic competitions and team sports. It was redeveloped in the 1890s with a cinder running track and a cycling track added to cater for the fad in foot and cycle racing. An early attempt to bring rugby league to Wales, saw local team Merthyr Tydfil RLFC set up at the rival College Ground. This in turn led to the larger Penydarren Park being host to the first touring Australian rugby league side where they faced a Wales XIII in front of a crowd of 6,000.
A housing estate next to it also carries the name of the stadium. It was also the home of the town's former club, Merthyr Tydfil F.C. There are plans for Merthyr to move to a new stadium on the edge of the town. The stadium would be part of the new 'Merthyr Village' development and have a capacity of around 12,000. These plans were thrown into doubt by the Welsh Government's rejection of the project in 2007.
In July 2011, the newly promoted Merthyr Town FC hosted Welsh Premier League side Llanelli in a pre-season friendly at Penydarren Park, and thereafter took up full-time residency.
Greyhound racing took place around the pitch at Penydarren Park from 1930-1960 on Thursday and Saturday evenings at 7.15pm and was a popular flapping track (unaffiliated to a governing body). It is listed in the 1947 betting licensing lists as having a capacity of 20,000 It is believed that Rudolf Hess attended race meetings here whilst a prisoner of war.
- Leeworthy (2012), p. 107
- Leeworthy (2012), p. 108
- Assembly blocks Village – icWales
- Match Report: Merthyr Town 1 – 9 Llanelli[permanent dead link]
- Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 419. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
- Particulars of Licensed tracks, table 1 Licensed Dog Racecourses. Licensing Authorities. 1947.
- "Nazi war criminal's greyhound was a regular at Merthyr dog track". Wales Online.