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Caerphilly Castle Timeline

Caerphilly Castle Timeline

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Caerphilly Castle

It was built to defend against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ('Llywelyn The Last'), the last Prince of a united Wales before the conquest of Edward I.

Llywelyn was largely integrated into British nobility, but had a long-running dispute with de Clare, who built Caerphilly Castle between 1268 and 1271 to defend against him.

The castle was, and still is, huge. It was Britain's first concentric castle, with a ring of shallow lakes surrounding it. It is one of the biggest fortresses in Europe, and the second largest in Britain, behind only Windsor Castle.

King Henry III mediated in the dispute between Llywelyn and de Clare and sent a bishop to control the fortress, but de Clare regained control of it. Luckily for him, Llywelyn fell into the subsequent king's disfavour when he failed on five occasions to provide Edward I with services demanded.

Llywelyn was stripped of his lordship and Edward took his lands. Thus, de Clare's need for such a strong castle was drastically diminished and it was used instead by the family and later the Despensers as a headquarters for their operations.

Its usefulness as a home and defence diminished, and by the 15th century, it was gradually vacated. Subsequent owners kept up maintenance, but this more or less petered out by the end of the century. Its eastern gatehouse was used as a prison.

After the Civil War, in which it played little part, Oliver Cromwell decreed that the castle be slighted. The damage caused resulted in the famous 'leaning' south-east tower, which can be seen today.

Like many other Welsh castles, Caerphilly fell into ever more disrepair between military use and modern conservation.

It was the Bute family who finally took the upkeep of this monumental castle upon themselves in the 18th century. The first Marquis of Bute began the work, which continued until it was handed over to the government in 1950.

Facts about Caerphilly Castle 3: the famous castle

Caerphilly Castle is considered the famous castle in Britain for it has big gatehouses and concentric defenses.

Facts about Caerphilly Castle 4: the construction of Caerphilly Castle

In 1268, Caerphilly Castle was built by Gilbert. He did it after the north of Glamorgan was under his arm. He used a considerable cost to create the castle over the next three years.

Caerphilly Castle Picture

Caerphilly Castle, Glamorgan

Caerphilly Castle rests within the rolling hills north of Cardiff, a concentric masterpiece with a fully flooded moat. The tremendous size of the castle and its two lakes makes Caerphilly the largest in Wales and the second biggest in Britain.

Built by marcher lord Gilbert de Clare between 1268 and 1271 as a response to the growing threat of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the castle served as an effective defence against the Welsh.

It eventually fell into disrepair, causing the antiquary Leland to describe it as a ruin in 1539. Some damage has certainly been done to the castle, particularly to its leaning tower, which Cromwell may have attempted to destroy with gunpowder during the Civil War.

Caerphilly was later restored by the great medievalist, the Third Marquess of Bute in the latter half of the 19th century, to be completed at last in the 1960s. On the central island the 14th-century banquet hall is in superb condition, showcasing towering windows, carved corbels, and the coats of arms of previous owners.

Enjoy long walks around the well-tended grounds which offer beautiful panoramic views of the castle. Caerphilly Castle also boasts replica parapets and working siege engines. War enthusiasts and children should certainly take in the medieval siege experience with this full scale, operational weaponry which is always on display and demonstrated for visitors several times per year.

Once attacked but never taken, Caerphilly Castle is an example of the medieval war machine at its best.

Don’t miss: the replica timber parapet where plaster knights defend the castle.

Chronicle - Your place in history

In A.D. 1066, a Norman invasion fleet landed at Kent. Sixteen days later the Norman army defeated the English at Hastings. On Christmas Day 1066, Duke William of Normandy was crowned King of England. Twenty years later the total conquest of England was complete. William's policy of conquest did not extend to Wales. Instead, individual Norman Lords hungry for land were encouraged to conquer the Welsh Kingdoms one-by-one. Norman incursions into the modern county borough probably began in the late eleventh century. These were led by Robert fitz Hamo from his base at Cardiff. He soon gained control of the lowlands and these became the Lordship of Glamorgan. The uplands remained under Welsh control and fitz Hamo had no wish to face his enemies in these treacherous lands. When he did venture into Gelligaer in 1094, he is said to have suffered a humiliating defeat.

The following two centuries were a time of Welsh defiance and great unease. Wales was now divided into the territory held by the Welsh - the 'Pura Wallia' the territory held by the Normans - the 'Marchia Wallia' and finally the land intermittently held by either side. Gains and losses on both sides where made through the might or weakness of individual leaders and through alliances and marriage. Disputes regularly occurred, such as the one that resulted in Ifor Bach's daring exploits in the mid-twelfth century. After a dispute over land, Bach of Senghenydd was said to have scaled the walls of Cardiff Castle. He then kidnapped the Earl of Gloucester and his family and held them captive until the dispute was settled.

Dating to this time of unease are a number of earthen castle mounds in the south of the county borough, such as at Twmbarlwm, Cwmcarn Coed Craig Ruperra, Draethen and Twyn Castell, Gelligaer. Often described as Norman motte and bailey castles, their origin and date is not clear. It is possible that some were Norman and were built during fitz Hamo's first push into Welsh territory. Others may have been raised in the twelfth to thirteenth century in a bid to protect the frontier between the Welsh and Anglo-Norman territories. These may have been raised by either side. Perhaps the motte and bailey at Coed Craig Ruperra played this role. Other sites may have been the strongholds of the Welsh within their own territory, such as Twyn Castell, the reputed seat of the Lords of Senghenydd.

In 1217 the Lordship of Glamorgan passed to the de Clares. They were not content to restrict their Lordship to the lowlands and so began to conquer the surrounding uplands. However, their conquest was not absolute and vestiges of Welsh rule remained. The most powerful of these was the Lordship of Senghenydd which was now made-up of the 'commottes' of Uwch Caiach and Is Caiach. When Earl Gilbert de Clare became Lord of Glamorgan in 1263, he rightly saw this Welsh Lordship as a threat. In 1267, he launched an attack on the Lordship of Senghenydd and captured its leader Gruffydd ap Rhys. This brought him into direct conflict with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Welsh Prince of Wales. Llywelyn saw himself as the Welsh overlord. Thus in simple terms, an attack on his countrymen and territory at Senghenydd was a direct challenge to his rule. De-Clare was well aware of the probable repercussions of his actions and the threat that could ensue. Hence in 1268, de Clare ordered the building of Caerphilly Castle, this located well within the territory of Is Caiach. Understandably provoked, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd pushed his army into northern Senghenydd. Bloodshed was averted when the Crown stepped in to mediate. However in 1269, Llywelyn ran out of patience and destroyed the unfinished Castle. De Clare eventually fended off this attack and pushed Llywelyn north. During the following standoff, Anglo-Norman resistance to Llywelyn grew. Threatened by this, Llywelyn retreated to Brecon. He never returned to Caerphilly and was now destined to confront the King himself.

By no means beyond the gaze of the Normans was the Welsh Church. Unimpressed by what they saw, they set about reforming it. By the late twelfth century, past practice had been swept away and a new order established. There were now four new diocese across Wales, each divided into parishes. The modern county borough fell within the diocese of Llandaff. At the head of this new Church sat the Archbishop of Canterbury. There then followed an unprecedented programme of church building, which lasted through to the mid-fourteenth century. Many of the county borough's older church buildings date to this time, such as St. Barrwgs Church, Bedwas. Also with the Normans came the foundation of the great Cistercian abbeys. The Cistercians were dedicated to the rule of St. Benedict and lived a life of poverty, simplicity, isolation and silence. In 1179 Llantarnam Abbey was established and this lay four miles to the east of the county borough. Like all abbeys, it relied upon its outlying farms to provide it with the provisions needed to sustain its monks. These farms were known as monastic granges. These were tended by lay brothers, who would grow crops and raise animals, especially sheep. Llantarnam held a grange at Cefn Rhyswg above Cwmcarn.

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Caerphilly Castle is simply enormous. Huge. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second-largest in Britain, after Windsor. It covers a 30-acre site and is a mass of concentric defensive walls, surrounded by moats and artificial lakes. It was built by the Norman Gilbert de Clare, known as Gilbert the Red for his red hair, mainly between 1268 and 1271, in order to subdue the Welsh - and it still dominates the area. The castle declined as it became redundant and it was rescued from total ruin by the Bute family in the 19th century.


The north west view of Caerdiffe (Cardiff &frasl Caerdydd) Castle, in the County of Glamorgan.
Source: Engraving by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck - c1740 (Public Domain)


The 'Cardiff Time Line' page is the section of the site where you can find out how Cardiff developed from a small settlement over 2,000 years ago, to the bustling Capital City and County that it is today.

I hope this page proves useful to anyone who wants to find out more about the history of Cardiff.

Note about references

Most of the information on this page has been obtained from historical documents I own, or have borrowed from Cardiff Central Library. Many websites have been essential in providing the information, or confirming it too.

With so much data to sift through, mistakes can and will happen. If you do notice any discrepancies, or if I have missed a significant event, please get in touch!

Individual references have been added where possible, but with missing or conflicting sources of information gathered over a decade ago, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to provide a reference for every entry. As v1 of Cardiffians is put to bed, and v2 continues to mature, these references will continue to build. I might have finished them by the time I have to launch v3 in 2025!

Let's begin!

Please click or tap the menu below, to begin navigating through the time line to your chosen century.


The Roman Empire invaded Britain for the first time. The famous Roman general, Julius Caesar wanted revenge for the fact that Britons helped the French fight against the invasion. He was also looking to impress his Commanders, and thought that conquering Britain would be a way of earning respect.

The Roman general, Didius Gallus, was amongst the invasion force that finally managed to overcome the Welsh tribes in South Wales. Didius arranged for the building of a small wooden fort where the Castle now stands and some historians believe that this is where the City gets its name from - "Fort of Didius" (Caer Didi).

Apart from the first written reference of Cardiff in the Annates Cambriae (The Welsh Annals) there is not much mention of Cardiff between now and the 1st millennium, although we do know that the Romans started losing their grasp on Britain when they were overrun by Barbarians.

Some 20 years after William, Duke of Normandy (AKA William the Conqueror) wins the Battle of Hastings in 1066, he marches on into Cardiff for his first and only visit after conquering Glamorgan.

He commissioned the building of a wooden fortification very close to the River Taff, and used the original Roman defences as the base of the building. Robert FitzHamon, William's Kinsman and Earl of Gloucester, took charge of the area, and was responsible for the construction at this time.

A small town had begun to establish itself outside the castle, and was primarily made up of settlers from England.

Robert FitzHamon was killed fighting in Normandy and his Daughter, Mabel, married Robert the Consul.

Bishop Urban and Robert the Consul signed an agreement on settling disputes between them and the first record of a mayor of Cardiff, Ralph, dates from this year. Ralph is described as Prepositus de Kardi, Prevost of Cardiff.

Accompanied by Gerald of Wales, Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury on a tour of Wales called the volunteers for the third crusade at Llandaff, reputedly by the medieval Cross there.

Cadwallon ab Ifor Bach raided the lands around Cardiff from his lordship of Senghenydd.

The construction of Castell Coch by Gilbert de Clare may have begun this year following an attack on his Caerphilly Castle by Prince Llewellyn ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd.

In or about this year, the Franciscan Friary of the Grey Friars, with the largest church in Cardiff 154 feet long, was founded on the eastern side of the castle outside the town walls on the side of the present Capital Tower.

Llewellyn Bren was executed in Cardiff Castle by Hugh Despenser after being captured in the Brecon Beacons and reputedly his body was buried in Grey Friars.

About this year, the Town Hall was built in High Street for the administration of the borough and it was also used as Cardiff's first market hall.

Wales was united with England from this year, the marcher lordship of Glamorgan was abolished and Cardiff became part of the new shire of Glamorgan and its county town.

In May at St Fagans, in the last major battle ever to occur in Wales, some 8,000 Royalists were defeated in a two hour fight by 3,000 Parliamentary troops of the New Model Army with about 200 soldiers, mainly Royalists, killed.

Philip Evans, born in Monmouth, became a Jesuit at Saint Omer and after his ordination in 1675 ministered to Catholics in South Wales for four years.

In the national frenzy occasioned by the Oates plot he was apprehended and imprisoned in Cardiff, where he was joined by John Lloyd of Brecon, a secular priest trained at Valladolid.

A new Guildhall was completed in St Mary Street, continuing in use for over a century.

Town Quay or Old Quay, the bigger of the two quays where Westgate Street is now, was rebuilt and extended to about 50 yards, the latest in a series of reconstructions dating back to the Middle Ages.

An Act was passed for 'the better paving, cleansing and lighting of the streets of Cardiff'. The leading prison reformer, John Howard, recorded Cardiff County Gaol as having in August 16 prisoners - 14 debtors and two felons.

Crockherbtown Street - now Queen Street - was paved for the first time.

Cardiff's bridge over the Taff and part of the town walls were swept away in a major flood.

The first bank was opened in the on the site now occupied by Lloyds Bank in High Street and the Cardiff Arms Hotel was also opened.

The Glamorganshire Canal was extended one mile with a sea-lock, thus giving Cardiff its first harbour.

Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Chapel in The Hayes was founded and the first record of Jewish settlers in Cardiff dates from this year.

Cardiff Savings Bank was established.

The third census showed that Cardiff had a population of 3,251.

The Cardiff reporter, the town's first newspaper, was founded.

The Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Dispensary was opened near St Johns Church.

Cardiff's first purpose-built theatre, the Theatre Royal was opened where the Park Hotel now stands.

Ebeneser Welsh Chapel was founded.

There were now 15 pilots based at Cardiff compared with just four in 1800.

The tonnage of coal carried on the Glamorganshire Canal exceeded that of iron for the first time, with coal increasing in importance from here on.

The census showed Cardiff had 6,187 inhabitants.

Cardiff's first Eisteddfod was held in a Queen Street pub.

The Cardiff and Merthyr Gazette was first published.

Cardiff became a corporation with an elected council, the first elected mayor and two wards under local government reform.

The town's ancient Piepowder Court, for settling disputes at Cardiff's three annual fairs, was abolished.

The first covered market was opened. One of Cardiff's most famous public houses, the Old Arcade, was reportedly also opened in this year. It is thought that that it was built in 1844 as the Birdcage Inn. It was renamed to the Arcade and Post Office, and finally the Old Arcade, after the name of the arcade that runs alongside it, leading into the covered market. I am unable to verify the actual opening date, and would welcome information relating to this.

Bull-baiting - held between St John's Church and Kingsway - was made illegal.

The first coal from the Cynon Valley was shipped out.

In October the Bute West Dock covering 19 acres with 9,400 feet of quays was opened, and the construction of the Dock Feeder to regulate the water supply to the dock from the River Taff was completed. Entirely paid for by the second Marquis of Bute, this new dock set in motion Cardiff's amazing growth to become the world's biggest coal exporting port.

The future Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, married Mary Ann Evans of Tongwynlais.

The Taff Vale Railway was opened between Cardiff and Abercynon and soon overtook the Glamorganshire Canal in economic importance.

The census showed Cardiff's population to have grown to 10,079.

The Taff Vale Railway was extended to Merthyr Tydfil.

As a result of the settlement of Irish people in Cardiff, the Roman Catholic church of St. David was founded in Bute Terrace.

St. Mary's Anglican Church in Bute Street was opened.

The second Marquis of Bute died in Cardiff Castle this year, and left his fortune to his son.

The ground which was to become 'Cardiff Arms Park' held it's first ever sporting event - a game of Cricket.

Over 350 people were killed by an outbreak of Cholera in Cardiff, and led to Adamsdown cemetery being filled to capacity in a very short time.

Work was started on diverting the course of the River Taff, which at the time ran down what is now Westgate Street (Quay Street used to actually lead to the only quay in the town, which is why it slopes downwards slightly towards Westgate Street)

The South Wales Railway from Chepstow to Swansea through Cardiff was opened.

The last mail coach for London left Cardiff in August.

A Board of Health was established for the town.

A reservoir was constructed at Penhill to supply water to Cardiff.

By now, there were 20 foreign consulates in Cardiff - a sign of the towns increasing international importance.

The census showed that the population of Cardiff had reached 18,351.

About 60 per cent had been born in Wales while just under 15 per cent had been born in Ireland.

The first direct trains ran between Cardiff and London.

The diverting of the River Taff was completed, which reduced flood threats in Central Cardiff.

Cardiff's new Town Hall was opened in High Street.

Another Cholera epidemic claimed well over 200 hundred lives in the town.

In December the first historical trainload of Rhondda steam coal arrived at Cardiff where the Bute East Dock was opened.

A tidal harbour was constructed at the mouth of the Taff.

The last public execution in Cardiff took place outside the prison.

150 deaths resulted from a smallpox infection in the area around Caroline Street.

The Cardiff Times weekly newspaper was founded in September.

Tidal coal berths were built on the River Ely.

Bute East Dock was extended while the Lady Bute, the first Cardiff-built steamship, was launched.

At Llandaff Cathedral the Lady Chapel was rebuilt and the presbytery was rededicated.

The Rhymney Railway was completed connecting Cardiff with the mines of the Rhymney Valley.

Cardiff's oldest arcade, the Royal Arcade, was opened.

The Bute family made Sophia Gardens available to the public and in doing so, created Cardiff's first park.

To cope with the increasing coal trade, the Bute East Dock was extended again to cover a total of 45 acres.

The first hansom cabs ran in Cardiff.

Howells School for Girls in Llandaff was founded.

Cardiff Bridge was rebuilt.

Sophia Gardens were the namesake of Lady Sophia who died this year. She was the second Marquis of Bute's second wife.

The Principality Building Society was founded in the town.

An old sailing ship, the Hamadryad, was converted to the permanent seamen's hospital. Another old vessel, the Havannah, became a school for poor children.

A reservoir was built at Cogan to supply water to Cardiff.

The census showed that the population was 48,965.

In the Royal Arcade, the first voluntary library was opened.

The Bonded Warehouse on Bute East Dock was opened.

Cardiff set up its own Pilotage Authority in January of this year.

Queen Street was widened with the demolition of old buildings.

The first Cardiff Horse Show and the first Horticultural Show took place.

Grangetown Gasworks opened.

The building of a reservoir at Lisvane was completed.

An amphitheater music hall was opened in Wood Street in Temperance Town, later becoming the Wood Street Congregational Church. With seating for almost 3,000, it was one of the biggest churches in Wales. The City Planning Offices replaced the Church in the 1960's, and occupied the area until 2005 when it was demolished. The site is still empty today.

After a long dispute between the South Wales Railway and the town council over cost, the reclaimed bed of the River Taff was completely filled in, and is where the Millennium Stadium, and Cardiff Arms Park now stand.

An electric telegraph service reached Cardiff. James Howell opened a shop in the town.

The paper mill at Ely was founded.

The Royal Hotel in St Mary's Street and Queen Street Arcade opened.

The last Cholera outbreak of the century claimed many lives.

The first pleasure boat trips from Cardiff to Weston-super Mare began in a converted tug, the Joseph Hazell.

The 'Breaksea' lightship came into service off Cardiff.

The Cardiff Chamber of Commerce was founded.

The Cardiff Naturalist Society was founded.

The third Marquis of Bute (21 at the time) and his architect William Burges began their transformation of Cardiff Castle.

To mark his coming-of-age, the Marquis laid on elaborate celebrations in Cardiff with special trains run from the valleys.

The Norwegian Church was built near Bute West Dock entrance.

The Riot Act had to be read during general election disturbances.

In May the Western Mail was founded by the third Marquis of Bute.

After four years of preparation, Flat Holm was fortified against a possible French invasion.

By now, the Butetown area had acquired its multi-racial character, and the name 'Tiger Bay'.

Most of its homes were built in the past 20 years.

The Castle Mews, now part of the Welsh College of Music and Drama, were built as stables in the Butes' Home park.

Cardiff Technical Institute was founded.

Three million tonnes of coal were shipped out of Cardiff Docks.

The 370 yard long 'Low Water Pier' was opened on the Taff estuary for passenger services.

The Cardiff Medical Society, one of the oldest in Britain, was established.

The census showed that Cardiff now had a population of 57,363.

The mile long Caerphilly Tunnel on the Rumney Railway was opened.

A new newspaper, the South Wales Daily News, was launched.

A horse-drawn tram service was formally begun by Cardiff Tramway.

Castle Street was widened with the demolition of old buildings.

The Wood Street Bridge in the City Centre was opened.

The Salvation Army's first mission in Wales was opened in Canton.

Cardiff Arms Park hosted its first Rugby game.

Now known as 'Burges House', the 'Park House' in Park Place was built. The 'Park House Club' is based there now.

Cardiff's boundaries were extended to include Canton, Cathays and Roath.

The newly founded Cardiff School Board brought elementary education to the Town for the first time.

In the docks, a Victorian Railway warehouse was built. Much later, the warehouse was skillfully redesigned and converted into the 'Cardiff Bay Hotel'. The hotel incorporated elements of the old building into the new.

Cardiff Arms Park hosted the first game between the newly formed Cardiff Rugby Club and Swansea.

The Philharmonic Hall and the Great Western Hotel in St Mary's street were opened.

The original Theatre Royal burnt down, but fortunately two new Theatres, the Empire Theatre and the Grand Theatre, were opened this year.

Canton bridge was widened.

The first public telephone service was launched in the Town.

A new Theatre Royal opened (later renamed The Prince of Wales).

Cardiff Racquets and Fives Club (later Jackson Hall, and afterwards Jackson's Disco) was opened on Westgate Street, on land reclaimed from the River Taff. The first Secretary of the club was Chas. Chalk.

The old Cardiff Arms Hotel, the park's namesake, was demolished.

Cardiff Police Fire Brigade was formed.

Cardiff's first purpose-built board school was opened in Eleanor Street in Butetown.

Cardiff RFC became one of the founding members of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Cardiff Docks exported 4,100,221 tons of coal this year.

David Morgan opened a shop in Cardiff.

The town's oldest statue, that of the Marquis of Bute was moved from High Street to the southern end of St Mary's Street.

The third Marquis of Bute sold the Western Mail this year.

The census showed that the population had risen to 93,637.

The Cardiff Exhibition was held to raise funds for a Free Library and Art Gallery.

The first grandstand - with seats for 300 - was built at Cardiff Arms Park.

The first gas storage unit was built on Ferry Road in Grangetown.

The Welsh Regiment now became based at the newly opened Maindy Barracks.

The passing of the Sunday Closing Act this year led to an increase in the number of licensed private clubs from 31 to 141 within just five years.

Brains Brewery was founded.

The first Central Library was opened.

Cardiff University College was founded.

The National Eisteddfod was held in Cardiff for the first time.

Construction began on the new Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Infirmary, on Glossop Road, Roath, which was to be later renamed to the Cardiff Royal Infirmary. In 1911 it was renamed to King Edward XVII Hospital, and later still in 1923, back to Cardiff Royal Infirmary.

The present Angel Hotel was opened.

The first editions of the South Wales Echo rolled off the press in this year.

Wales defeated Ireland in the first international game played at Cardiff Arms Park.

Cremation was made legal in Britain after the Welsh Druid Dr Williams Price was put on trial in Cardiff, for the burning his deceased infant son's (Iesu Grist Price (Jesus Christ Price)) body. Dr. Price argued that the burial of human bodies was damaging to the environment and as a result, was cleared of all charges.

Flat Holm was used for the first time to isolate cholera patients.

Cardiff Indoor Market was badly damaged by fire.

After 16 years of construction work the 4.5 mile long Severn Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world at the time, was completed this year. As a result, Cardiff was finally connected to the rest of the Great Western Railway network, and the tunnel reduced journey times to London from Cardiff, by up to an hour.

Cardiff Coal Exchange was founded to handle the enormous coal trade.

Cardiff Savings Bank collapsed after £30,000 had been embezzled from its funds.

The Market Building was opened in St Mary's Street and the Grand Hotel was opened in Westgate Street.

In the Hayes, the statue of the Liberal (and one time Mayor of Cardiff) John Bachelor was unveiled.

Roath Dock was opened to provide additional docking space for the increasing coal shipments from Cardiff.

The Castle Arcade was opened.

Glamorganshire County Cricket Club was founded in this year.

Cardiff's coal shipments reached seven million tons.

Housing in Splott started, with four rows of terraced houses using a design from Dowlais, Merthyr. Hence Dowlais cottages, which stood alone opposite the emerging Blast Furnaces of GKN. These rows of houses were built for the mainly Irish navvies that erected the Blast Furnaces [REF]

The Cardiff Coal Trimmers' Union was founded and within a year grew to a 1,000 members.

William Gladstone, a former and a future Prime Minister, was made a freeman of Cardiff.

Cardiff was officially recognised as a county borough, which made it independent of the new Glamorgan County Council.

Cardiff Castle's Roman walls were discovered during excavations.

Cory's Building in the docks was opened. Much later the ''Cardiff Chapter of Commerce' and also 'Craft in the Bay' (the centre for the Makers Guild in Wales), were to make the building their home. The building was named after the famous coal shipper, John Cory.

The Clarence Road Bridge in Grangetown was opened by the Duke of Clarence on September 17, which replaced a wooden toll swing bridge.

The Animal Wall was erected in front of the castle.

The third Marquis of Bute, was elected mayor this year.

The year's census showed Cardiff to have a population of 128,915.

The British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in the town for the first time.

Dowlais Works began production on East Moors in Tremorfa.

The Central Market was opened.

The domestic science college was established.

The Merchants' Exchange building in the docks was completely destroyed by fire.

The first reservoir to supply water in Cardiff from the Brecon Beacons was completed.

The first 3-yearly Cardiff Festival of Music was held.

University College in Cardiff became part of the new University of Wales.

The Western Mail building, then in St Mary Street, was seriously damaged by fire.

Cardiff's first municipally-owned park, Roath Park, was opened.

The Salvation Army took over Stuart Hall in The Hayes which had been previously used as a theatre.

The first Welsh Grand National steeplechase was run at Ely Racecourse.

Cardiff's first parks bandstand was erected in Grange Gardens.

Lord Tredegar gave Waterloo Gardens in Roath to the town.

The Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Infirmary changed its name to the Cardiff Infirmary.

Lansdowne Road Hospital was opened.

The first public exhibition of films in the town took place in the Empire Theatre and in the same year the first news film ever shot in Britain showed the Prince and the Princess of Wales in Cardiff, where the Prince opened an extension to the Central Library.

A new cholera hospital was opened on Flat Holm island.

The General Post Office in Westgate Street opened.

The Pierhead Building was completed.

Guglielmo Marconi successfully transmitted the world's first radio signals across water between Flat Holm and Lavernock.

The second reservoir in the Brecon Beacons to supply water to Cardiff was completed.

The town council bought Cathays Park and part of the Bute Home Park from the Third Marquis of Bute for £161,000, thus enabling the Civic Centre to be built there. The Marquis sold the land on the condition that there would be large tracts of land between the Civic Buildings. This condition led to the many Civic Buildings being spared severe damage during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, due to the buildings being widely spaced.

A new Custom House was built in Bute Street.

The National Eisteddfod was held in Cathays Park.

The Empire Theatre was burnt down.

Riverside Football Club - later to be renamed Cardiff City - was formed.

The building of the Morgan Arcade was completed.

The docks handled some eight million tons of coal.

The Taff Vale Railway strike, based on Cardiff, took place in the autumn and was a milestone in trade union history as it was to lead to new legal rights for unions.

The Third Marquis of Bute, one of the worlds richest men, passed away this year.

A pedestrian tunnel was constructed under the River Ely from Ferry Road to Penarth Dock.

The heaviest snowfall for 14 years occurred in February.

The census showed Cardiff's population had ballooned to 164,333.

On the site of The Hayes where Miller and Carter (2014) now stands, one of the last sections of Cardiff's old town wall was demolished to make way for a fish market. The final remaining sections are near to the castle on Kingsway.

The last horse-drawn trams ceased to operate in the Town, and the first electric trams came into service with power provided by a new power station in Colchester Avenue, close to where Sainsbury's Superstore is now.

The first building in the new Cathays Park civic centre was completed.

The University of Wales Registry, was opened.

The Town Hall was opened in Cathays Park.

The Gothic Park House in Park Place (which is now the home to Bar Burges) was used as a local government office.

The County Court building in Westgate Street was opened.

King Edward VII granted Cardiff its City Status. This cost the City £104 in old money, including the fees to the Home and Crown Offices.

The Hamadryad Hospital was opened in the docks to replace the badly ageing hospital ship of the same name.

The Law Courts and Museum Avenue in Cathays Park were opened.

The New Theatre in Park Place also opened this year.

King Edward VII Avenue in Cathays Park was opened by the King during his visit to Cardiff.

Queen Alexandra dock, the largest in Cardiff, were opened.

Rhoda Willis was the last woman to be hanged in Cardiff after being found guilty of murder.

The first aircraft to be designed and built in Wales, a monoplane called the 'Robin Goch', was constructed in Cardiff this year by Charles Horace Watkins, who built the aircraft at his home.

Olympic gold medals were won by Cardiff swimmer, Paulo Radmilovich.

The Roller Rink was opened in Westgate Street. Whitchurch Hospital was opened.

Cardiff's first Boy Scout troop was formed.

At the Arms Park, Wales beat the Australian rugby tourists.

Keeping with the overall design of the Civic Centre, The University College building in Cathays Park was opened.

The Electra Cinema was opened in the City Centre.

The War Memorial and the statue of Lord Tredegar were unveiled in Cathays Park.

The yearly tonnage handled by the docks had gone up to 9,000,000.

Captain Robert Scott's expedition left Cardiff in the Terra Nova, on a voyage to the Antarctic. Tragically, Scott never made the return journey.

Ernest T. Willows (which the pub in City Road is named after) made the first airship crossing from England to France. The airship was called "The City of Cardiff".

Cardiff City became a professional club and the first match was played at Ninian Park.

Alexandra Gardens in Cathays Park were opened.

The census showed Cardiff to have a population of 182,259.

The Cardiff Railway was opened with a 108-yard tunnel at Tongwynlais.

Charles Thompson gave Thompson Park in Canton to the city.

Olympic gold medals were won by Paulo Radmilovich and Irene Steer for swimming and David Jacobs in the track relay.

Glamorgan County Hall in the civic centre, now Glamorgan House, was completed.

The foundation stone of the National Museum of Wales was laid by King George V. Cardiff City won the Welsh Cup for the first time.

Billy the seal began her long residence in Victoria Park, after being accidentally caught by a trawler.

Dredging for aggregates (Sand, gravel, crushed rock and other bulk materials used by the construction industry) in the Bristol Channel began with vessels based at Cardiff.

Roughly 10.7 million tons of coal were exported through the docks. This figure was never topped.

The building of Rhiwbina Garden Village began.

The Cardiff Coal Trimmers' Union, founded in 1888, had over 2,000 members.

Mrs Emily Pankhurst spoke to a suffragette rally in the city and was afterwards charged with incitement to cause damage and imprisoned.

Thousands of men volunteered for the forces, including 'The Cardiff Pals' 11th Battalion of the Welch Regiment, when the first World War started. [REF]

The tolling of the curfew bell at St John's Church at 8 p.m. ended.

The second son of the third Marquis of Bute, the Cardiff Boroughs MP Lord Ninian Crichton Stuart after whom Ninian Park is named, was killed in action.

For the first time, women were employed on the Cardiff trams as drivers and conductors.

Cardiff became a Roman Catholic archdiocese giving Cardiff a new cathedral, St David's.

The statues of 11 Welsh national heroes in the City Hall were unveiled by David Lloyd George, soon to be Britain's first Welsh Prime Minister.

The Cardiff Technical College was open in Cathays.

A new fire station was opened in Westgate Street.

HMS Cardiff was launched on the Clyde.

United States Navy took over the Angel Hotel, renaming it the USS Chatinouka.

American troops paraded for the first time ever in the city in July.

The memorial lighthouse to Captain Scott was unveiled in Roath Park Lake.

Race riots resulted in the death of three people.

Hundreds of Cardiffians died as a result of the 'Spanish 'flu' pandemic which had started in the previous year.

Twelve men lost their lives in an oil tanker explosion in Cardiff Docks.

The Council ordered water cuts during the long summer drought this year.

The first motor buses began running in Cardiff.

The Llandaff diocese became part of the new disestablished Church in Wales.

Paulo Radmilovich won another Olympic swimming gold medal.

The census showed Cardiff's population was 222,827, an increase of over 40,000 people in just 10 years.

The Capitol Cinema in Queen Street opened and was the largest purpose-built cinema in Britain at the time.

Also on Queen Street, the Dominion Building and Arcade were completed.

Ninian Park's Canton Stand was opened.

The Trades Union Congress held its annual conference in Cardiff for the first time.

The chapel at Cardiff Infirmary was built.

The fourth Marquis of Bute had a replica of the medieval West Gate built on its former site.

The Bute Docks, the Taff Vale Railway and the Cardiff Railway were sold to the Great Western Railway, which for a short time made it the busiest and most important rail system in the world.

Cardiff's boundaries were extended to include Llandaff and Llanishen.

Splott Swimming Pool were opened this year.

On 13th February, the BBC began Broadcasting in Cardiff from studios in Castle Street with Station 5WA.

The Park Cinema was opened.

Cardiff Infirmary became the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.

Reconstruction work on Cardiff Castle this year included the North Gate being built in Roman style.

Cardiff's first Labour MP, Arthur Henderson was elected.

Cardiff Golf Club in Cyncoed was opened.

The widening of Duke Street, and knocking down of old buildings near the Castle, provided much more space for the increasing traffic through the City Centre. Legend has it that Duke Street was named after Robert, Duke of Normandy, who was imprisoned in Cardiff Castle in 1126.

BBC studios were opened in Park Place.

The popular Cardiff featherweight boxer Jim Driscoll died, and an estimated 100,000 people gathered along the his funeral route to watch the procession.

The Cardiff based Welsh School of Architecture was founded.

Cardiff was one of the many Cities in the UK that fell victim to the nation-wide General Strike in May.

The Animal Wall was moved from in front of the castle to its present position opposite Westgate Street.

The National Museum of Wales in Cathays Park was opened by King George V.

The Welsh National War Memorial was unveiled by the Prince of Wales in Cathays Park.

The South Wales Daily News of Cardiff ceased publication.

Greyhound racing started at the Arms Park and Ninian Stadium, as did Speedway racing at Sloper Road.

The Plaza Cinema in North Road was opened.

A blizzard in mid-February disrupted city life for a week.

Hundreds of homes were damaged after severe gales and rain hit the City during the Christmas period.

The first movie with sound, The Jazz Singer, was shown at the Queen's Cinema in Queen Street.

The Cardiff Evening Post merged with the South Wales Echo.

R.G. Hill-Snook gave 26 acres of Wenallt hill to the city.

The statue of the third Marquis of Bute was unveiled in Friary Gardens.

This year's census showed Cardiff to have a population of 226,937.

The Welsh National School of Medicine was founded.

Cardiff Airport was opened on Pengam Moors.

The Taff Swim was moved from the river to Roath Park Lake because of the widening of Cardiff Bridge.

The City's coal export tonnage was in serious decline by this year.

The first miners' hunger march from Cardiff to London to protest about unemployment took place.

The Grand Theatre in Westgate Street was closed but Cardiff's Little Theatre was founded.

Cardiff Central Station was re-opened after reconstruction.

The first traffic roundabout in Cardiff come into operation at the junction of Cardiff Road and Western Avenue.

The first RAC Welsh Rally started from Cardiff.

The Olympia Cinema (later the ABC) was opened in Queen Street.

The isolation hospital on Flat Holm was closed.

The Western Mail and the South Wales Echo were bought by Lord Kemsley.

The first pedestrian crossings in the City came into use in Queen Street and St Mary Street.

Speedway racing ended at Sloper Road Stadium.

Grandstands at both Ninian Park and Ely Racecourse were destroyed by fire in separate incidents.

Temperance Town - where the Bus Station in Central Square recently stood - was demolished.

Unemployment in the city reached over 20 percent due to the huge drop in shipping in the docks, and the tonnage of coal exported was on a downward spiral.

Shirley Bassey was born in Bute Street.

The BBC Welsh Home Service in Cardiff was established.

The first family planning clinic in Cardiff was opened despite Police opposing the plans.

In Cathays Park the Welsh Board of Health building and the Temple of Peace were opened.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales was held in Cardiff for the third time.

The fourth Marquis of Bute sold a substantial part of his Cardiff landholdings to Western Ground Rents.

The first Commonwealth Games gold medals for Wales were won by two Cardiff men.

The future US president, John F. Kennedy, visited Cardiff in the summer and attended Mass at St David's Cathedral.

Despite worldwide recession, there were 8,300 cars owners in Cardiff.

The flats in Westgate Street were completed. Ely Racecourse was closed.

Billy, the Victoria Park seal, died. Her bones are stored in the National Museum of Wales, in Cathays Park.

Coal shipments had now dropped to five-and-a-half million tons, a fall of 50 per cent in just 25 years.

The first four months of World War Two saw large numbers of private and public air raid shelters constructed in Cardiff.

In the second year of the war, food rationing was introduced in January.

There were a number of raids on the city in which 20 people died.

The Royal Ordnance Factory at Llanishen was opened.

No census data is available for this year at present. I would be grateful if someone could supply this.

The heaviest German raid of the war on Cardiff occurred in January when 156 people were killed. Llandaff Cathedral was very severely damaged, Dewi Sant Church in Howard Gardens was destroyed and Cardiff Arms Park was also hit.

In a later March raid, some 50 people were killed and St David's Roman Catholic Cathedral was also badly damaged.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, visited the city after these raids.

The first trolley buses ran in the city and the last barge travelled on the Glamorganshire Canal.

Six people died in a March air raid.

In a German air raid on the city in May 46 people were killed, mainly in the Heath area.

Another three were killed in a March attack.

Nine people died in Llanishen in March during a German air raid.

The last raid on the city took place in May.

About 75 per cent of the supplies for the American forces in Europe were shipped out through Cardiff docks following the D-Day landings in June. The docks were so busy at this time that about 15,000 people were employed there.

The wartime blackout restrictions were now eased and a gun site on Flat Holm became non-operational.

By this time 30,000 homes in Cardiff had been damaged and about 600 destroyed: 345 people, including 47 children, had been killed and over 900 injured, some 430 seriously.

VE Day and VJ were celebrated as World War Two ended.

Welsh National Opera put on its first staged productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Just one million tons of coal were shipped out of Cardiff this year.

The records of many leading coal mining and shipping companies were lost in a fire in the docks which destroyed Merthyr House.

The ever generous Bute family gave Cardiff Castle and over 400 acres of parkland to the city.

The Winter period brought Arctic weather to the City for over six weeks, which made the post-war food and fuel rationing very difficult to maintain.

The last case and death from diphtheria occurred in the City this year.

The Welsh Folk Museum was opened at St Fagans on land given by the Earl of Plymouth.

Churchill Way was opened with the covering of the Dock Feeder.

The Cardiff (later Welsh) College of Music and Drama was founded.

A Bishop of Llandaff became Archbishop of Wales for the first time.

Castell Coch was given to the state by the Bute family.

The last electric tram in Cardiff ran from St Mary Street to Whitchurch Road.

The last shipment of coal left Bute East Dock.

The world's first regular helicopter service began between Cardiff, Wrexham and Liverpool.

Speedway racing was resumed at Penarth Road.

The census showed Cardiff had a population of 243,632.

Sophia Gardens Pavilion was erected.

Maindy Stadium was opened.

The Glamorganshire Canal was finally closed.

The last execution took place in Cardiff Prison with the hanging of Mahmoud Mattan, but his conviction was quashed in 1998 after new evidence came to light.

The Wenvoe transmitter was opened bringing BBC television to the Cardiff area.

Cinemas were allowed to open on Sundays for the first time.

Cardiff Institute for the Blind on Newport Road was built.

Trelai Park in Caerau was opened.

Thornhill Crematorium was also opened.

The open air market was moved from Hayes Island to Mill Lane.

Cardiff Airport was moved from Pengam Moors to its current home in Rhoose.

Sloper Road Stadium was closed.

After a 10 year campaign, Cardiff was officially recognised as the capital city of Wales, building on its 50 year contribution as a city.

Cardiff ceased being a fishing port after 70 years.

The Prince of Wales (now Wetherspoons) closed as a theatre but continued to show films.

The former Cardiff Technical College in Cathays Park became the Welsh College of Advanced Technology and later became part of the University of Wales.

The Commonwealth Games came to Cardiff for eight days in July, and the Wales Empire Pool was built for the event. Opened in April, it was originally 55 yards long, it was later reduced to 50 metres. [REF]

Commercial television arrived in the area with TWW (Television Wales and the West) having studios at Pontcanna.

The Labour Party gained control of the City Council for the first time this year.

A major redevelopment scheme got under way in Butetown.

The Glamorganshire Canal in the city was filled in.

This year Cardiff had its first woman Lord Mayor, Helena Evans.

There was no South Wales Echo or Western Mail for six weeks due to a printers strike. Both papers were sold by Lord Kemsley to the Thomson Organisation this year.

Manor Way, which runs through Whitchurch, was opened.

Tiger Bay, the movie partly shot in Cardiff was in cinemas this year.

There was serious flooding at the end of the year when the River Taff burst its banks.

This year's census showed that Cardiff had a population of 283,998.

Pubs in Cardiff were allowed to open again on Sundays for the first time since the 1880's.

The first betting shops started trading in the City.

There was a record crowd of 61,506 at Ninian Park for a Wales-England international.

Due to Health and Safety issues, the last Taff Swim was held in Roath Park Lake.

After being based in St Mary Street for over 80 years, the South Wales Echo and the Western Mail moved to Thomson House in Havelock Street.

The city's first multi-storey car park was opened in Greyfriars Road.

A severe blizzard in December interrupted city life.

The main building of the University College in Cathays Park was completed.

The pedestrian subway under the River Ely linking Ferry Road with Penarth was closed.

The new Arts Building of the University College in Cathays Park was opened.

In Bute Terrace the Gas Board Snelling House - later the The Big Sleep hotel - was completed.

The restoration of Llandaff Cathedral after wartime damage was completed.

The Welsh Office was established in the former Welsh Board of Health building in Cathays Park.

After nearly 150 yearsn of operations, the last coal shipment of just only 229,000 tons, left Bute West Dock before it was closed in August.

The Urdd Gobaith Cymru National Eisteddfod was held in Cardiff for the first time.

The Samaritans opened a branch in Cardiff.

The Salvation Army's Stuart Hall in The Hayes was demolished.

The West Wing extension of the National Museum was opened.

The Dental Hospital at the Heath was opened.

The last county cricket match was played at Cardiff Arms Park.

The BBC moved from Park Place to new studios in Llandaff and colour television was broadcast for the first time in the City.

The remains of Grey Friars were demolished.

Cardiff's boundaries were extended to include Llanedeyrn, Whitchurch, Radyr and Rhiwbina.

The 12-storey tower block of the University College in Cathays Park was completed.

The first county cricket game was played at Sophia Gardens.

James Callaghan became Home Secretary.

Churchill House office block in Churchill Way was opened.

The new police headquarters building in Cathays Park was completed.

Cardiff West MP, George Thomas, was appointed Secretary of State for Wales.

The Royal Pageant of Wales was held in the city to mark the investiture of the Prince of Wales.

The city police force was merged with Glamorgan to form the South Wales Police.

Fairwater ski slope was opened.

Peacocks were reintroduced to Cardiff Castle grounds for the first time since the War.

The last trolley bus ran in Cardiff, and buses without a conductor started to come into service.

Bute East Dock was finally closed.

The first Plaid Cymru councillor was elected to Cardiff City Council.

This year's census showed that Cardiff had a population of 293,220.

The University Hospital of Wales at the Heath was opened.

In order to deal with the massive increase in traffic to the area and the Hospital, the Gabalfa flyover, Eastern and Northern Avenues were opened.

The Commercial Bank of Wales was founded by Sir Julian Hodge.

The newly straightened River Ely was completed after two years.

Bute West Dock was filled.

St Dyfrig's Anglican Church was demolished to make place for the City Planning Offices. [REF]

Chapter Arts Centre in Canton opened.

The National Sports Centre in Sophia Gardens also opened this year.

The Cardiff-born scientist Brian Josephson was joint winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.

The Inland Revenue tower block in Llanishen was completed.

Cardiff General Station was officially renamed to became Cardiff Central.

Brunel House (then the regional headquarters of the 'Valley Lines' train service) was opened.

The city's main fire station was moved from Westgate Street to Adamsdown, opposite the Prison.

Cardiff became part of the new county of South Glamorgan in local government reorganisation, losing the independent 'County Borough' status it had gained in 1889.

Cardiff's boundaries were extended to include Lisvane, St Fagans and Tongwynlais.

James Callaghan became Foreign Secretary.

The Welsh College of Music and Drama was moved from the castle after 26 years there, to new premises on North Road.

The pedestrianisation of Queen Street began.

The first bus lanes were introduced to Cardiff's City centre.

James Callaghan became Prime Minister.

The Panasonic factory in Pentwyn started manufacturing electrical components. [REF]

A new Salvation Army hostel was opened in Bute Street.

There were water cuts in the Summer due to a prolonged drought.

The frigate HMS Llandaff was decommissioned.

Cardiff celebrated its 1,900th birthday this year.

Cardiff Rugby Club celebrated its centenary.

The last greyhound races took place at Cardiff Arms Park.

Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum was opened in the docks.

The first Royal Variety Show in Wales was held at the New Theatre.

Seccombes department store (based in Queen Street) closed this year.

East Moors steelworks closed with the loss of over 3,000 jobs, a signal of the end of Cardiff industrial connections.

The original Capitol Cinema closed.

The 150-year-old Ebeneser Welsh Chapel in the city centre was demolished.

A February blizzard disrupted the city.

Many of the mature trees in Cathays Park had to be cut down because of an outbreak of Dutch elm disease.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales was held in Cardiff for the fifth time.

The city's first Welsh language comprehensive school, Ysgol Glantaf, was opened in Llandaff North.

The Western Leisure centre was opened in Ely.

The Welsh Office extension in Cathays Park was completed.

Concorde landed at Cardiff-Wales Airport for the first time.

A fire in the City Hall dome caused major damage.

Serious flooding occurred at the end of the year as the River Taff overflowed again.

The third warship called Cardiff was launched in Portsmouth.

Commercial radio first started broadcasted in the City.

The M4 around the city was completed.

The new Llandaff Bridge over the Taff was opened.

This year's census showed that Cardiff had a population of 285,740.

St Fagans won cricket's Village Championship Trophy at Lords.

Cardiff won the WRU Cup Final for the first time.

Wales lost to England in the first rugby league international to be played at the Arms Park.

The Plaza Cinema in North Road, Gabalfa were closed.

A new YMCA was opened in The Walk.

The open air market was moved to Bridge Street from Mill Lane.

Heavy snow caused the roof of Sophia Gardens Pavilion to collapse.

Pope John Paul II made the first-ever Papal visit to Wales in June, celebrated Mass in Pontcanna Fields and was made a Freeman of Cardiff. The giant wooden structure that he spoke from was built in the months before and left unguarded. It was burnt down weeks before the Pope's visit, then rebuilt quickly with security guards protecting it until the Pope's visit. [REF]

The Welsh-language television channel S4C was established in the city.

St David's Centre was opened followed by St David's Hall.

In Ely, Crosswell's Brewery closed.

Two Cardiff-based journals, Rebecca and Arcade, both ceased publication.

A flood protection scheme was inaugurated in April to protect the City from the River Taff.

The Cory Hall and the YMCA in Station Terrace were demolished.

Cardiff Singer of the World competition was launched by the BBC in St David's Hall.

The Ely Link section of the Peripheral Distributor Road and the East Moors viaduct with the South way Link were opened.

A major reconstruction of the Central Square Bus Station was completed.

Guildford Crescent Baths, now the site of the Ibis Hotel, were closed.

The National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, was opened.

This was the last year in which corporal punishment was allowed in schools in Cardiff.

The Celtic Film and Television Festival was held in Cardiff this year - the first time that Wales had hosted the event.

Cardiff Heliport was opened on East Moors.

Red Dragon Radio took over Cardiff Broadcasting as the principle commercial radio station in Cardiff.

The first Techniquest exhibition centre was opened in Castle Street.

Wales National Ice Rink was opened and Cardiff Devils ice hockey team formed.

The Royal Mail sorting office was moved from Westgate Street to Penarth Road.

British Rail introduced the City Line between Coryton and Radyr.

Cardiff Bay Development Corporation was established to transform largely derelict land in the south of the city, which was to become Cardiff Bay.

Queen's West shopping arcade and the St David's open-air Market were opened.

The Grangetown Link was constructed.

The new County Hall was completed at Atlantic Wharf - the first building in the new Cardiff Bay.

The Central Library was moved to new premises in St David's Link.

HTV moved its studios from Pontcanna to Culverhouse Cross.

Techniquest moved from the city centre to the Bay.

In July, Michael Jackson, on his Bad World Tour, fronted a concert in the Cardiff Arms Park, to a crowd of 55,000 people. [REF]

The University College merged with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology to form the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Cardif-born Colin Jackson won an Olympic silver medal.

The lighthouse on Flat Holm ceased being manned after 250 years as it switched to automatic control.

Wales's first ten-pin bowling centre was opened on Newport Road.

Leckwith Athletics Stadium was opened.

The Cardiff Bay Hotel (in the late 90's the Hanover Hotel, now the Novotel Hotel) was opened, which had carefully been built into an old dockside railway warehouse.

'The Tube' - a tourist attraction and visitor centre in Cardiff Bay, was opened this year.

Jury's Hotel in Mary Ann Street was opened.

The Capitol shopping centre was also opened.

A Rolling Stones concert was held at Cardiff Arms Park.

The census showed that Cardiff's population had risen to 296,900.

Rising racial tensions on the estate of Ely came to a head, and the ensuing 'Ely Riots' were the result. The reported trigger for those riots was a dispute between two shopkeepers, one Asian, who had starting to sell bread which was seen to be taking trade away from the other. The escalation of the riots, which took place at the top end of Wilson Road, were fuelled by high unemployment and crime. In addition to this, immigrants were being given housing in the area, and the local residents argued that the Council were allegedly treating locals on the housing waiting list as non-priority cases. [REF]

Cardiff's first multi-screen cinema, the five screen Odeon in Queen Street, was opened this year.

The Dalai Lama of Tibet visited Cardiff in May.

The Queen opened the Courtyard Galleries in the National Museum and the Cardiff International Arena.

Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno at Cardiff Arms Park.

The Celtic Ring sculpture was unveiled in Cardiff Bay to mark the start of the 55-mile-long Taff Trail between Cardiff and Brecon.

One million passengers were handled in a year for the first time at Cardiff Airport.

The weekday South Wales Echo changed from broadsheet size to tabloid.

Construction began on the Cardiff Bay barrage.

The Station Hotel (once the Merchant Navy Hotel) near the Central Station was demolished.

The Pentwyn link road to the M4 was opened in June.

The Bute Tunnel and the Taff Viaduct were opened in March.

Harry Ramsden's fish restaurant welcomed its first customers in October.

A new building housing the revamped Techniquest proved to be very successful.

Nippon Electric Glass located a plant in the Bay. Sunday shopping was introduced in Cardiff.

The Cafe Quarter in Mill Lane opened.

Plans for a Cardiff Bay Opera House were rejected - but performing arts would still have a home in the Bay when the Wales Millennium Centre was built a few years later.

The Welsh National Tennis Centre, Ocean Way, was opened on the site of the former East Moors Steel and Iron works.

Local government reorganisation saw Cardiff revert to the unitary status it had enjoyed from 1889 to 1974, which meant it was now a County of its own, and a Capital City.

Cardiff's boundaries were extended to take in Creigiau, Pentyrch and Gwaelod-y-Garth.

The Merchant Navy Memorial was unveiled in Cardiff Bay.

A 26-lane ten-pin bowling Hollywood Bowl and the 3,000 seat 12-screen UCI Cinema opened in the Atlantic Wharf Leisure Village in Cardiff Bay.

A new retail park was also opened in the Bay, and is home to Asda, Argos, and Ikea amongst others.

Cardiff increased its representation in Parliament from three to four MPs, one of whom was the city's first woman MP, Julie Morgan.

The Royal Ordnance Factory at Llanishen, where parts for British nuclear warheads had been made was closed by the Ministry of Defence.

Cardiff Devils won ice hockey's Superleague title.

A statue of the champion boxer 'Peerless' Jim Driscoll was unveiled in Bute Terrace, while a statue of Billy the seal was unveiled in Victoria Park.

In September, Cardiff again voted against the establishment of a National Assembly for Wales.

Barry Jones of Cardiff won the World Boxing Organisation's super-featherweight title in the city.

The most important diplomatic event in Cardiff's history to date occurred in June when the city was host to the European Union summit meeting.

President Nelson Mandela of South Africa visited the city during the meeting and was made a Freeman of Cardiff.

Cardiff was also visited by the Emperor and Empress of Japan in May.

Bank One International of Chicago decided on Cardiff as the site of its European headquarters.

The Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum in the Bay was closed after 21 years to make way for the Mermaid Quay complex. The museum was transferred to Swansea.

The Wales Empire Pool was demolished after 40 years as the site was needed for the Millennium Stadium development.

The city's second Welsh-language comprehensive school was opened at Plasmawr.

The Cardiff-based band Catatonia were enjoying their success this year, while 12-year-old Cardiffian soprano Charlotte Church, was a huge success with her first CD.

Cardiff City celebrated its centenary.

The final stages of the Rugby Union World Cup were held in the Millennium Stadium. In the opening game at the stadium in June, Wales defeated the world champions, South Africa for the first time.

St David's Hotel in the Bay and the Hilton Cardiff in the city centre, both 5-star hotels, were opened.

The election of the first National Assembly for Wales took place in May.

The Cardiff Bay barrage was completed after over five years' work to create a permanent fresh water lake and provide eight miles of waterfront.

In the centre of the city there was a major refurbishment of the Central Station.

The Centre for Visual Arts was opened in the converted Old Library.

Ely Paper Mill closed after over 130 years with the loss of almost 500 jobs.

There were now almost 20,000 university students studying in the city.

The Mermaid Quay leisure complex was opened.

The new mile-long Bute Avenue connected the city centre with its new waterfront.

In December, Businesses and deprived communities in Cardiff, were approved to receive a share of about £70,000,000 of the Objective 2 European Funding programme for South East Wales.

This year's census showed that Cardiff had a population of 305,353.

Welsh singing sensation Tom Jones, performed to a huge crowd from inside Cardiff Castle.

7.5 million pounds worth of Televisions and Microwaves were destroyed in a fire at Panasonics' Warehouse in Pentwyn.

The County Council's free newspaper, the Capital Times, conducted a major survey in Cardiff asking residents about what they thought about the City. The second survey of its kind, revealed that an overwhelming 97 percent of respondents rated Cardiff a good or very good place to live.

During the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Stadium hosted the FA Cup final for six years, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2006

Cardiff celebrated the Queen's Golden Jubilee in June.

In December, Arriva Train Wales took over the train service franchise in South Wales - this signalled the end of Valleylines which had faithfully served the South Wales area since 1983.

Cardiff University and the University of Wales College of Medicine merged this year. The merger created nearly 3,000 jobs, and became the home to more than 20,000 students.

BBC Wales started filming the first new series of Doctor Who for 16 years, in Cardiff this year.

Queens Arcade, the Hayes, and the UGC Cinema in Mary Ann Street were some of the landmarks that could be spotted in the very first episode.

This year Cardiff celebrated its 100th year as a City, and 50th Year as Capital of Wales.

Popes Photo Service in Canton, closed its doors for the last time at the end of the year, after 81 years of trading.

After just 11 years in Cardiff Bay, Nippon Electric Glass (NEG), which made old style TV screens, closed down this year due to a severe drop in demand, fuelled by the lower cost of LCD and Plasma Screen technology which are fast becoming the standard.

After 125 years in trading, once of the few remaining family owned stores in Cardiff, David Morgans, closed in January of this year.

The first works began in the Hayes for the new development of the St. David's 2 project.

The 120 year-old Central Hotel at the end of St. Mary Street was demolished after the building was damaged beyond repair, as a result of a serious fire in 2005. A new hotel was constructed on the site.

Sophia Gardens joined an exclusive list of just 8 venues able to hold Test Matches. The home of the Glamorgan County Cricket Club is also the only venue in Wales, the other 7 being in England.

On 1st March 2006 (St. David's Day) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II arrived in a snow covered Cardiff to open the new debating chamber for the Welsh Assembly.

The old Docks (now Cardiff Bay) branch of Barclays Bank in Mount Stuart Square closed it's doors to customers after serving the community for over 125 years. All was not lost as the bank moved to Mermaid Quay to take advantage of improved access.

Barclays' former building (the 'Exchange Building') is still empty, and its listed status prevents it from being demolished.

Cardiff was one of many cities in the UK that sweltered during a three week heat wave that broke temperature records across Wales. There were also water shortages still in force from the warm winter, which led to water supplies in Cardiff being temporarily affected.

The Main Post Office in the Oxford Arcade (The Hayes) served its final customers on 9th August. The office moved to a new site in the Queens Arcade shopping centre (off Queen Street), which had been created with a Royal Mail investment of over £1 million. The move helped make way for the £650m St. David's 2 redevelopment of the City Centre.

Seeing in the New Year across the UK were more 80mph gales. After a brief respite of a few weeks, Cardiff had one of it's heaviest snowfalls in decades in mid February which lasted for two days and got up to 8 inches in many places.

Also in February, demolition began of the Southern end of the Hayes and Oxford Arcade, not long after the nearby Toys 'Я' Us was razed to the ground.

Sophia Gardens hosted the Ashes Test match between England and Australia.

On the 19th January, the International Organisation for Standards has re-classified the nation of Wales as a Country instead of a Principality. This means that Cardiff is officially the capital of a Country, rather than a Principality. [REF]

In April, the popular archaeology programme Time Team was invited by Caerau and Ely Rediscovering Heritage Project (CAER), to help dig and uncover the mysteries of Caerau's ancient hillfort. Finds included 3,000 year old homes and artefacts. [REF]

The city's main fire station in Adamsdown, was demolished. A smaller, but more advanced station was built next door to the huge student accommodation complex, which was constructed on the site of the old station.

The New Addie and the Splottlands pubs in Adamsdown were closed down.

September saw a historic NATO summit come to Newport, South Wales. President Obama, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande attended along with leaders and senior ministers from around 60 other countries. Part of the proceedings saw delegates from the 28 Nato nations dining together in Cardiff Castle, following the first day of the summit at the Celtic Manor. [REF]

In October, the first meeting of the 'Save the Coal Exchange Working Group' took place. This action group, formed by Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty, is calling on urgent action to secure the future of the historic Coal Exchange building in Mount Stuart Square. [REF]

Page Created: July 2005

30 December 2014 (Site rebuilt and new design launched)
15 January 2015 (Minor updates)
28 September 2018 (Coding updates)

The History Notes

Caerphilly Castle rests within the rolling hills north of Cardiff, a concentric masterpiece with a fully flooded moat. The tremendous size of the castle and its two lakes makes Caerphilly the largest in Wales and the second biggest in Britain.

Caerphilly was later restored by the great medievalist, the Third Marquess of Bute in the latter half of the 19th century, to be completed at last in the 1960s. On the central island the 14th-century banquet hall is in superb condition, showcasing towering windows, carved corbels, and the coats of arms of previous owners.
Enjoy long walks around the well-tended grounds which offer beautiful panoramic views of the castle.

Caerphilly Castle also boasts replica parapets and working siege engines. War enthusiasts and children should certainly take in the medieval siege experience with this full scale, operational weaponry which is always on display and demonstrated for visitors several times per year.

Once attacked but never taken, Caerphilly Castle is an example of the medieval war machine at its best.

Caerphilly Castle’s Illuminata 2011 event will take place from the 9th to 11th December, coinciding with the town’s Christmas Medieval Market on the 10th and 11th.

The Illuminata spectacular will see the castle bathed in light for a twice nightly sound and light show. Reflecting the past of the Welsh stronghold, four eras in Caerphilly’s long history will be projected onto the castle walls. Film showings will be at 5.30pm and 6.30pm, with doors opening at 5pm.
Groups wishing to make a night of it can enjoy an evening of feasting and entertainment in the castle’s Great Hall as the medieval banquet gets underway. The banquets will be held each night following the second Illuminata showing.

Caerphilly’s Christmas Medieval Market is to take place from 10am until 4pm, as a host of stands selling seasonal produce take over the town centre. Each morning costumed characters will make their way from the town centre to the castle, where visiting groups can enjoy medieval entertainment with jesters, musicians and craftsmen.

Welsh History Month: The new gates of history at Caerphilly Castle

The new gates at Caerphilly Castle are a feast for the eyes with huge timber piers, cut-steel and coloured glass. And, as Ruth Taylor-Davies explains, they are an example of how stories are brought to life

When new gates were needed at Caerphilly Castle, it was decided that they should do more than open and close. They should tell part of the story of this South Wales heritage icon. The problem was, which part?

There was so much to choose from . for a start, there’s the leaning tower (at more of an angle than Pisa’s) and the fact that it’s the second biggest castle in the UK there is the story of how and why it was built and the important role it played in medieval politics and then there are the folk tales of ghosts and haunting and the true stories about people: murder, intrigue, and adultery.

It is Cadw’s job to make these stories exciting and engaging and, at Caerphilly, the gates were included in the storytelling. Cadw’s small in-house interpretation team have been busy delivering exciting new schemes across Wales to help explain the past to visitors at a range of important sites, including Caerphilly Castle.

Regular visitors to the castle will have seen a range of innovative new installations, including a 270˚ animated film show a series of sculptures and models by Welsh or Wales-based inspirational artists (including a giant sculpture of the fourth marquess of Bute holding up the leaning tower) a digital portcullis an interactive touch table a digital fireplace in the great hall a children’s trail and even a table runner and banners that tell the castle’s story.

For me, though, the gates really stand out. Not least because they are a great example of how something practical can be used to deliver a story. The castle needed gates and the easy option would have been to install something plain and functional.

However, given their prominent position, the alternative was to commission something beautiful that did the job, while also revealing part of the castle’s history.

Following a design competition, Glynneath artist Rubin Eynon was engaged to create a set of sculptural gates. “I knew I wanted to show the main characters connected with the castle and, in collaboration with Dave Penberthy, [Head of Interpretation at Cadw], we agreed that the project would act as a sort of timeline,” said Rubin.

Working with local blacksmith, Glen Adams, Rubin was able to use the gates as a canvas to depict a milestone in Caerphilly Castle’s history. But which of the castle’s many stories do they tell and what influenced them?

The cut-steel on the main panels depicts a battle scene in full throw. Not just any battle though. It is the famous battle of Bannockburn, where the owner of Caerphilly Castle, Gilbert de Clare, and his men fought on behalf of Edward II against the Scots.

On 24 June 1314, de Clare rode into battle in such a frenzy that he is said to have forgotten the surcoat worn over his chain mail and which marked him out as Earl of Gloucester.

In the fighting that followed, he was thrown from his horse. Normally, his opponents would have captured such a nobleman and held him for ransom, but without his surcoat he was just seen as another fallen soldier and was killed.

Aged only 23, Gilbert died childless, ending the de Clare dynasty at Caerphilly. The gates were installed on the 700th anniversary of the battle.

There is also a smaller side-gate, which is a nod to the next lord of Caerphilly Castle, Hugh Despenser. A man on the make, he married Gilbert’s sister (and heiress) Eleanor. Despenser was unscrupulous, greedy and generally unpopular, yet he managed to rise to the role of Chamberlain thanks to his close friendship with Edward II. So close in fact, that when Edward was forced to flee from his estranged wife and her lover, Despenser fled with him. But that’s another story— one you can follow on the table runner in the great hall!

The gates are picturesque, artistic, informative, engaging, creative . but there’s something else about them that I really like. The roadway that they straddle is the same one (give or take some newer paving) that Gilbert, Eleanor, Hugh and all the other characters linked to the castle would have travelled over in their journeys to and from Caerphilly Castle.

Today, it’s people like you and me who journey here to find out more about this magnificent site and we also travel over this same roadway literally passing through the gates into the past.

The interpretation of Caerphilly Castle has been made possible thanks to support from the Heritage Tourism Project, managed by Cadw and funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Caerphilly Castle

Built in 1268 by Gilbert de Clare (also known as “Red Gilbert” due to his hair colour) as part of his conquest Glamorgan and the continuing subjugation of the Welsh by the Normans. It is constructed on a natural gravel bank in the middle of a river basin and consists of two large artificial lakes within thirty acres making it the second largest castle in Britain.

The water defences of the castle were most likely inspired by a similar design at Kenilworth which de Clare would have witnessed in action during the seige of Kenilworth in 1266. The vast lakes prevents the castle walls from being undermined – a popular siege tactic at the time. Caerphilly was also the first concentric castle to be built in Britian and its walls were built using Pennant Stone.

A Brief Timeline

1268 – Construction begins with the daming and digging of the lakes, temporary wooden palisades and buildings.

1270 – Rising tensions with Welsh resulted in the castle being attacked by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and supporters – the wooden structures were burnt to the ground.

1271 – In an effort to quell the tensions between the Welsh and the Normans the castle is taken over by royal officials who promise to negotiate and arbitrate a solution to the ongoing problems.

1272 – de Clare’s men seize back the castle and work recommences, the castle is completed later that year.

1294 – Once again the castle is attacked but this time by Madog ap Llywelyn.

1316 – And again the castle is attacked, during the Llywelyn Bren uprising.

1326-27 – And again during the overthrow of Edward III…

From the fifteenth century the castle begin to decline…

1776 – Caerphilly is acquired by the Marquesses of Bute but it is not until the third and fourth Marquesses that extensive restoration work begun.

1950 – The castle and grounds were given to the state.

Today – The site is managed by CADW – the Welsh heritage organisation.

The massive gatehouse entrance – the large tower in the rear of the picture was designed to be defensible postion even if the entire castle was breached. A working portcullis and murder holes are visible today. One of the massive fireplaces in the gate tower. Looking out onto the inner courtyard. Looking down onto the tower gatehouse and outer gatehouse towards town. Originally there would have been a drawbridge across the moat.

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The archers corridor – made of timber with apertures for the archers to aim through and roofed this would have hung of the exterior walls of the castle and provided greater protection to the archers. The leaning tower – natural subsidence or as a result of Oliver Cromwell decreeing that the castle be ‘slighted’ during the Civil War?

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Caerphilly Castle was a defensive stronghold – the lack of windows and decoration combined with forbidding walls was testimony to this fact – it was a castle which meant business.

Watch the video: Castle Coch Reopened! A fairy tale castle in Wales (July 2022).


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