Before 1899 the property on the site was known as Poplar Cottage, due to the three large poplars at the main gate. It was one of only a few houses bordering the South Common at the time, the others being Horfield Castle and Quab Farm. Between 1899 and 1921 Poplar Cottage was occupied by Wiclife Warner and was renamed Ardagh, which means ‘High View’ in Gaelic. Bristol Council recommended purchasing the estate, which comprised of a house and 5 ¾ acres of land, in 1920, and on the 20th May it was purchased at a cost of £4,850. Proposals to develop the estate weren’t put forward until May 1922 by which time the house was semi-derelict. As nothing could be agreed upon the estate became utilised as allotments.
It wasn’t until January 1924 that the decision was taken to knock down the house and redevelop the site. The plan was to construct a new pavilion and bowling green, with public toilets and caretakers’ quarters. Seven tennis courts were also planned for the site – first 3 hard courts, followed by 4 more if the first proved successful. Games were to be permitted under the new plans, but the area was not suitable for cricket and football was to be prohibited. Work on the tennis courts and bowling green began on the 10th November 1924, and after an inspection of the site in April 1925, the agreement for the demolition of the old buildings and construction of the new Ardagh pavilion was signed on the 28th October 1925 and given a budget of £2,991. Work on the new pavilion began in 1926. In 1949 the choice was made to extend the Ardagh’s green to the full size of 126 square yards, it was also relayed with Lancashire turf at a total cost of £623-18s-4d. There was a civic opening of the green on the 21st July 1950.