The map shows that the old Penarth Urban District Council had “reservoirs” at the bottom of Alexandra Park

Well known Penarth pleasure-boat operator Ben Salter has discovered a fascinating new source of on-line information about Penarth – as it was more than a century ago

Ben has discovered that the National Library of Scotland has now released – on-line – detailed 25-inches-to-the-mile  maps of Wales – including Penarth – which show the town in detail at the turn of last century.

Who knew there was on “old tramway” running past the Windsor Bowling Club?

The old maps can be superimposed with current satellite imagery to show how things have changed

The maps not only show the fine-detail of the town as it was – but have a slider attached which enables the viewer to overlay the vintage map with contemporary aerial and satellite imagery –  enabling a direct visual comparison to be made between Penarth then and Penarth now.

BBC One Show star Alex Jones is one of many famous personalities who have taken trip with Ben on board his open boat “Daffodil” – but in rather better weather than today.

Ben Salter, who has also created YouTube videos showing Penarth’s original Victoria-era railway system in action,  says of the new maps  “I thought that Penarthians –  looking for something to do during the bad weather – might be interested in this”.

The National Library of Scotland Penarth map is on


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  1. Penarth realist1 says:

    In Wales try ceffin mapping.

  2. Ben Salter says:

    The link shown isn’t working, try clicking this

    • NewsNet says:

      The link in the item does work now – thanks for the heads up – so readers can either use that or use the one in your comment. Thanks again Ben

  3. sjleworthy says:

    What a thrill for Alex there 🙂

  4. Penileaks says:

    I’ve tried the link, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. Can it be checked and confirmed please ?

  5. David Moorcraft says:

    I think the two “Reservoirs” in Alexandra Park were fairly well known. They were “settlement tanks” where sea water, drawn up by a steam pump inside the old Penarth Swimming Baths from an inlet pipe under the pier, was left for mud and detritus to settle , before Jack Brown the Baths manager would open the valve to refill the large and small swimming pools.

    • Penarthur says:

      I certainly remember them being there in the early seventies.

      I’m sure my father told me stories about putting pennies on the quarry team line in the forties.

    • AK says:

      The inlet pipe is still there, visible in the centre line of the pier at low tide, just beyond the pavilion.

  6. Birkett says:

    Nice find, not just for Penarth either. Good fun zooming around all over Britain.

  7. snoggerdog says:

    i remember the “old tramway” site being called the trolleyfields,when i asked alan(thorne) about this he told there was an open quarry there the same as albert rd park & the billybanks

  8. Ben Salter says:

    If you want to go straight to the highly detailed 25″ to the mile OS map use this link
    otherwise there is a drop down box giving you other map options.
    The link in the story takes you to a less detailed 6″ map. I would recommend my link above.

  9. Peter Church says:

    I’m sure that tramway was never built, it seems to go from no where to no where in the space of 100 yards.
    A fore runner of some stupid cycle paths!

  10. Penileaks says:

    Surely the tramway was built to connect the quarry at Cwrt-y-vil to the railway at Archer Terrace ?
    That seems the logical answer given the direction of travel.

  11. Peter Church says:

    Yes the tramway was to get the stone to the rail, I cant find any mention that it connected to the Barry railway but it probably did as the rail line opened in 1878 and the tramway accident happened in 1882
    Sully Terrace was built around 1895 prior to Archer Terrace so still could have connected then.
    Anyone got a 1890 detailed map?

    Here is a 1900 Map.

    And an accident on the 16th December 1882

Comments are closed.