New park opens in honour of Wales' first female professor


A new park, named in honour of Wales' first female professor, Millicent Mackenzie has officially opened to the public.

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The park sits behind the National Museum of Cardiff, between Park Place and Museum Avenue, close to what is now Cardiff University and was once theUniversity College of South Wales and Monmouthshire where from 1910-1915 Professor Mackenzie was a professor of Education.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said: "We've come a long way from the days when Millicent Mackenzie had to obtain special permission to continue working after she got married, but the achievements of women are still massively under-represented in our public spaces. Naming this park after Professor Mackenzie is another step towards redressing that historic imbalance."

The revitalised green space, formerly an underused area in the Civic Centre,includes:

  • new natural stone footpaths.
  • new entrances and stone block seating.
  • lighting.
  • a new nature themed play area trail with a friendly spider and web.
  • rain gardens.
  • sculptures.
  • pebble seating.
  • entrance signs and information boards.
  • new trees, meadow areas and planting added to the existing woodland.

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Outside of her academic career, Professor Mackenzie also campaigned for women's rights, founding the Cardiff branch of the Suffragettes, and went on to become Wales's first female parliamentary candidate, and the only woman standing at the 1918 general election.

A pioneering voice in the women's rights movement, highlighting the importance of women's participation in academic and political spheres, Professor Mackenzie was also a driving force in the early decades of the humanist movement and was one of the first vice-presidents of the Union of Ethical Societies (now Humanist's UK).

Outside of the council-funded works on the new park, the listed Victorian toilet block is also due to be restored and converted to a café by a private developer.