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■S-- T' 


The Illustrated guide 

to Cardiff and the neighbourhood 



•-^ 75<sa . ly 




CLASS OF 1828 

y Google 

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The Illustrated 

^uidc lo Cardiff 

JInd Its .Neigliboupliood. 


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Aberdare Hall 89 

Art Gallery 69 

Athletic Clubs 106 

Baptist Col lege 90 

Barracks 75 

Baths 75 

Barry 123 

Benevolent Institutions ... 93 

Blind Institute 97 

Board of Trade Offices ... 73 

Board Schools 91 

Bridgend 140 

Bridges 76 

Cadoxton 136 

Cabs and Omnibuses ... 109 

Cardiff Arms Park 105 

Cardiff Castle 55 

Caerphilly 125 

CastellCoch 132 

Caerleon 137 

Cefn Mably 139 

Cemeteries 105 

Channel Trips 142 

Chepstow ... 143 

Churches 78 

Clovelly 152 

Clevedon 149 

Chfton 148 

Clarence Bridge 77 

Clubs 106 

Coity Castle 141 

Commercial Progress ... 51 

County Offices 71 

Cowbridge 135 

Crumlin 137 

Custom House 73 

Deaf and Dumb School ... 98 

Diuas Pcwis 136 

Dunraven 142 

Educational Establishments 88 

Electric Lighting Station \.. 76 

Ely and Canton Parks ... 105 

Environs of Cardiff ... Ill 

Ewenny Priory 138 

Free Libraries 66 

General View 1 

Girls' Intermediate School 90 

Glamorganshire Infirmary 93 

Halls and Theatres ... 99 

Havannah Industrial School 98 

Higher Grade School ... 92 

Historical Sketch 11 

Holms, The 150 

Howell's School 90 

Ilfracombe 1.52 

Lavernock 136 

Leckwith 139 

Llandaff Ill 

Llandough 139 

Llanishen 139 

Llantrisant 140 

Llantwit Major 141 

Lundy Island 152 

Lynmouth 152 

Margam 135 

Market Hall 43 

Mayors 39 

Monmouth 137 

Mumbles 150 

Museum 69 

National Schools 92 

Nazareth House 97 

Neath 133 

Newport 130 

Nonconformists Chapels ... 86 

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fi4, Miskin Street, CARDIFF, 

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Contents — continued. 

Omnibuses and Cabs 


St. John's Church ... 

... 78 

St. Mary's 

... 81 

Parks and Open Spaces ... 


St. Fagans 

... 135 

Parliamentary Represen- 


... 73 



Seamen's Hospital ... 

... 98 



Sophia Gardens 

... 104 

Places ot Worship 


... 136 




... 85 

Porthcawl Rest 





... 133 

Port and Docks 


Technical School ... 

... 90 

Post Office 


Theatres and Halls... 

... 99 



Thompson's Park ... 

... 105 

Public Buildings 


Tintern Abbey 

... 145 

Town Hall 

... 64 

Raglan Castle 



... 109 

liail and Sea Communication 


Uhondda Valleys 


Ijnion Workhouse ... 

... 95 



University College ... 

... 88 

Roman Catholic Churches... 




Vale of Neath 

... 133 

Sailor's Home 



... 149 

St. Donat's 



... 143 

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oi ;| 














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^n Thousand) 

Established the Year the Queen commenced 
to Reiffn (60 YEARS). 

Travellers kept to wait upon 
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(Beneral Diew. 

In this handbook it is our intention to give the reader 
as comprehensive an idea as possible of Cardiff and its 
environs. We shall first take a bird's eye view of the town, 
and afterwards rapidly review the history of tlie place from 
the earliest ages, from that remote period when the primi- 
tive Briton fiied upon it as a suitable locality for his rude 
*'ca€r^' or fortress — ^humble b^inning for what is now one 
of the most important maritime centres of the world ! This 
done, we shall deal in succession with the castle and the 
principal muBicipal, conmiercial, religious, and social insti- 
tutions of Cardiff, and conclude with a brief survey of the 
neighbourhood, deeply interesting as it is from so many 

To its geographical position, Cardiff owes no small propor- 
tion of its prosperity. Behind it is the great South Wales 
coalfield, which, in spite of the tremendous vigour with 
which it is worked, must continue for ages to come to supply 
Britain and the world with no small proportion of their fuel. 
The reader will not fail to note that Cardiff bears much the 
same geographical relaticMi to Wales, of which it is de facto 
the metropoHs, that London does to the United Kingdom. 
Its distance from London (by rail) is 170 miles (covered by 
express in 3 J hours), from Birmingham 119 miles, from 
Liverpool 140, from Newcastle 310, from Glasgow 380, and 
from the sister towns of Newport and Swansea 11^ and 45 
miles respectively. From Bristol the distance by rail is 40, 
aad by water 28 miles; Waterford 152, DubUn 242 miles. 
The latitude of Cardiff (University CoU^ is 51^* 28' 58" 
north, and longitude 3*^ 10' 6'' west. Its time is 1 2 min. 
40.4 sec. behind Greenwich. 

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Guide to Cardiff, 





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Gitide to Cardiff'. 3 

Cardiff lies at the mouths of three rivers — ^the Rumney, 
Tail and Ely ; and from its natural position and other advan- 
tages has secured a coal export trade unequalled by any 
other port in the world. The town in general is built on 
low lying land, which stretdies eastwards with little to 
break the monotony along the course of the Severn as far as 
Chepstow. Westward, however, the fiat is bounded by a 
ridge which terminates in the bold promontory of Penarth 
Head. The Vale of Glamorgan lies to the west, and is. for 
the most part, a gently undulating plain from the sea to the 
margin of the coal basin. It would be difficult (says Mr. 
T. H. Thomas, in the "British Association Handbook," 
1891) to find in any part of the British Isles a district con- 
taining so considerable a series of geological formations, 
well developed and clearly exhibited, as may be studied 
within a radius of 25 miles of Cardiff. Such radius includes 
sections of no less than five geological systems — Silurian, 
Old Red Sandstone, Carboniferous, Triassic, and Jurassic, 
all which present a clear sequence, and may be easily studied, 
thanks to the netvirork of railways and to the frequent 
passenger steamers that ply in the Channel. For a popxdar 
account of local geology the reader is referred to JVlr. 
Thomas's article as above, and to Mr. F. T. Howard's, in the 
"Cardiff Illustrated Handbook" of 1896, both works issued 
from the offices of the Western Mail Lamited. They also 
contain full notice of the local flora and fauna. 

Cardiff is a Parliamentary, municipal, and county 
borough, the capital of Glamorganshire ; it is in the hundred 
of Kibbor, in the petly and quarter sessional divisions of 
Cardiff, the union and county court district of the same, and 
the diocese and archdeaconry of Llandaff . The advance made 
by the town and port during the century is little short of 
marvellous. At the commencement of that period the popu- 
lation was only a thousand or thereabouts, but the end of 
the century will see it stand at some 200,000 souls. Nor 
has Cardiff grown at the expense of either health or beauty. 
"Thanks to the enlightened policy of its citizens, stimulated 
and encouraged by the example of one who is a nobleman in 
more than name, Cardiff is one of the handsomest and most 
salubrious of the commercial centres of the kingdom. 
Strangers marvil at the docks and shipping; but, as they 
mostiy entertain odd misconceptions of the town, they ar* 

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4 Guide to Cardiff. 

agreeably surprised and delighted at its broad, busy streets, 
its fine buildings, its noble castle, its pleasant parks and 
public gardens, its glorious sweep of river, and tiie general 
air of 'rus in urbe' that pervades this most cosmopolitan of 
towns. Cosmopolita.n, indeed, for — especially in the neigh- 
bourhood of the docks — ^all maritime nations may be seen, 
and many a language heard, from the vivacious chatter of 
oiu: Gallic neighbours to the more recondite dialects of the 
Far East, and, added to and better than them all, our whole- 
some Enghsh speech, and (notably on *Mabon's Da/) the 
expressive ttmgue that enthusiasts declare was first uttered 
in the groves of Paradise. 

Cardiff Castle — ^West View. 

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Guide to Cardiff, 5 

"A busy centre this — b. focus of civic, educational, and 
social progress; the centre, too, of a district which for 
interest haa no superior in all Wales. To northward, over 
the trees, rise the stately spires of Llandaff, and when you 
walk within that loveliest of churchyards you tread reve- 
rently, for you remember that here is the oldest Christdaa 
sit/e in Britain. You visit CaerphiUy, and gaae with, awe at 
that tremendous castle, silent, but eloquent in its decay. 
Wherever you bend your steps it is the same. Castles, man- 
sions, churches, cromlechs, sculptured stones of ancient date, 
abciuid, to charm alike the artist and the antiquary. Nor is 
this all, for the district is one of rare geological richness, 
ajid it is safe to say that no student of Nature, in whatever 
depairtment, can explore it without being abundantly 

Cardiff covers an area of 8,408 acres, and during the 
present century its population has increased 170 fold, as 
will be seen from the subjoined table : — 



Inhab. houses. 


Ratable value. 























86 052 


206 656 








1897... . 

* Boath and Canton included in the borough, 1875. 
+ Registrar-Generarpe stimate. 

Cardiff is in the very centre, not only of the most popiilous 
part of Wales, but also of the part which shows the most 
rapid increase in its population. From the census retiums 
of 1891 it is apparent that within a radius of 25 miles of 
Cardiff there is a popidaticHi of 745,463, or three-sevenths of 
the whole population of Wales, and that within a radius of 
40 miles of Cardiff are collected four-sevenths of that popu- 
lation, or in round numbers a million inhabitants. 

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6 Guide to Cardiff, 

Ccming now to the town itself, we may describe its pbn 
as resembling, very roughly, a Greek or St. Greorge's cross 
with four equal arms. Standing at the centre, say near St. 
John's Church or the Castle, the districts called the Docks 
and Grangetown lie to the south ; Cathays, Plasnewydd, and 
Roath Park, to the north ; the main part of Roath, Splotr 
lands, and tiie Moors to the east; and Canton, with River- 
side, to the west. For the most part the leading thoroughfares 
look toward the four points of the compass. For example, in 
the middle of the town, St. Mary-street, with WorkLog-street 
and the Hayes on one side, and Westgate-street on the other, 
run north and south. In the Docks quarter this is true of 
the important thoroughfare called Bute-street; in Canton 
(with modifications) of Cathedral, King's, Severn, Ijlan- 
daff, and Clive Roads ; in Roath, of West-grove and Rich- 
mond-road, and of Castle-road, Glossop-road, and Clifton- 
street. Those which strike east and west are Co^ridge- 
road (over Cardiff Bridge) and Tudor-road (over Wood- 
street Bridge) on the Canton side of the town ; and Queen- 
street, leading on to Newport-road, and Adam and Constel- 
lation Sti'eets on the side of Roath. 

In proportion to the size of the town, CardiflF rejoices in a 
large number of district names^ some of which are of ancient 
origin, and — ^as witty old Thomas Fxiller said of the Pyra- 
mids — ^"'doting with age, they have forgotten their founders," 
and, we might add, their origin and meaning. Who, except- 
ing a v^ery young man, dare venture to dogmatise about the 
root and meaning of such puzzles to the etymologist as 
Cathays, Roath, Splott, Canton, the Hayes, all which and 
many more that could be mentioned have been at one time 
or another the subject of sharp and even virulent con- 

The visitor who desires to see Cardiff rapidly may do so 
from the top of tramcar or 'bus, and, adopting this method, 
we will take Route No. 1, boarding the Roath car at St. 
Jchn's-square. Leaving the square, we pass along the 
busy thoroughfare of Queen-street, which was formerly 
known as Crockherbtown, having to our left the Empire 
Music Hall, the Park-hall and Park-place, and Dumfries- 
place, leading to the Drill-hall, and to the right the TafT Vale 
Railway Station. The car now mns under the Taff and 
Rhymney Railway bridges, after which we pass, on the left 


Guide to Cardiff. 7 

ths Rhyroney Station, the University Collie, and Roath 
Wesleyan Chapel, and on the right Howard Gardens, where 
arc the School Board Offices and the Higher Grade Schools, 
and St. James's Church ; further on, upon Uie same side, the 
Infiimary, and on the left Roath Court, and the Harlequins' 
Grounds near the termination of the route. Newport-road, 
through which the cai' passes after leaving tiie railway 
bridges, is one of the ^est quarters of the town, abounding 
in handsome churches and private residences. 

^ Western Mail BuiLDiNus^^igi^i^g^byGoOglc 

8 Guide to Cardiff'. 

The Cathays train follows the same route as the Koath 
tram through Queen-street to Windsor-place, tlien passes 
the Presbyterian and St. Andrew^s Churches on the right, 
and so under the Taff Railway bridge to Crwys-road, this 
being the nearest tramcar approach to the Cemetery, Bar- 
racks, and Roath Park. 

The Docks tram may again be taken at St. JohnVsquare, 
passing St. John's Church and the Free Library on the 
right, and running through the Hayes, where there is the 
Batchelor statue and an open market, and further on, on the 
right, the Royal Arcade and the old Welsh Baptist meeting 
place. Tabernacle. The line now makes a sharp descent, 
and passes imder the Great Western Railway Bridge, so low 
that passengers are earnestly warned by word of mouth 
and printed notices to keep their seats, anid then a steep rise 
to the bridge over the junction water between the canal and 
the West Dock. The remainder of the run. is through 
the lengthy Butc^road, redolent of sailors and the foreign 
element in general, and where there is a bewildering variety 
of mercantile and oonfiular offices, seamen's boarding 
houses and shops. On the left will be noted the lofty flour 
mills of Messrs. Spillers and Bakers, on the right St. Mary's 
Church and the police-station; further down, on the left, 
the Docks Post-office and Board of Trade offices ; on the 
right James-street, which leads to the Clarence Bridge and 
Grangetown. The Merchants' Exchange is now passed, and 
the line terminati^s at the pier-head, whence the steam packet 
Marchioness starts daily for Bristol, and in the season 
numerous steamboat-s ply to Weston, Clevedon, Ilfracombe, 
and other points of interest along the Bristol Channel. 

Route No. 4 may be pursued by leaving the Docks and 
riding up Bute-street, turning off to the left at the Hayes 
Bridge. The car now sweeps round into the principal Car- 
diff tiioroughfare, the busy St. Mary-street, where the eye 
will instinctively rest on the imposing frontage of the Wes- 
tern Mail Buildmgs and the Conservative Club. On the left, 
as the car turns, is the Bute Mcmument and streets leading 
to Grangetown and the Great Western Station respectively. 
As the car passes up St. Mary-street, on the left will be seen 
^be Panopticon and the Theatre Royal, and, after passing 
Wood-street, the Royal Hotel. Wood-street gives a gUmpse 
of the large general establishments of the Tudor Printing 

Guide to Cardiff, 9 

Works and Walkey, Thomas and Co., at the comer of 
Tudor-road. Close by, but hidden from view, is the 
splendid new Post Ofl&ce, in Westgate-street. Further up 
St. Mary-street are the Royal and Central Arcades on 
the right, and on the left the Queen's Hotel, with Messrs. 

:^ - TB^-^m ta ^ : 

Bote Monument. 

Howell's great drapery premises opposite. On the 
left we now have the Town-hall and the old Post 
Office, and a httle further, on the right, a peep of the beau- 
tiful tower of St. John's. Passing now through High- 
street, and leaving the Castle and High-street Arcades on 
the left and right respectively, we sweep round /to the left, 

Digitized by V^OO^ 

10 Guide to Cardiff. 

having on the one side the Angel Hotel and on the other the 
Castle. Further on upon the left is the Cairdiff Arms Park, 
and on the right the Castle grounds. The rails now cross 
Cardiff Bridge, from which a charming view may be 
obtained up 3ie river Taff, which the visitor should by no 
means miss. We are now in the Riverside and Canton 
sections of the town, with the Sophia Gardens to the right, 
after which we pass the entrance to Cathedral-road, with its 
fine array of villa residences extending a good part of the 
way towards Llandaff. Following Cowbridge-road, the 
tram passes the Workhouse and County Police-station, and 
after a longish run lands its passengers within very easy 
walking distance of the pretty Victoria Park, and of Ely 
and its paper mills. 

Other tram rides with their own points of interest are to 
Grangetown, on the one hand, and Adamsdown and Splot- 
lands on the other, the latter near the Roath Dock and Dow- 
lais Iron Works and the other industries that cluster on the 
once soUtary East Moors. The above description merely 
indicates the principal routes which the pedestrian may vary 
or add to as much as he pleases, Cardiff having nearly 100 
miles of road from which he may make his choice. 

Taking the town as a whole, and bearing in mind its 
flatness, which detracts so much from picturesque effect, 
its general aspect is most pleasing, the brbad, busy 
streets, fine public buildings, extensive ^( business pre- 
mises, tasteful parks, and open space®, and hand- 
some private residences, combining to produce a pictme ^t 
once vivid and agreeable. The swing of life in Cardiff has 
something magnetic about it, and the more one sees of the 
town and of its vast docks and shipping the more one is con- 
vinced of the fact that here is a centre great in the present 
and gigantic in its coming probabilities. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 1 1 

t)i6toi1cal Sftctcb. 

Although Cardiff is generally called a modem town, its 
history dates back to epochs that are pre-historic. As a 
metropolis and leading port a few decades suffice to dironicle 

The Keep— Cardiff Castlk. 

Digitized by 


12 Guide to Cardiff. 

its progress ; but Cardiff in a lees pretentious form has been 
well described as a "time-notched British oak whose tap- 
root strikes deep into the under soil of a remote past, having 
a firm grasp on the age of 'brawny-armed Caractacus/ of 
the Roman, of the Saxon and the Dane, of the Norman and 
Ihe Plantagenet, of Llewelyn and of Owen Glyndwr, of the 
Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Georges — ^all of which Cardiff 
bears along, proudly conscious of the continuity of its heri- 
tage." Whether the all-oonquering Roman in his westward 
march found a British centre on the site of the future metro- 
polis of Wales may be questioned or accepted at the caprice 
of the antiquary; but it is certain that the invader 
established himself at Cardiff, and it is believed by some 
that in the Welsh name Caer Dydd — the camp of Didius — 
we have a trace of Aulus Didius, who, in the first century, 
planted the standard of Rome at the mouth of the Taff. 
Traces of the civilisation that flowed from the Imperial City 
are still to be found in the neighbourhood, and there is 
evidence that Roman Cardiff was a centre of some impor- 
tance in its day, perhaps not altogether without the accom- 
panying "culture." There is some probability that in Tibia 
Amnis and Tibia or Rhatostathybias the Roman names 
for Cardiff and the river on which it stands have been 
handed down to our own times; and it may be 
that the pedestrian through Queen-street, Duke-street, and 
thence westward is treading that famous thoroughfare, the 
Via Julia Maritima. 

On the withdrawal of the Roman legions, Cardiff reverted 
to the rule of the native chieftains, and became part of the 
great kingdom of Morganwg ; and for 600 years — from the 
end of the fifth to the end of the eleventh century — the place 
remained beneatii the sway of a succession of Welsh princes, 
fiercely contesting the incursions of the Saxons and the 
Danes, as their fathers had redsted the invasion of the 
Romans. Many a place-name on the coast bears witness to 
the presence of the fierce sea-rovers who swooped down with 
fire and sword, then sailed away with their booty to come 
again on a similar unwelcome errand. What with the 
Saxons and the Danes, and internecine bickerings, it is 
small wonder that Cardiiff first appears on the page of history 
as a fortified place. Another invader was now upon the 
threshold, one destined to leave a very different impression 

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Guide to Cardiff. 13 

on the district from the mere place-names of \he> Saxons and 
Danes. Hastings had been fought, and the Norman was 
more or less securely seated in England, when lestyn ap 
Gwrgan, the last of the lords of Morganwg, took the step 
which sealed the fate of British sovereignty at Cardiff. 

In 1090 (temp. William II.), *"Iestyn ap Gwrgan was 
engaged in a war with Rhys ap Tewdwr, lord of South 
Wales, and in an evil hour promised his daughter Nest in 
marriage to Einion, called the Traitor, if he would procure 
him Norman assistance. Einion accordingly was the means 
of bringing into Wales Sir Robert Fitzhamou and the twelve 
Norman Knights, from some of whom families in tliis 
county still trace their descent. The armies met at Hirwain. 
Rhys was defeated, and beheaded at a place thence called 
Pen Rhys to this day. Tte Normans were paid for their 
services, and embarked at Penarth to return home. There, 
however, they lay waiting for a fair wind, when the Traitor, 
who found his Prince unwilling to give him his daughter, 
persuaded them to return and seize the Lordship for them- 
selves. The fatal engagement took place at the Heath, 
lestyn fled to Somersetshire, Nest was given over to Einion, 
and Fitzhamon seated himself at Cardiff as Lord of Glamor- 
gan, in which capacity he issued several charters, still extant. 
The adventurers divided the county among them, but all 
had lodgings within the Castle of Cardiff. 

"The Lordship passed, by the marriage of Fitahamon s 
only daughter, into the hands of the Earls of Gloucester, and 
in a few years afterwards Cardiff became the scene of that 
historical imprisonment which brings its name into every 
History of England. In the year 1108, Henry I. having 
taken prisoner his eldest brother Robert, Duke of Nor- 
mandy, imprisoned him in Cardiff Castle, where he was con- 
fuied for 26 years, until his death in 1134. As he is said 
to have been at Devizes in 1128, when his son was killed, it 
is possible that he was occasionally allowed to change his 
abode. The authentic records concerning his imprisonment 
are very few and scanty, and it may be hoped that the gross 

* The paragraphs that follow m quotation marks are taken from a 
paper read before the Royal Archaeological Institute by the Marquess 
of Bute, which gives an excellent account of a dim and difficult 
period in the history of Cardiff. 

Digitized by 


14 Guide to Cardiff, 

cruelties, such as putting out his eyes, with which it is said 
to have been accompanied, are without actual foundatioQ. 
Such stories, however, were rife at the time, and in the year 
1119, when Pope Callixtus II. met Henry I. at Givors, he 
remonstrated with the King upon his treatment of hia 
brother. Henry replied that 'as for his brother, he had not 
caused him to be bound in fetters like a captive eaiemy, but, 
treating him like a noble pilgrim worn out with long suffer- 
ings, had placed him in a Royal Castle, and suppUed his 
table and wardrobe with all kinds of luxuries and delicacies 
in great abundance.' In 1134 Robert died at Cardiff, and 
is stated to have been carried to Gloucester, and buried witli 
great honours in the pavement of the Church before the 

The Hekbert Mansion. 

"In the year 1158, the Welsh, imder Ivor Bach, founder 
of Castell Coch and Morlais, are said to have resisted the 
oppression of the Normans by an armed and successful 
attack upon Cardiff. The Welsh Leader,' says Giraldus, 

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Guide to Cardif. 15 

'after the maimer of his people, had a property in the woods 
and mountains, of which the Earl of Gloucester strove to 
gain possession. The Castle of Cardiff is mightily def endea 
with walls which ring by night with watchmen's cries. It is 
garrisoned by 120 soldiers and a strong force of archers, and 
the paid retainers of the Lord fill the town. Nevertheless, 
the said Ivor placed ladders by stealth against the walls, 
gained possession, and carried off the Earl, the Countess, 
and their only son to his own woodland fastnesses, where he 
beld them prisoners till he, not only recovered that of which 
he had unjustly been deprived, but wrung from them con- 
cessions besides.' 

'In Cardiff came the first of those warnings which are 
said to have preceded the misfortunes of the later days of 
Henry II. Upon Low Sunday, in 1171, after Church the 
King was going out riding. An old man, yellow haired, 
with a round tonsure, thin, gaunt, clothed in white, bare- 
footed, addressed him in English, and bade him stay while 
he forbade him in the name of Christy of the Holy Virgin, 
of St. John the Baptist and St. Peter, to- tolerate throughout 
his reaihn buying and selling, or any work beside necessary 
cooking, on the Lord's day, 'which command if he should 
obey, his undertakings should be prosperous.' The King, 
in French, desired the groom who was holding lus horse to 
'ask the dod-hopper where he dreamt all that' ("inquire a 
rustico si ista sonmiaverit"). The question being put in 
English, the Seer answered in the same language that, 
whether he dreamt it or not, if the King rebelled against his 
message he shoidd hear that, within the year, of which he 
should suffer to the day of his death, and within the year, 
says the writer, he heard that his sons had leagued against 

"Under Edward I the Lordship of Glamorgan was 
assumed by the King on the pretence of a dispute about the 
boundary of the County at Morlais (which has only been 
settled in this nineteenth century), and he re-granted it with 
greatly weakened powers. Witli the death of Gilbert de 
Clare, Earl of Gloucester, killed by the Scotch at Bannock- 
bum, the Lordship of Glamorgan passed, through his eldest 
sister, to the De Spencers, to whose taste and munificence 
we owe the once splendid castle of Caerphilly— at that time 
a far more important town than this. 

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16 Guide to Cardiff. 

"In the year 1404, the town and castle of Cardiff were 
almost entirely destroyed by Owen Glyndwr. We ai*e told 
that he besieged the town and castle, and they that were 
within sent for help to the King, but he came not, nor sent 
them any succour. Owen then took the town of Cardiff, 
and burnt the whole of it except the street where the Grey 
Friars' Convent was, which street and convent he spared, 
because of his love for those brethren. Then he took the 
Castle, and destroyed it, and took away the great wealth 
which was therein, and the Grey Friars petitioned to have 
restored to them their books and chalices, which were in the 
Castle for safety, and he answered them : 'Wherefore have 
you stored your goods in the Castle ? If ye had kept them 
in your house they had been safe.' Isabel, heiress of the 
De Spensers, married secondly Eichard Beauchamp, Earl 
of Warwick, in the reign of Henry VI, In this fainily the 
Lordship remained till it went, by the Lady Anne of War- 
wick, wife of Ridbard Duke of Gloucester, to the Crown, 
when the Duke became Richard III. The Lordship passed 
with the Crown to Henr}'^ VII., who made a grant of it to 
Jasper, Duke of Bedford, but upon his decease it again 
reverted to the Crown, and descended to Henry VIII. Ed- 
ward VI. inherited it, and sold it to Sir William Herbert, 
afterwards Earl of Pembroke," fi-om whom it passed to the 
Earls of Windsor, and from them, by marriage, to the house 
of Bute. 

W^e shall elsewhere describe the Cardiff of those days, as 
well as can be done by aid of the rough plans and descrip- 
tions of the period. Proceed we now with our history, 
which must still be of a more or less fragmentary character, 
for Cardiff was small and in many ways a mere appen- 
dage to its castle. A hfting of the mist in the days of 
Queen Mary shows us a martyrdom in progress. High- 
street was the scene of the grim event. It was in 
1555 that Rawlins White, an aged fisherman, having em- 
braced Protestantism, gave great offence to the local authori- 
ties. He was seized, tried, and condemned to the stake, 
languishing meanwhile in the "very dark, loathsome, and 
most vile prison'* beneath the Cock's Tower. Foxe tells 
the story at some length, and, if his version be correct, 
Rawlins White went to his fiery doom with a serenity of 
faith that places him high in ihe role of the martyrs of the 
time. ^ , 

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Guide to Cao*diff. 17 

(From an Old Pinnt.) Digitized by GoOglc 

18 Guide to Cardiff', 

The mist closes again to lift under Elizabeth, when Cardiff 
appeared in a most unenviable light, as a nest of rioters and 
cut- throats. At this time the Bristol Channel v/as a favourite 
resort of smugglers, who gave much trouble to the Govern- 
ment. Women as well as men were actively engaged in 
defeating the Hevenue. In January, 1577, we find John 
Davids, J.P., excusing himself for not arresting Callice, the 
pirate, "as Cardiff is the general resort of pirates, where they 
axe sheltered and protected." "In April, however, in the 
same year, Fabiaa Phillips and Thomas Lewys detailed to 
the Council their proceedings in the examination of upwards 
of sixty of the pirates and their maintainers at Cardiff, and 
complained of the difficulties of their services, the towns- 
people being unwilling to give any information. A certain 
number of witnesses were, however, procured, and in the 
following year the Council obtained a confession from the 
men of Cardiff of their dealings in piracy, and a note is pre- 
served of the charges to be brought against the prisoners. 
Some miscarriage of justice must have taken place, if the 
same prisoners are meant when the Lords of the Admiralty 
vere asked, in 1629, for a Commission to try the twenty-three 
poor prisoners who then remained in Cardiff gaol for piracy. 
Iniquity at this dark period invaded even the judicial bench. 
In 1587, William Matthew, Justice of the Peace, being 
accused of the murder of Roger Phillips at Cardiff, sent in 
a medical certificate to say that his health was too delicate to 
allow him to appear, but the Council of the Marches com- 
plained that he had immediately gone to London." Such 
being the disorderly state of the place, it is not surprising 
to learn that 'in 1602 a brisk trade in cannon for the use 
of the Spaniards was being carried on. The guns were cast 
by cne Edmimd Matthews, at his furnace near Cardiff." 

The propinquity of Llandaff is sufficient proof that Chris- 
tianity must at a very early date have obtained a strong 
foothold at Cardiff. The present Church of St. John 
(described elsewhere) was erected early in the fifteenth 
century, and the Church of St. Mary, destroyed by flood in 
1607, was of still earlier date, and by all account a most 
imposing edifice. "On the north-west side of the town, 
between the castle and tlie river, Richard de Clare, Earl 
of Gloucester, in 1256 founded a monastery of Benedictine 
or Black Monks, the ruins of which stood some fifty or sixty 

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Guide to Cardiff. 19 

years ago, but eventually were swept away by the forward 
movement which has cuhninated in the creation of the new 
and greater Cardiff of to-day. Another of the De Clare* 
founded a house of Franciscan or Grey Friars on a site near 
the East Gate of the town. Here was buried Sir William 
Fleming, of Wenvoe, who was 'executed on a gibbet' for 
having judicially murdered Llewelyn Brenn of Caerphilly. 
Both the murderer and his victim were laid in the little 
churchyard at the Grey Friars. At the suppression of the 
religious houses, this convent became the possession of the 
Herbert family. Sir William Herbert re-built it, and made 
it his chief place of residence, and it was so used by his 
descendants for a long period. In the Parhamentary roll 
for 1585 we find the name of 'Nicholas Herbert, Friars.' 
In Llandaff Cathedral a monument is erected to the memory 
of Florence, the wife of William Herbert, of the White 
Fryers, in Cardiff, Esquire.' " 

The mention of the churches and rehgious houses, which, 
with the castle, bulked so large in olden Cardiff, leads us to 
inquire what the metropolis of Wales was like at the tima 
of which we have been speaking. We get our first real 
glimpse of the town in 1540, thanks to old Leland, who in 
his precious "Itinerary" thus speaks of what he quaintly calls 
Cairtaphe* : — 

The Town self of Oairtaphe as the principale of al Glamorguishira 
is well waullid, aud is by Estimation a Mile in Cumpaoe. In the 
wauUe be 5 Gates. First PortUongey, in Eagli»ah the Ship Gate, 
flat South. Then Porte Doure, in Englisch the Water Grate, by 
Southe Weste. The Port Miskin by North West, so caullid by cause 
it leaith the way into the Lordship of Miskin. Then Porte Sin- 
gibenith flat Noirth, so oaullid bycause that menne passe by it into 
Singhefuith. Then Porte Crokerton flat Est, so caullid of the 
Suburbe that joynith hard to it. 

The Cafltelle is in the North West sdde of the Town Waulle, and 
is a great Thing and a strong, but now in sum Ruine. 

Ther be 2 Uates to entre the Castelle, wherof the biggest is 
caullid £herehaui Gate, the other is caullid the Escheker Gate. 

There is by Shirhiaul Gate a great large Tour caullid White Tour ; 
wherin is now the Banges Armary. 

The Dungeon Tour is large and fair. 

* There were many vairious spelling of Oardiflf in eaxlv times,— 
thus Kardi, CaTdivia, Cardyfe, Cardif, Cardiffe, Caer fiyf, Oaer- 
diffe, Kirdive, Kaerdif, Kaer Dyf, Kaer Dyff, Kerdiff, Kerdyff, 
and Leland's Cairtaphe. The exact etymology of the word is still 
a puzzle. 

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20 Guide to Cardiff. 

The Castelle towiard the Town by Est and South is plaine, but 
it is dikid by Northe, and by West it is defended by Taphe River. 

There be certein Places in the Castelle limited to every one of 
the 13 Peres or Ejiightes that cam with Haymo Erie of Glocester 
in Kin 2 William Conquerors I>ayes and wan Glamorgan Cuntery. 
And eche of these be bound to the Castelle Garde. 

Ther be 2 Paroche Chirchis in the Towne, wherof the principale 
lyisiff sumwhat by Est is one, the other of our Lady is by Soutlie 
on the Water side. 

There is a Chapelle besides in Shoe-Maker Streat of S. Perine, 
and another hard within Meskin Gate side. 

Ther was a late a goodly Mansion in the Town oaullid Plaice 

The biggest Suburbe of the Town is caullid Crokerton, and ther 
was a House of Gray Freres. 

There is a nother Suburbe but lesse without PortUongy. 

The Blake Freres House was withowte Meskin Gate : and by side 
this is litle Building there. 

Leland also tells us in his quaint way that "the water of 
Taphe cummith so down from woddy hills, and often bring- 
gith down such logges and trees that the cunteiry wer not 
able to make up the Bridges if they were stone they should 
be so often broken." 

A few years later, in the time of tho gentle Edward, we 
get our first clear idea of the principal streets of Cardiff, from 
a Patent Roll of the third year of that monardi, wherein 
are mentioned : — 

"Le Est gate, Le Est strete, Le High strete, Le South gate. 
Duck strete, Werton strete (wherein is Cock*8 Tower), Churches of 
St. John and St. Mary." 

Yet another glimpse of Cardiff in the latter part of the 
sixteenth century is furnished by Rice Merrick, from whose 
description we quote the following paragraphs : — 

Within the Towne Walles are two Parishe Churches. The one 
called St. John's, being a faire Church, with two Ildes, standing 
upon bossed and embowed Pillers of faire free stone: and the 
Chan<!ell. compassed with two faire Ildes. And in the West end 
a very faire Steeple of gray Ashlere, with fewer gates of ffree-stone, 
very workmanly wrought, standing upon 4 strong Pillers, under- 
propping the same: iSe worlananshipp of it. being carryed to a 
great heighth, and above beautifyed with Pinnacles, of all skilful 
behoulders is very well liked of. It was made in Ano Dni . . . 
by . . . Hart, a Mason, who made the Tower of Wrexam, and 
of St. Stephen's in Bristow. This Churcli standeth not far from the 
Middle of the Towne. 

The other, called St. Mary's Church, which is of farre greater 
Antiquity, supposed to be of som Religion. »tandeth in the South- 
west part of the Towne, the yard wherof reached neera^he Kay, to 

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Guide to Cardiff, 


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22 Guide to Cardiff. 

which alsoe the Inhabitants, before that Cardilf was enlarged, as 
before ia said, were Pariahioners. To this Church is annexed the 
Church or Chappell of Roth, for therein they have their Ghristen- 
iBg, Mairiage, and Burjall. The Castle of Cardiff standeth within 
this Parish. 

Within the towne walls weiie two Ohappells: the one called the 
Shoemaker's Chappell, being of verv "high building, yet standeth 
in *Shoomaker's Streete; the other hard by the West Gate, now 
de^iyed, for a staires for the Castle is there made. 

Without the West Gate was a house of black ffryers, founded 
by Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, and sometime Lord of 
Glamorgan Anno 1256. 

And without the North Gate, Gilbert de Clare, being Lord of 
Glamorgan, founded the Gray ffryers, wherein Sir William Herbert, 
Knight, hath builded a house of late. 

The Towne is very well compacted, beautifyed with many fair* 
Houses and large Streetes, it \a almost Square, is Quadrant, but 
more in length from the South toward the North, then t^e other 

Li the Cheife Streete, called the High Streete, standech a faire 
Towne Hall, wherein is holden the Towne Court, every ffortnight. 
Adjoyning to the same, is a faire Shambles below, wherein Victualls 
aj:e sould : And above, a faire great Chamber, where ye Aldermen 
and Magistrates vse to consult: And under the Hall is the Prison 
wherein offenders and misdoers are committed, which is called 

And in the South part of the Guild Hall is a Chamber wherein 
Juryes, being Sworne, remeyne ; and such as are committed, con- 
vict upon executions. 

In the South part of the Guild Hall, in the middle of 4 Crosse 
wayes, is built a faire Crosse, Quadrant, with gristes, covered over 
with lead ; under which, and neere abouts, is the Come Markett, 
twice kept weekely, viz., on Wednesday and Saturday. 

Li the Higii Streete, which extendeth from the Guild Hall north- 
ward toward the Castle, being a faire and wide Streete, is kept 
Moxkett. for all other necessaries to be sould as aforesaid. 

Merrick gives sone other details, and mentions Cockes- 
tower (referred to in the Patent Roll above), which he says 
was built to defend the town against the danger of the sea. 

The first map of CardiflF was drawn up by the celebrated 
Speed (who, by-the-bye, calls it "the fairest towne of all 
South Wales") about tlie year 1610. It is after the pic- 
turesque manner of the time, and has for us to-day intense 
interest. It will be seen on careful examination that Car- 
diflF under James the First was, so far as concerns the lie 
of its streets, not so very different from the Cardiif of the 
dose of the nineteenth century, of course, making every 
allowance for difference in size and for the changes incident 
rn three hundred years. The late Mr. J. S. Corbett drew 

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Guide to Cardiff', 23 

up for the British Association Handbook the following com- 
parison : — 


Smithes Stret Part of Queen Street 

Shoemakers Stret Duke Street 

West Stret Part of Castle Street and part in 

Castle Gardens 
Back Stret Part of Castle Street and ground 

between same and Castle wall 
Hummanbye Stret Womanby Street 

St. John's Stret Church Street 

High Stret . High Street and St. Mary Street 

North Stret North Street 

Working Stret Working Street. St. John's Sq., 

and (?) Trinity Street 
Porrag Stret Wharton Street 

Frogg Lane Golate 

St. John's Church 

Castle Lane Entrance to Castle 

Towne Hoi:>e Removed to another site in centre 

of High Street 
Duke Str«t Part of Queen Street 

The Pooies Relief e Now removed 

Besides the above, the map indicates the position of the 
"Castell," and in its precincts the "Shire Hall," the "Black 
fryers," "The Key," "S. Maryes," "Cokkerton Stret," "The 
Spittle," and the four gates. The Herbert mansion is also 
plainly delineated, the town walls, and the course of the 
river, then very (Merent from what it is now. Cokkerton 
is short for Crockherbtown, the old name for the district 
traversed by Queen-street, and where the growing of herbs 
in crocks was largely carried on. Porrage-street existed till 
recent times as Porridge-lane, and Frog-lane was also extant 
a quarter of a century ago. 

Of the buildings extant at the time when Speed drew his 
celebrated map, only St. John's Church and the Castle 
remain : all the rest are long since swept away or exist only 
in the form of the most fragmentary ruins. Very sad waa 
the fate of St. Mary's Church, which stood close to the 
present Western Mail Buildings. St. Mary's was older 
and finer than St. John's, cruciform, and, doubtless, a noble 
edifice. It, however, had long been threatened by the turbu- 
lent Taff, and at length succumbed to the great flood of Janu- 
ary, 1607, which did such fearful damage along the coasts 
of the Bristol Channel. A tract of the time gives a viviA 

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24 Guide to Cardiff, 

description of the flood, which "the like never in the memory 
of man hath ever bin seen or heard of." Hundreds of people, 
not to mention cattle, were washed away and drowned. 
"The names of some of the Towns and Villages which 
snflFered great harmes and losses hereby were these, viz : — 
Bristoll, and Aust, all the conntreys along both sides of the 
Severn from Gloster to Bristoll, Chepstowe, Goldclift, 
Matheme, Cahcot Moores, Redrift, Newport, Cardiffe, 
Swansey, Laughame, Llanstephan. The foundations of 
many Churches and Houses were in a manner decayed and 
some carried quite away, as in Cardiffe, in the Coimtie of 
Glamorgan, there was a great part of the Church next the 
water side beaten downe with the water. Divers other 
Churches lie hidden in the waters, and some of them the 
tops are to be seen^ and some other nothinge at al to be 
seen but the very Tops of the Steeples, and of some of them 
nothinge at al." Jenkins, in his "History" (1854), observes, 
"Many of the present inhabitants remember having seen 
human bones and fragments of coffins protruding from the 
banks on the eastern side of the river as the action of the 
water gradually carried away the soil." 

In 1608 a charter — the la&t of a series of four- 
tc^eu: — was granted to Cardiff by King James, and 
a word may here be said of these documents as 
a whole. The earliest survi\dng charter dates from 1339, 
and was gi-anted by Hugh Le Despencf:r, lord of Glamorgan 
and M organwg. The charter speaks of a still more ancient 
one granted by Lord William La Zouch, and which "con- 
firmed to our Burgesses of our Town of Cardiff, a certain 
plot of land in the High Street of Cardiff, containing forty- 
and six feet in length and twenty and six feet in breadth, 
which plot of land adjoins to the tenement lately belonging 
to Edward Kyngot on the north side, as is known to the 
aforesaid Burgesses by certain bounds for building a house 
upon the aforesaid plot of land called SothaU, so that we the 
aforesaid William and Eleanor our wife, and our heirs, from 
henceforth shall have in the same house a fit and sufficient 
place for holding and pleading all pleac by our Provosts of 
the Town aforesaid in that place as well of the annual Fairs 
there as of other pleas, and also for the receiving of all Tolh 
of every kind of Merchandize in the same place, and that the 
Burgesses of our Town aforesaid shall have all kinds of pro- 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff, 25 

fits arising from the said house for the building and main- 
taining of that house." Most of the witnesses to the charter 
were Normans, the exceptions being Llewelyn ap Kenwrek 
and Thomas ap Aron. The same Hugh Le Despencer 
granted another charter in 1359 exempting the burgesses of 
Cardiff from "murrage," "pontage," "pannage," "terrage," 
'kayage," "pickage," and other dues, the levy of which con- 
tributed to make interesting the Uves of our ancestors. By 
this charter bailiffs, ale-tasters, and other officers were 
appointed, common lands marked out, bounds of th« 
borough and its two fairs confirmed, the first of the latter 
being for fifteen days after "the Nativity of St. John the 
Baptist," and the second at the "Feast of the Nativity of the 
Blessed Mary." Amongst the witnesses to this document 
were the Abbots of Maxgam and Neath, both flourishing 
monasteries at this time; John de Coventry, Archdeacon 
of Llandaff ; Edward De Stradlynge, and William Fleming. 
"In 1455 Henry VI. granted the town a charter in considera- 
tion of 'the great loyalty' of the burgesses, a grace from 
which they fell imder the Stuarts. Elizabeth granted a 
charter in 1600, 'confirming and ratifying all the previous 
charters.' " King James's charter of 1608 describes Cardiff 
as "a very ancient and populous town," and appoints twelve 
life aldermen and a "seneschal" or steward. Welsh and 
English appear to have been about equally divided in the 
Caidiff of those days, and evidence is still extant that at 
times racial prejudice ran high. Of Cardiff's charters seven 
are still extant and in tirie keeping of the Corporation. The 
older ones are written in abbreviated Latin, and the cali- 
graphy is perfectly distinct. 

Cardiff had its share of trouble during the Civil Wars. 
The town and castle were occupied alternately by different 
factions, and the Castle was cannonaded by the Round 
heads from a position near Plasturton. "It is said, accord- 
ing to a tradition which still exists, that it was eventually 
token in consequence of the desertion of a soldier from tlie 
castie to the besiegers, who, on condition of a large reward, 
promised to show a secret subterraneous passage which oom- 
mimicated with the castle beneath the bed of the river Taff , 
by which means the garrison was surprised during the night. 
Cromwell having obtained the castie, the soldier demanded 
his reward, when he immediately ordered him to be hung a£ 

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26 Guide to Cardiff. 






Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff'. 27 

a reward for his treachery." How far this story is correct 
it is impossible now to say, but the secret passage, the traitor, 
and his reward, find a parallel in other incidents of that 
exciting period. We shall not here trace in detail the stir- 
ring events of the Civil War so far as they relate to Cardiff. 
They culminated in a great battle near St. Fagan's, which 
was fought on the 8th of May, 1648, and ended most disas- 
trously for the Royalists. Thousands were killed or made 
prisoners, and so great was the carnage, that, according to 
tradition, "the waters of the river Ely were red with blood 
on the day of the battle.*' 

Subsequent to the battle the following incident occurred, 
significant as showing the kindly feeling entertained by the 
Welsh towards their English kinsmen : — "Sir E. Stradling 
of St. Donats, and his kinsman Sir Edward Came of 
Osmand's Ash, alias little Nash, took vigorous parte in this 
fighte, commanding atwixt them 4,000 men, fed and cloathed 
by themselves at their own proper cost. The latter was well 
nigh falling a sacrifice to the hatred of his Countrie men to 
the Saxon tongue, for returning towards his home after ye 
close of ye Battel fatigued and sore wounded, the Bridge 
over ye Taffe being broken down, he demanded of a Welsh- 
man (speaking in the English Tongue) where most safely 
he could forde across the Stream ; the latter directly replied, 
'Keep straight on, for that is the shortest and best way to 
thy home.' Sir Edward, not suspecting any artifice, went 
ahead to the river bank, but before entering the Stream 
addressed a few words of direction and advice to his Soldiers 
in the Welsh language. His former Guide, seeing that he 
was not an Engli^ Knight, directly called out to him not to 
enter the River in that place, as there was a most dangerous 
Whirl Pool in that locality, and disclosed that he had pur- 
posely advised him there to crosse in ye hope that he might 
there lose his life, but, finding he was a true Cambrian, he 
hastened to prevent his fulfiUing his first directiens : there 
did he escape certain death." 

Religious and political differences entered fiercely into the 
life of the old days. The unwisdom of the Stuarts drove 
forth William Erbury, vicar of St. Mary's, and sowed at 
Cardiff the seeds of Nonconformity, and in 1640 the first 
Dissenting cause is said to have commenced. The Puritans, 
on their part, when in power, were not slow in making their 

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28 Gaide to Cardiff, 

influence felt, as the Rev. Theodore Price, A.M., Vicar of 
Cardiff and Koaih, could testify, who was sequestered and 
narrowly escaped hanging, but was restored when the King 
came back to enjoy his own again. Walter Cradock is a 
famous Nonconformist name of a turbulent period, and 
mention should also be made of John ap John, the Quaker, 
who was imprisoned at Cardiff in 1655 for annoying the 
authorities, of the large number of persons who were incar- 
cerated for refusing to take the oath of allegiance, and of 
Philip Jones and John Lloyd, who, in 1679, were hanged, 
drawn, and quartered for the heinous offence of being 
Roman CathoHc priests. In later days the genial influence 
of Bishop Watson, of Whitfield, and of Wesley, descended 
upon Cardiff, and it is pleasant to note that the latter 
preached many times in the town, and received almost from 
the first the greatest courtesy and attention. 

''In the seventeenth century, at the time of the Restora- 
tion, Cardiff suffered from great depression in trade. It had 
a strong rival just then in Caerphilly, a town which com- 
manded a large agricultural area, and had its markets or 
fairs every three weeks. Against this privilege Cardiff 
stoutly protested, and on its petitioning the authorities the 
monopoly which Caerphilly had set up was abolished. Pro- 
bably also the support Cardiff had given to foreign pirates 
and its disloyalty to Charles contributed to the decay of its 
trade. But Cardiff had evidently entered upon a lengthy 
period of commercial depression, and its trade showed few 
signs of revival until the commencement of the present cen- 
tury." The festivities connected with the visit of the Duke 
of Beaufort in 1684 and the great storm of 1703 are events 
connected with this period that serve to break the monotony 
of a long series of years. 

With the close of the eighteenth century a great change 
commenced in the fortunes of the place, before dealing with 
which wo may for a moment glance at the state of Cardiff 
as evidenced from its first Directory published in 1796, 
a copy of which rare work is one of the local treasures of the 
Free Library. The Cardiff Directory of to-day, published 
by the Western Mail Limited, is an imperial octavo of some 
560 closely printed pages. The directory of 1796 is a duo- 
decimo of 24 pages, and these in large and spreading typs. 
The title of the little book runs as follows: — "A Corn- 

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Cruide to Cardiff'. 











■ 2 




Uigiy^flfiy Google 

30 Guide to Cardiff. 

plete Directory and Guide to the Town and Castle of Car- 
diff, Tlie Surrounding Villages, Grentlemen's Seats, and 
Remarkable Places. Printed for and sold by J. Bird, 
adjoining the Castle Gate, Cardiff, 1796." This Mr. Bird, 
it appears, came from Cowbridge, and set up the first Car- 
diff printing-press. Cardiff (the directory informs us) 
carried on a ''considerable trade" with Bristol, and it was 
expected that the "curious navigable canal" then lately 
opened at Merthyr would result m "great quantities of pit 
coal" being "sent to Bristol and other places at much cheaper 
rates than were ever known." Little did the compiler think 
that one hundred years later Cardiff would be the first coal 
port in the world, and the premier of all ports for foreign 
-clearances ! 

"The very best tinplates" were made at "an extensive 
work called Meliin Griffith," and sent to Bristol to the 
amount of 13,000 boxes annually, of 225 plates a box. Car- 
diff then boasted one church, a "Presbyterian meeting-house, 
and also one for the followers of the late Mr. Jolm. Wesley." 
Cardiff had two weekly markets, Wednesday and Saturday, 
which were well supplied; fairs on June 29, Sep. 19, Nov. 
30; "high markets" on the second Wednesday in March, 
April, and May, and a "new cattle market every Saturday." 
The mail-coach came to the Angel Inn every evening about 
■eight o'clock from London, Bristol, and other parts to the 
eafitward, and set off for London every morning about five 
o'clock. The post office was open every day from eight 
in the morning till eleven at night. Li the directory proper 
nine people f^ under the head of "gentry," viz, "Thomas 
Bridges, Esq. (F.), Miss Bates, Miss Basset^ Mr. Bourne 
(F.), Miss Petre, Miss Priest, John Richards, sen., Esq. 
(F.), John Richards, jun., Esq. (F.), William Tait, Esq. 
{F.), ironmaster." F. stands for freeholder. The "clergy" 
were two in number — ^the Rev. Sam. Molyneaux Lowder 
(vicar) and the Rev. Thcs. Prichard. Then follow five 
physicians (including "Charles Vachell, chymist, druggist, 
and apothecary"), five attorneys, and about 130 "traders," 
&c. John Bird himself is described as "Printer and Book- 
seller, Clerk to the Marquess of Bute, Agent to the Phoenix 
Fire Office, Bristol Tontines, <fec." Jdin Bradley was 
^'Post-master, Mail Contractor, and Innkeeper (Aiigel)." 
John Stubbs was "Peruke-maker, Bleeder, and Toothdrawer." 

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Guide to Cardiff. 31 

The following hostelries are mentioned, besides the Angel: 
— Three Castles, Ship, Ship and Castle, Globe, Three 
Cranes, Red Cow, King's Head, Mason's Arms, Old Green 
Dragon, Unicom, Cardiff Arms Inn, Five Bells, Cardiff 
Boat, and Three Tuns. 

These notes from the oldest Cardiff directory may be use- 
fully supplemented by details gleaned from various sources, 
and which throw the town of a hundred years ago into 
curious contrast with the state of things to-day. The govern- 
ing body at that time consisted of The Constable of the 
Castle, Two Bailiffs, Twelve Aldermen, Twelve Chief Bur- 
gesses, together with a Steward, two Sergeants at Mace, 
Town-derk, Deputy Town-derk, two Cammon Attomies, 
Water BaiJiff, two Toll-gatherers, Keepers of the Cross and 
Clerks of the Markets, Clerk of the Shambles Market, Toll- 
gather and Keeper of the Cattle Market and Fairs, Ale- 
taster and Town Crier. There were also a chief and second 
constable and twelve inferior constables. Petty sessions 
were held every Monday and Thursday, and a court of 
reoordi every Thursday before the Bailiffs. Justice was 
administerea at the Town-hall, which was entered from 
High-street by two flighi<s of stone steps, with iron rail and 
ornamental banisters. Between those steps was the entrance 
to the market beneath the hall. At the south end was a 
small portion walled off as the debtors' prison. Persons 
confined therein could only be released when the creditors 
were satisfied. From the prison beneath the haJl in 1788 
four prisoners, two men and two women, made their exit in 
a daring manner. The escape was effected in the early 
hours of a July morning ; 'Tbut by the immediate exertions 
of the keeper's wife and her assistants (the keeper being from 
home attending the quarter sessions at Neath) they were 
piu^ued, re-taken, and brought back, after a chase of about 
five miles. They effected their escape by the aid of a small 
iron bar, which they took out of one of the windows, and with 
which they worked two large holes in the walls." 

Adjoioing the Town-hall were two houses — one, a public- 
house, the "Shoulder of Mutton" ; the other (facing St. Maiy- 
street), an old fashioned shop with oak mullion windows, 
lead lights, and castellated parapets The principal business 
was done in High, Duke, Angel, Womanby, Quay, and 
Church Streets. At the markets the old measures were 

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32 (ruide to Ca/i'diff, 

adhered to, for instance, the bushel, or "llestrad," of IBSlbs; 
peck, or "ewer llestrad," 421bs. ; and "pedwran" lO^lbs. 
There were two bakehouses, one in St. John's-square, the 
other in St. Mary-street. The standard measure of length 
was a hazel yard stick. Cardiff farmers' wives went periodi- 
cally to Bristol to sell their com and poultry. A prime 
goose at Cardiff sold for 2s. 6d., at Bristol 4s. ; a couple of 
ducks, Cardiff 3s., Bristol 4s. 6d. ; a couple of fowls, Cardiff 
2^., Bristol 3s. 9d., and so on. The local public-houses of 
the period were the Cross Keys, Prince Regent, Unicom, 
Mason's Arms, Three Cranes, Red Lion, Wellington, Rose 
and Crown, Glove and Shears, Crown and Anchor, New 
Green Dragon, Old Green Dragon, Rummer Tavern, Three 
Tuns, Angel Hotel, Globe, Cardiff Arms, Five Bells, White 
Lion, and Star and Garter. There was no lack of means 
of refreshment, and it is, therefore, pleasant to learn that 
"the above houses were well conducted and the inhabitants 
were sober and industrious. Many of the landlords were 
intelligent and communicative, and most of them took in a 
weekly newspaper. Houses of a better class had their par- 
lour frequented by gentlemen and tradesmen of the town. 
This room to them was a literary and scientific institution, 
and occasionally, to relieve the monotony, the visitors would 
sing a social and convivial song. The old gentlemen would 
quaff each other in a silver tankard of foaming mild ale. 
Such were the old times." 

This is a pleasant picture, drawn by an old in- 
habitant, the late Alderman Winstone. Here is an 
incident related by Donovan, the traveller: — ^'^'I sup- 
pose you are a stranger to Cardiff,' said one of the 
servants of the Angel Inn, with a supercilious air not easily 
described, when I once complained that a guinea was cer- 
tainly too much for a veiy indifferent bed with which my 
hostess had accommodated me in an adjacent house the pre- 
ceding night. 'Surely' (I made answer), *although such a 
sum vcia.y be given during the time of the races or the assizes, 
that cannot be a customary charge.' *Not a constant 
charge. I grant, repHed the girl, 'but a common one when 
the town is full of company, I assure you.' " This girl, with 
her business-like air, was no unworthy predecessor of the 
multitudinous Cardiff Hebes of to-day. Could the fastidious 
Donovan re-visit the glimpses of the moon, he would be sui*- 

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Guide to Cardiff, 


Cardiff in 1830. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

34 Guide to Cardiff. 

prised to find that even his presence would excite less 
commoition than of yore, and that any of the multitude of 
hotels, restaurants, and what not, would put him up without 
troubling "an adjacent house," and do it reasonably, too. 

The St. John's Chm'ch of our grandfathers had no galleries, 
only closed boxed up pews, many belonging to the freehold 
houses, others being private property oould be sold or let. 
The workhouse, on the site of the National Provindal 
Bank, was commodious, and the people happy. There, in 
1815, was established the first free school. Opposite the 
workhouse was the gaol, and dose to it the "drop," where, 
in 1808, one Grimes paid the dread penalty for the murder 
of an old woman at Merthyr. 

At this period, of course, communication with the outer 
world was tedious. A London paper cost lOd., a letter 
from London Is. The post for Merthyr left three times a 
week, till some daring spirit was able to effect a daily des- 
patch. The mail coach stopped at the Angel, where was an 
appropriate wooden effigy of a celestial messenger. Cardiff 
had two market gardens, and these supplied Merthyr with 
vegetables. "The shops and house© were of whimsical archi- 
tecture, some with high and low gable fronts, storey project- 
ing above storey, oak mullion and lead casement windows, 
and a colonnade if some important person had lived there." 
Such are some glimpses of Cardiff when George the Third 
was King. 

When the census of 1801 was taken, Cardiff had 327 
houses (mostly of the cottage type), and a population of 
1018. It has now a population estimated in round num- 
bers at 170,000 souls. What produced this marvellous 
revolution? The answer lies in the geographical position of 
the town. Cardiff, lying at the mouth of the Taff Valley, 
furnished the most easily accessible outlet for the products 
of the Hill districts ; and in addition it possessed natural 
advantages, in the shape of a roadstead, a harboxu:, and a 
river, affording some facilities, in the shape of wharves and 
quays, for the shipment of coal and iron. Previous to 1798 
the produce of the surrounding coim^try was brought down 
from the Hills to Cardiff on tibe backs of mules. But the 
indomitable and sagacious spirits who at that time were 
laying the foundation of those great industries of Glamor- 
ganshire, which have since become famous tliroughout the 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cmxliff, 35 

world, chafed at the narrow bounds within which their opera^ 
tions were confined by this insufficient means of transport. 
Tlie result was that in 1790 an Act was obtained for the con- 
struction of a canal from Mei-thyr Tydfil to Cardiff, and in 
1798 that imdertaking (the "carious navigable canal" of the 
directory) was completed and extended to a sea lock con- 
necting it with the Bristol Channel. The total length of the 
canal — ^with which the name of the Crawsliays of Cyfarthfa 
will ever be identified — ^is 25^ miles ; and the engineering 
difficulties which had to be overcome in its construction may 
be inferred from the fact that the head of the canal at Mer- 
thyr is 568 feet higher than the sea lock at CardiflF, necessi- 
tating the formation of 50 locks ia its course. The canal 
is still used for the conveyance of minei'als and merchandise, 
despite the more expeditious methods of transport with 
which it has of late years had to compete. It has quite 
lately been improved throughout its whole length, it has 
been thoroughly dredged, and new wharfage provided, and 
steam barges may now be seen plying on its surface. 

Excellent as was the progress made by Cardiff, tlianks 
to this engineering feat, it was as nothing compared to th© 
results that flowed from the formation of docks. The first 
move in this direction was made by the second Marquess 
of Bute, the noble, clear-sighted, indomitable man to whom, 
above all, Cardiff owes her present proad position. Bom 
in 1793, of a noble and glorious lineage, the Marquess had 
also those business and commercial instincts tliat in these 
days stand a man in better stead than the highest ancestry. 
Succeeding to his estates when but 21 years old, he turned 
from the gilded paths of power to develop his extensive pro- 
perty. He recognised the vast importance to Cardiff of the 
mineral wealth of the "hinterland," and projected a great 
dock, which after many difficulties was opened in 1839. As 
the Glamorganshire Canal gave Cardiff the first impidse, 
so the second and mightier impulse arose from this under- 
taking, to achieve which the Marquess, confident in the 
outcome, brought himself near to ruin. But the result has 
far more than justified his exertions, and the "mean village" 
of 90 years ago is now one of the brightest commercial orna- 
ments of the Empire, one of the premier ports of the civilised 

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Guide to Cardiff. 

The Old Town House. 

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Guide to Cardif. 



I John Price 
1 John Price 
John Price 

CHAIILES n. 1660-1685. 
ni Bussey Mangel 
U-78 Sir Richard Lloyd 

(June) Robert Thomas, net Lloyd 

J Sir Robert Thomas, Bart. 
Sir Robert Thomas, Bart. 
1681 Bussey Mansel 

JAMES n. 1685-1689. 
^ Francis Gwyn 
I Thomas Mansel 

WM. & MABY 1689-1694. 
690-95 Thomas Mansel 

WmiAH m. 1694-1702. 

1696-98 Thomas Mansel 
1698-1700 Sir Edward StradUng, Bart. 
1700-1 Mr Edward Stradllng, Bart. 
1701-2 Thomas Mansel 

ANNE 1702-1714. 
1702-5 Thomas Mansel 
1705-8 Thomas Mansel 
1706 Sir John Aubrey, Bart., vice Mansel 


Members of Parliament for the Borough of Cardiff from 33 Henry VIH. to the 
passing of the Beform Act, 1882. 

HENBY Vin. 1509-1547. 
1536 The return for this Parliament, 

when Wales first returned 

Members, is lost. 
1542-44 John Bassett, Inner Temple 

EDWABD VI. 1547-1558. 

1547-52 John Cokk 

1548 Sir Ph. Hoby. rice Cokk 

1552-58 David Edwards 

MABY I. 1553-1558. 

1553 David Evans 

1554 David Evans 
1554 William Colchester 
1556 Return lost 
1557-58 Lysanno ap Ryse 

ELIZABETH 1558-1608. 

•69 Return lost 
7 Henry Lewis 

Henry Morgan 
) David Roberts 
\ Nicholas Herbert 
7 George Lewis 
) Gabriel Lewis 
J David Roberts 
) Nicholas Hawkins 

WilUam Lewis 

JAMES I. 1603-1625. 
)4-ll Matthew Davles 
[4 Matthew Davles 
81-22 "William Herbert 
J4-25 William Price 

CHABLES I. 1625-1649. 

William Price 

William Price 

I I^ewis Morgan 

WUlIam Herbert 

h58 William Herbert 

Algernon Sidney, mce Herbert 

COMMONWEALTH 1649-1659. 

GEOBOE I. 1714-1727 

Sir Edward Stradling, Bart. 
Edward Stradling 
(Jan.) Hon. Bussey Mansel vice 
Stradling (deceased) 

GEOBGE n. 1727-1760. 

Hon. Bussey Mansel 

Hon. Herbert Windsor 

(Feb.) Herbert Mackworth, «c« 

Windsor a Peer 
Herbert Mackworth 
Herbert Mackworth 
Herbert Mackworth 

GEOBGE m. 1760-1820. 

1818-20 Lord Patrick James Herbert 
Crichton Stuart (commonly 
called Lord James Stuart) 

GEOBGE IV. 1820-1830. 

1820-26 Wyndham Lewis 

1826-30 Lord Patrick James U. C. Stuart 

WILLIAM IV. 1830-1837. 

1830-81 Lord Patrick James H. C. Stuart 
1831-32 Lord J'atrick James H. C. Stuart 

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Guide to Cardiff. 

Hemben of Parliament for the XTnited Boroucha of CardiiF, Cowbrldge, and 
Llantriwnt since the paaalng of the Eeform Aot, 1832. 

1882-Deo. 18. 

NlchoU, J., D.C.L 

Stuart, iMrdP.J.H. 


Nlcholl, J.,: D.C.L 

Majority 141 

C — 

Nlcholl, J.. D.C.L C - 

Nlcholl, J., D.C.I C - 

On Dr. Nlcholl becoming Judge 
Advocate General. 


Nlcholl, fit. Hon. J - 

Nlcholl, Kt. Hon. J - 

Coffin, Walter 

Ifiehotl.IU. Hon J.. 



Majority. . 


Crichton Stuart, J. F. D 


Crichton Stuart. J. F. D 

• L — 
L — 


Crichton Stuart, J.F. D L 


Crichton Stuart, J. F. D... 
Gifard H., UC 


Majority 450 


Crichton Stuart, J F. D L— 2780 

Giffard, H., Q.C .0-2771 

Heed, E.J. . 

Guent.A- E.. 


Reed, Sir E. J 
Harben, H. ... 

Majority 848 



Majority 140 


Reed Sir E. J L— 6708 

LUtcellyn J. T. IJ C— 4(45 

Majority 863 


Reed, Sir E. J 
Brand, Hon. H R 

Reed. Sir E. J 
Gvnn, J , 

Majority 34£ 


Majority 686 

Maclean, J. M. . 
Reed Sir £ J.. 



Majority 824. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 39 


The following is a list of the Mayors who have held 
office in the Borough of Cardiff since the passing of the 
Municipal Corporation Act, 1835: — 

1835-36 Thomaa Revel Guest 1867-68 Richard Lewis Reece 
1856-37 Charles Crofts Williams 1868-69 Thomas Evans 
1837-38 Henry Morgan 1869-70 Edward Whiffen 

1838-39 Charles Crofts Williams 1870-71 Charles Williams David 
1839-40 Richard Reece 1871-72 Charles Williams David 

1840-41 David Evans 1872-73 Henry Bowen 

1841-42 Jame« Lewis 1873-74 WilUam Vachell 

1842-43 Charles Crofts Williams 1874-75 Daniel Jones 
1843-44 John Moore 1875-76 Daaiiel Jones 

1844-45 William Jonas Watson 1876-77 Joseph Elliott 
1845-46 Ridhard Reece 1877-78 William Taylor 

1846-47 James Lewis 1878-79 Daniel Lewis 

1847-48 Richard Leviis Reeoe 1879-80 John McConnochie 
1848-49 Walter Coffin 1880-81 Rees Jones 

1849-60 Charles Vachell 1881-82 Alfred Thomas 

1850-61 William Bird 1882-83 Gains Augustine Stone 

1851-52 Griffith PhUlips 1883-84 Robert Bird 

1852-53 William Williams 1884-85 Andrew Fulton 

1853-54 John Batchelor 1885-86 David Edgar Jones 

1854-55 David Lewis 1886-87 Sir Morgan Morgan 

1855-56 Charles Vachell 1887-88 Thomas Windsor Jacobs 

1866-57 Sydney Dan Jenkins 1888-89 David Jones 
1857-58 Charles Crofts WilUams 1889-90 William Sanders 
1858-59 Charles Crofts Williams 1890-91 The Most Hon. The 
1859-60 William Alexander Marquess of Bute, K.T. 

1860-61 Charles Williams David 1891-92 Thomas Rees 
1861-62 Oharies Williams David 1892-93 Wm. Edmund Vaughon 
1862-63 John Bird 1893-94 W. J. Trounce 

1863-64 John Bird 1894-95 Patrick William Carey 

1864-65 James Pride 1895-96 Tlie Right Hon. Lord 

1866-66 Wm. Bradley Watkins Windsor 

1866-67 Charles Williams David 1896-97 Ebenezer Beavaui 

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40 Guide to Cardiff. 

Cardiff Railway Compant's Offices. 

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Guide to Cardiff, 41 

Z\)c port an& ©ocfts* 

The commercial impcMrtance of Cardiff is due so much to 
its docks that no guiae would be complete without a some- 
what detailed reference to the port and its various features. 
Tliough maritime Cardiff is of modem growth, it has enjoyed 
shipping tiade of a sort for many hundreds of years. Six 
centiuics ago it was a "port of the staple/' and in later times 
gained an unenviable notoriety as a nest of pirates. In the 
seventeenth century the jurisdiction of C'ardift' extended 
from Chepstow on the east to tlie Burrj' estuary on the 
west; but from this position of importance it feJl away to be 
described as a "creek" of the port of Bristol. With the for- 
mation of the Glamorganshire Canal trade rapidly in- 
creased, and for a third of a century the commercial progress 
of Cardiff was steady and rapid. Then came the Marquess 
of Bute (father of the present nobleman) with his far- 
reaching plans that were destined to place Cardiff in the 
forefront of the ports of the kingdom. 

It has often been a subject of wonder to persons unf amilar 
with the circumsfcances of the case how the advisabihty of 
construoting capacious docks ever presented itself to 
the mind of tlie Marquess. He was in possession of a large 
estate and had means abtmdant for the satisfaction of all 
his personal wants. Why, then, did he embark in an enter- 
prise full of hazard, the execution of which imposed upon 
him gi'eat sacrifices and extreme anxiety? For a very 
siinple reason, and in pursuance of a line of policy which 
he deliberately marked out for himself and courageously 
followed. Owning, as he did, extensive tracts of mineral 
property, portions of which had, in former years, been leased 
at wholly inadequate rentals, his lordship soon discovered 
that the only hindrance to an immense rise in the value of 
his property was the deficiency of dock accommodation at 
the natural port of shipment. A Htile more than 50 years 
before the late Lord Bute succeeded his grandfather it is 
on record that the large estate of Dowlais was let for 99 years 
at a rental of £26 per annum. Ten years afterwards Hir- 

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42 Guide to Cardiff, 

wain was granted on a similar lease for £23. The fortunate 
lessees of these veritable Goloondas had worked their gales 
to such advantage that they rapidly acquired fortunes com- 
pared with which the wealth even of a Bute was incon- 

Naturally enough it occurred to the practical mind of the 
second Marquess that what these favoured sons of fortune 
had accomplished might, to some extent at least, be accom- 
plished by others. He, therefore, determined upon develop- 
ing the resources of his magnii&cent estate. To his appre- 
hension Glamorganshire presented itself as a scene of fruitful 
enterprise, not for one or two, but for scores of capitalists, 
whose wisely directed efforts should enrich themselves, 
diffuse prosperity throughout the district, and pour into his 
coffers a legitimate share of the wealth thus created. 

His Lordship was fortunate in securing the services of a 
siu'veyor who ably seconded him in his views, and whose 
experience confirmed the sanguine expectation of his nobla 
employer. Mr. David Stuart was the gentleman to whom 
we refer. He made an extensive survey of the estate, and 
propomided various methods for its development, which 
experience has proved to have been most judiciously con- 
ceived. When, however, the assistance of capitalists was 
invited, the objection which they invariably raised to enter- 
ing upon any ex^/ensive undertaking was the absence of the 
necessary means for getting their productions to market. 
The capacity of tiie Glamorganshire Canal, with its sea 
pond, was so limited that any extensive shipment of coal 
and iron at Cardiff was practically impossible. The main 
lock of that means of oomraimication was only 97 feet long, 
by 27 feet wide, and 13 feet deep over the inner sill. At 
the flood of neap tides there were only from six to eight feet 
of water on that sill, so that vessels drawing any greater depth 
of water were compelled to load in the roadstead by means of 
lighters — ^a most dangerous and tardy method. Even vessels 
which got U]y to the wharves were compelled to load, as it 
were, by instalments, dropping toward the gates as they 
deepened, and often completing their cargoes on the mud 
outside. In addition to these disadvantages, the lock was 
upwards of two miles from the low water mark of the Seven), 
and was approached by an intricate channel up the Taff. 
For three hours of eacli tide it was dry, and during 58 days 

Digitized by 


Guide ''to Cardiff. 43 

in the year the water did not rise to a sufficient height to 
pass vessels of 100 tons. It, therefore, becanio apparent to 
the Marquess of Bute that, in order to develop his large 
mineral properties, facilities must be afforded by the con- 
struction of a dock for the convenient loading and unloading 
of vessels of large tonnage. 

Having arrived at this conclusion, his Lordship deter- 
mined to carry out the undertaking on his own responsi- 
bility and at his own cost. In July, 1830, Lord Bute 
obtained an Act for that purpose. Amongst his advisers 
as to the engineering details of the scheme were Captain 
Beaufort, Mr. Telford, Mr. Green, and Sii- William Ciibitt. 
But Capt. W. H. Smyth, R.N., .appears to have been the 
genius to wliom was enti"us»ted the chief dn'ecticn of the 
works, he being appointed manager of the docks, and sub- 
sequently lioldmg the position of first dock master. In a 
very interesting work by Capt. Smyth, entitled "Nautical 
Observations on the Port and Maritime Vicinity of Cardiff," 
he states that, after frequent communications with his Lord- 
ship respecting floating harbours and their details, "In 
June, 1833, I received a kind invitation from the Marquess, 
saying that, as he was about to attend a Quarter Sessions of 
Glamorganshire, he would be happy to carry me through a 
line of country v.»hicfa he consirlered was somewhat new to 
me, the route being through Oxford and Cheltenham across 
the Severn to Gloucester, and over the Wye at Chepstow. 
It was during this visit that I examined into the question 
which had been much mooted, namely, as to the preferable 
site for a new port, the Cardiff Moors to the east, or the 
Cogan Pill to the west, of the estuary formed by the rivers 
Taff and Ely. I, therefore, made numerous inquiries, con- 
sulted various plans, and closely examined the locality. The 
opinion I arrived at was totally unbiassed and disinterested, 
for, as the whole or both sides was shown to me as the 
property of the Marquess, or such as an Act of Parliament 
would give him power over, I naturally considered it quite 
a matter of indifference which site might be adopted, and 
even though his Lordship, from a kindly feeling towards 
the town of Cardiff, had got his engineer to draw up a plan 
for the east side, I could easily infer that, from the repre- 
sentations which others had made, he was somewhat inclined 
to regard the Ely as the more eligible place. On going 

Digitized by 


44 Guide to Cm'diff. 

over to Cogan Pill, I saw at once that it was no place of 
refuge for a vessel of any magnitude to run for in bad 
weather, as had been erroneously represented to me. Ac- 
cordingly, the Cardiff side of the river Taff was selected 
as the site of the new docks. 

*1t was originally intended that the sea gates, or entrance 
from the Bristol Channel into the Bute Ship Canal, should 
have been placed at the Eastern Hollows, and that the entire 
length of the canal should be protected on each side by stone 
quay walls, T^dth towing paths along which vessels were to be 
drawn to the wet dock, at the commencement of which 
another pair of gates were to be placed. The estimate for 
these works, which were designed by Mr. James Green, of 
Exeter, was £70,000 ; but when contracts were sought to 
be let, although no real engineeriag difficulties existed, no 
contractors could be found to tender for a given sum, in 
consequence of the unforeseen difficulties which might arise 
in the operation carried on in tidal water. Under fliese cir- 
cumstances Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Cubitt was called 
in, and at his suggestion the original Ship Canal was aban- 
doned, and in lieu thereof an open tidal cut or entrance 
channel was made through the mud from the Eastern Hol- 
lows to the shore, to be kept open by sluices from or near 
the dock gates. Vessels are now constantly towed by steam 
tugs, or saQ up this entrance channel, instead of being 
tracked by land along towing paths as origij«ally intended. 
The wet dock or basin was constructed pretty nearly on the 
original plan, but with the addition of a sea basin with a 
lock between it and the dock, which became necessary on 
the abandonment of the ship canal with its sea gates. Pre- 
vious to the dock itself being commenced, a channel or 
feeder was cut from) a point in the Taff some two miles above 
the mouth of that stream, with the object of supplying the 
projected dock with a constant supply of fresh water. Tliis 
heavy and expensive piece of work was rendered necessary by 
the fact that the tidal water of the Bristol Channel is unsuited 
for use in a dock, owiug to the large quantity of mud it holds 
in suspension, and the heavy deposit resulting from it when 
in a state of quietude. The actual cost of the work was 
£350,000 ; viz., £220,000 in hard cash and the remainder 
in limestone and timber, obtained from Lord Bute's 
estates. On the 9th of October, 1839, the new dock was 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff. 45 

opened amidst general and enthusiastic manifestations of 
joy on the part of the inhabitants." 

In the three years following the opening of the West 
Bute Dock the trade of the port remained almost stationary, 
and Lord Bute must have had many misgivings as to the wis- 
dom of his great outlay. It soon became apparent that more 
expeditious means of conveyance from the hills to the port 
were necessary than those afforded by the Glamorganshire 
Canal. Indeed, before the dock was completed a company 
had been formed and an Act obtained for the construction 
of a railway from the town of Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil. 
In 1841 the Taff Vale Railway was opened to Merthyr Tyd- 
fil, a distance of 24^ miles; and within a few years the 
original single line was doubled throughout the whole length 
of the railway. Since that time branches have been added 
by the Railway Company, opening up rich valleys teeming 
with mineral wealth. This railway has established for itself 
a reputation unsurpassed by that of any oth*jr line in the 
kingdom for the completeness of all its arrangements and 
the imexampled despatch with which it handles the enor- 
mous quantities of minerals with which it has daily to deal. 

Within twelve years of the completion of the Bute West 
Dock and six of Lord Bute's death the shipments of coal 
and iron from the port of Cardiff had reached the following 
dimensions: — ^Iron, 129,484 tons; coal, 1,023,903 tons. 
Urged by numerous applications the trustees into whose 
hands the management of the Bute Estate had passed decided 
to provide additional Dock acoonunodation. Accordingly, 
the present Bute East Dock was constructed from plans 
originally prepared by Sir John Rennie, in conjunction with 
the late Mr. W. S. Clark, but subsequently modified in 
order to provide for various necessaiy extensions by Messrs. 
Walker and W. S. Clark. Tho contractors were Messrs. 
Hemingway and Pearson. The whole of the staiths and 
the various railway arrangements in connection with the 
Docks were carried out from the plans of Mr. W. S. Clark, 
under the superintendence of Sir William Thomas Lewis 
and others, his assistant engineers. 

The spirit of enterprise at this time seems to have been 
contagious. Before the Bute East Dock was finished the 
Rhymney Railway Company was formed, the chairman 
being Mr. John Boyle, the trustee of the Mai-quess of Bute. 

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46 Guide to Cardiff, 

The object of the line was to afford cod munication from the 
Rhymney Valley to Cardiff, and thus to aid in the further 
development of the district. Up to this time the only means 
of transport from the Rhymney VaUey was by a tramway on 
the Monmouthshire side of the river, which had its terminus 
at Newport. The promoters of the railway believed that the 
undertaking would be a success, and, in view of the advan- 
tages it would give to the port, a lease of wharves and ship- 
ping ground was granted, the conditions being the same as 
were conceded to the Taff Railway Company in 1849. The 
Rhymney Railway Company was incorporated in 1852, and 
the line was opened for traffic in 1858. For many years the 
original shareholders received very little return for their 
invested capital; but for some years past the railway has 
proved to bo as great a financial success as its compamon 
line the Taff. 

Within a very short period of time the enlarged accom- 
modation provided by the East Bute Dock was found to be 
inadequate for the increased trade, and additional dock 
accommodation was deemed necessary. In 1866 the Trus- 
tees obtained another Act empowering them to oonstruci 
iiuiiher docks ; and the Roath Basin, the first part of the 
work completed, was opened in July, 1874. T\iq openmg 
of the Roath Basin seemed only to whet the appetite of the 
merchants and coal shippers of the port for more accommo- 
dation, and, in response to very urgent representations made 
to him. Lord Bute consented to abandon the unfinished 
portion of the 1866 scheme and construct a dock of magnifi- 
cent dimensions to the north east of the present Roath 
Basin. Application was made to Parliament in 1882 for 
the necessary powers, and, despite considerable opposition, 
sm Act was obtained by virtue of which large a!dditions 
have been made to the shipping capacity of the port. 
From time to time improvements have been made in the 
mechanical appliances for loading and unloading cargoes, 
with the result that the total imports and exports of the 
Bute Docks increased from 3,635,757 tons in 1875 to 
8,316,801 tons in 1884, or, in other words, 125 per cent., 
notwithstanding that the dock area was the same in both 

The Roath Dock, which waf. opened on August 24tli, 1 8b7, 
was formally inaugurated, amidst great public rejoicing, ny 

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Guide to Cardiff. 47 

Commercial Graving Dock. 

the Marquess of Bute, on 31st January, 1883. It has a water 
area of about 33 acres, and is upwards of 2,400 feet long 
and 600 feet wide. The bottom of the dock is 43 feet 6 inches 
below the level of the coping, and the depth of water ranges 
from 36 feet to 26 feet, according to the tide. The Dock is 
entirely enclosed with walls of masonry, thus affording the 
largest practicable extent of quayage, as well as the greatest 
facilities for loading and discharging vessels. The length of 
quay space, including the jetty, is 7,520 lineal feet, or neaiiy 
\\ miles. The area of quay space for the storing of cargoes 
and the general carrying on of the trade of the dock is over 
60 acres, and the capacity of the dock is equal to an additional 
trade of over 5,000,000 tons per annum. On the jetty a< 
warehouse 400 feet long has been built, fitted with movable 
cranes of the most modem construction to discharge and 
load goods from or to the railway trucks direct for their 
destination, and are specially useful for the loading of Man- 
chester and other goods coming direct from the shippers. 
The Dock is approached from the Koath Basin by a magni- 

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48 Guide to Cardiff. 

ficent Lock (the largest in the world), 80 feet in width and 
600 feet long between the gates, having a depth of water 
over the sills of 36 feet at ordinary spring-s, and 2(> 
feet at ordinary neaps (the same depth as the 
entrance lock to Koath Baein). The gates are worked 
by hydraulic machinery, and the swing bridge across the lock 
has been designed to carry the heaviest traffic. The 
machinery, cranes, and other appliances for loading or dis- 
charging vessels, and for other piu:poses connected with the 
worlong of the Dock, are of the most modem design and 
construction, of unusual power, and of greater capacity than 
anything hitherto in use. 

In the year 1887 a radical change took place m t-ne pro- 
prietary of the Bute Docks, the whole imdertaking having 
been, by virtue of powers contained in an Act of Parliament 
whidi received the Boyal Assent on the 25th June, 1886, 
incorporated into a public company, under the title of the 
Bute Docks Company, Cardi£P, who took possession on the 1st 
of January, 1887. The authorised sliare capital is 
£3,500,000, and the Directors of the Company are the Mar- 
quess of Bute (chairman), Mr. Frederick Pitman (deputy- 
chairman), the Lord Edmund Bernard Talbot, and Mr. 
Edward George Sneyd. Sir William Thomas Lewis is the 
General Manager, and Mr. Frederick J. Pitman the Secre- 
tary. The property transferred to the Bute Docks Com- 
pany comprised about 500 acres, and included a dock area 
of 1 1 Of acres, including the new Roath Dock. The value of 
the property was put down at £3,000,000 when power was 
being sought in Pai'liament at the beginning of 1885 to dis- 
pose of it to the Taff Vale Railway Company. But this 
did not include the new Roath Dock, for which an additional 
£500,000 was to be paid. The net revenue of the company 
(had it been constituted in the terms of the Act) would have 
been in 1884 and 1885 £160,655 and £157,131 respec- 
tively. A noteworthy circumstance in connection with the 
transfer of this imdertaking was that the whole of the 4 per 
cent, debenture stock, £800,000, issued at par, was sub- 
scribed for within an hour from the time that tiie lists were 

The construction of the Bute Docks, although the chief, 
has not been the only factor in the development of the ship- 
ping accommodation of the port. Beneath the sheltei* of 

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Guide to Cardiff, 49 



Digitized by 


50 Guide to Cardiff. 

the bold headland upon which stands Fenarth Churdi (that 
well-known land mark) the Ely Tidal Harbour and the 
Fenarth Docks afford facilities for shipping a not inconsider- 
able quantity of coal. The area of the odginal dock was 
17^ acres. It was constructed in the year 1857 by the 
Fenarth Dock Company, from whom it was leased by the 
Taflf Vale Railway Company for a term of 999 years. In 
the year 1880 the leasing Company obtained FarHamentary 
powers by virtue of which they enlarged the Fenarth Dock 
by 5^ acres. The additional portion of the dock was also 
leased to the Taff Vale Company. For many years these 
docks were worked at considerable loss to the lessees, but 
for some time back tiie Railway Company have been enabled 
by good management to work them at a profit. 

In addition to all the above facilities, such is the rapidly 
increasing size of vessels that the Bute Docks Company 
(the name of which is now changed to the Cardiff Rail- 
way Company) have commenced the construction of a new 
Dock, with a separate entrance, and much greater depth of 
water over the soil than any of the older Docks. The length 
df the proposed new Dock wiU be 2,570 feet, and its width 
650 feet, with a depth of 46 feet 6 inches below ooping. 
The area of this Dock is 42 acres, being nearly as large as 
the Bute East Dock, and 33 per cent, larger than the Roath 
Dock. The entrance lock will be 700 feet in length between 
the gates^ its width at gates 80 feet, and the remainder 160 
feet wide. The length of the entrance lock will be double 
the entrance lock to the Roath Basin. The level of the sill 
will be 50 feet below coping, which is 6 feet 6 inches below 
the deepest existing sill at the Bute Docks, and 7 feet below 
the sill at Fenarth Dock. The increased depth of sill will 
give a depth of 5 feet of water at low water of spring tides, 
and 15 feet of water at low water of neap tides, so that 
vessels will have littie or no time to wait for the tide in 
entering or leaving the Dock, thus saving anchoring in the 
roads, and avoiding necessity of waiting for higher tides. 
The depth of water over the soil wiU be 32 feet at high water 
of ordinary neap tides, and 42 feet at high water of ordinary 
spring tides. For the protection of tiie entrance to this 
Dock from easterly or south-easterly winds, an embankment 
1,800 feet in length has been devised; and this embank- 
ment will make a splendid shelter with smooth water for 

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Gruide to Cardiff. 51 

vessels entering or leaving the Docks during theoe winds. 
From other winds the entrance to the Dods will be protected 
by Penarth Head and the other high lands running north 
.and west of Penarth. The entrance is situated nearly a 
mile below the East and West Dock entrance, and thus 
vessels for these Docks will not interfere with those making 
for the other entrances to the Bute Docks. It is intended to 
lay out and equip the Dock with all the latest and most 
improved machinery for dealing expeditiously with both 
imports and exports. 

Besides the above accommodation, the port of CardiJff 
includes tlie Baary Docks, the eidstiiig facilities thus cover- 
ing the vast area of 230 acres. 


The wonderful increase in the population of Cardiff — one 
hundred-and-seventy-fold during the present century — ^is 
in itself an indication of the progress of the place ; but a 
few more figures may be given with the object of setting 
forth briefly the importance of the town and port of Car- 
diff in the commercial world. Cardiff, then, is in respect of 
foreign dearanoes the first port in the world, not excepting 
«iven New York, London, and Liverpool, as is shown by the 
following official statistics: — 

Tons Register. 

Year ending December, 1896, Cardiff 7,034,264 

Year endm-g December, 1896, London 6,568,910 

Year ending June 30, 1896, New York 6,562,524 

Year ending December, 1896, Liverpool 5,239,510 

During the year 1896 11,605,314 tons of ooal were 
exported from Cardiff to different parts of the world, in 
addition to which 1,879,533 tons were exported coastwise 
and 1,850,172 tons shipped for bunkers, maJdng the total 
shipments of ooal from Cardiff in the year 1896 no less than 
15,335,019 tons. To this must be added the export of iron 
and steel, patent fuel, and coke, making the quantity of the 
exports from Cardiff for the year 1896 15,766,386 tons. 

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52 Guide to Ccmiiff, 

The total value of produce and manufactures exported in 
the same year was £6,165,726. 

To deal with exports such as this, it is essential that the 
shipping appliances should be of Uio latest and most approved 
character, and as a matter of fact the facihties are such as 
to enable vessels of 2,000 tons to be unloaded and loaded 
again in 24 hours, whilst it is on record that a ship carrying 
9,000 tons has been loaded in 28 hours. 

The import trade of Cardiff is increasing with great 
rapidity. The imports comprise principally timber, ii-on 
ore, potatoes, com, and general provisions, for distribution 
in Wales and the West of England. In respect to the im- 
portation of timber, Cardiff now ranks as the second port 
in the United Kingdom, the first port being London. In 
the year 18-15, the loads of timoer imported were 6,965; 
in 1896 719,951. La respect to the importation of iron ore, 
Cardiff is the second port in the kingdom. The quantity 
cf iron ore imported for the year ended December, 1896, 
was 682,382 tons. As regards the importation of general 
provisions, the trade is an increasing one, and events indicate 
that this branch of the import trade wid be very greatly 
extended in the near futui^e, as the B ite Docks Company 
intend to make special provision for it at the low water pier, 
for the construction of which ttiey ar^ obtaining powers. 
The value of Cardiff's imports m 169G amounted to 
£S,00^,50V, maiang the total value of ihc shipments in an J 
out of Cardiff about £10,000,000. The number of sailing 
and steam vessels cleared at the port of Cardiff for the year 
1895 waa 15,157, with a tonnage of 7,949,676. 

The number of Cardiff manufactories and works is very 
considerable, and further additions are constantly made to 
these industrial enterprises. Amongst the principal works 
may be mentioned the Tharsis Copperworks, the Dry Doc^s, 
Flour Mills, Biscuit Works, Tin Enamel Works, Chemical 
Worte, WaggcMi Worksi, Printing Works, Coadibuilding 
Works, Paper MiOs, and Engineering, Shipbuilding, and 
Boatbiiilding Yards ; and the Dowlais Iron Company, recog- 
nising the advantages presented by Cardiff, have erected 
very large iron and steel works on the East Moors. 

The gross output oi minerals for South Wales and Mon- 
mouthshire for the year 1895 wao 34,828,422 tons. The* 
output for Glamorganshire was 24,700,275 tons and for 

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Guide to Cardiff, 53 

Monmouthshire 8,240,162 tons, raaking a total of 32,940,437 
tons. In the year 1895 the shipments at Cardiff amounted 
to 14,610,907 tons, or more than two-thirds of the total 
shipments of the ooaJfields of Glamorganshire and Mon- 

The following great banks of the kingdom have established 
branches at Cardiff : — ^The National Provincial Bank 

Sib William Thos. Lewis. 

of England (two branches), Lloyds (two), London and 
Provincial (three), Metropolitan (two), Coiufty of Gloucester 
(three), Wilts and Dorset (two), and the London anCt 
Midlajid. A dozen great insurance companies have 
branches at Cardiff, and 50 other offices have inspectors ana 
representatives in the town. 

Cardiff is the town at which the South Wales and Mon- 
mouthshire Coalowners' Association and the Slidiag Scale 
Committee hold their meetings; it is a centre selected by 
the Government for examinations of the Board of Trade, 

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54 Guide to Cardiff. 

the 63caininations connected with mining in Soutli Walesk 
and Monmouthshire, and the offices of her Majesty's Wooda 
Slid Forests, and of the mineral inspector for his Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales are situated in the town. 

There are in Cardiff a groat number of associations, 
societiee, and other CDmbinations cf professional and com- 
mercial men, some of l^em belonging to Cardiff only, while 
others, oonoemed either with the whole of South Wales and 
Monmouthshire or parts thereof, have fixed upon it as the 
most convenient centre for the transactian of their business. 
Among the farmer may be mentianed the Incorporated 
Chamber of Commerce, the Cardiff Incorporated Law 
Society, the Medical Society, the Cardiff Teachers' Associar 
tion^ Cardiff Arahitecte^ Sodeity, Cardiff Shipowners' 
Association, Cardiff Grocers' Exchange^ and Cardiff Trades' 
Coimcil. Among the latter the most prominent are : — ^The 
Monmouthshire and South Wales Coalowners' Association, 
the Press Benefit Society, the South. Wales and Monmouth- 
shire Clerks' Associatioin, Cardiff and Bristol Channel Centre 
of the Institute of Marine Engineers, and the South Wales 
Institute of Engineers. Amongst associations not finding 
a place in the above lists are the Cardiff and County Horti- 
cultural Society and the Cardiff Horse Show. 

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Guide to Cardiff, 55 

CarDifif (Taetle. 

Gabdiff Castle, from Castle Street. 

Though Cardiff is not now, as of old, dependent for its 
existence upon its Castle, this noble building may be safely 
described as the finest of the many architectural monuments 
of the town. Viewed from wha»tever standpoint, its 
appearance is striking, whilst there is, no doubt, that to the 
spacious and beautiful grounds by which it is flanked, Cardiff 
owes no small part of its salubrity. The mere mention of 
the Castle takes us back to the stirring days of old, when 
knights and dames in all their pride, and the varied pleasiu'es 
of tiie tourney and the chase, mingled with the more stirring 
scenes of war, were the most striking features of the locality. 

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56 Guide to Cardiff, 

There is Strang reason to believe that the Castle occupies 
the site of an ancient British f ortificatioii, and still stronger 
reason for supposing that during the Boman occupation Uie 
place was the first "iter*' from the great station at Caerleon 
on the Via Julia Maritima. About the middle of the last 
century the remains of a Boman hypocaust were discovered 
in the Castle yard, and at the same time a coin of the reign 
of Trajan was unearthed. 

When the Romans were compelled to withdraw the 
government of Wales gradually reverted to its original pro- 
prietors, and it is presumed that the local British princes 
maintained their sway, from Tewdric, Arthxur, Morgan, and 
the rest of the ancient reguli down to the time of lestyn ap 
Gwrgan, who, as we have seen elsewhere, lost his kingdom 
to the Norman invader, Robert -FitzhamDn. Fitzhamon 
was a chieftain of renown, and is said to have been, as well 
as lord of Cardiff, lord of Bristol, Earl of Gloucester, and 
founder of the Abbey of Tewkesbury. He was in the oom- 
pany of William Ruf us at the time when that monarch met 
his unexpected death. He died himself in 1105, from 
wovmds received at the Battle of Falaise. Robert, Earl of 
Gloucester, succeeded Fitzhamon as lord of Glamorgasi, and 
it was during his occupation that Robert, Duke of Nor- 
mandy, was imprisoned at Cardiff. After this the Castle 
fell on evil days, being successively overrun by the British 
chieftains Ivor Bach and Owen Glyndwr, the latter of whom 
reduced both the Castle and the greater portion of Cardiff 
to ruins. After the death of William, Earl of Gloucester, 
the lordship and Castle became the possession of various 
noble families, through the want of male issue and inter- 
marriages, until the time of Edward VI., when the lordship 
was sold to Sir WiUiam Herbert, afterwards Earl of Pem- 
broke and Lord of Cardiff. * 

During the Civil War, the Castle, held by the Royalists, 
was besieged from a spot on the west side of the town, near 
Plasturton, and was taken (so it is said) in consequence of 
the treachery of a deserter. It was re-takoi by the Royalists, 
but in the result fell into the hands of the Farliaanentarians. 
The fine old ruin subsequently became the property of the 
Earls of Windsor, and, by marriage, passed to the family 
of its present noble owner, the Marquess of Bute, Baron 

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Guide to Cardiff, 57 

A word may be said here about the Marquess of Bute. 
This distinguished scion of the peerage was bom September 
12, 1847, and the following year succeeded his father, the 
first marquess. Lord Bute was educated at Harrow and 
Christ Church, Oxford. In 1872 he married the Hon. 

The Gband Staircase. 

Gwendolen Mary Anne Fitzalan-Howard, eldest daughter 
of the first Barv>n Howard of Glossop, and has issue John, 
Earl of Dumfries (bom 1881), Lord Ninian Edward and 
Lord Colum Edward, and a daughter, the Lady Margaret 
(bom 1875). His lordship*s principal seat is Mpunt Stuart, 

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58 Guide to Cardiff. 

in the Isle of Bute, a princely residence. liOrd Bute 
is (amongst other titles) a Knight of the Thistle, LL.D. 
of Glasgow University ; he is Lord Lieutenant of Buteshire, 
Provost of Rothesay, and Lord Reotor of St. Aiidxews 
University. He served with much distinction as Mayor of 
Cardiff, 1890-91, his year of office being a specially brilliant 
one. His munificence to Cardiff and uhunorgaushire is far 
too well known to need ai reference here. It is not only of 
an ample character, but (what is equally important) it is 
always alike timely and judicious. Amongst the distin- 
guished ancestors of the Marquess was Earl Bute, a famous 
statesman of the last century. His lordship is the patron of 
nine K^dngs, including St. Mary's, Cardiff, but, being a 
Roman Catholic, he cannot present. His arms are: — 

Quarterly : 1st and 4th or, a fesse cheeky argent and azure, within 
a aouble tressure flory counterflory gules, Stuart; 2o.d an^ 3rd 
argent, a lion rampant azure, Ohrioiton. Qrests : Ist, a deml-lion 
rampant gules, and over it the motto "NobiUs est ira leonis" ; 2nd, 
a dragon vert, flames issuing from the mouth proper. Supporters : 
Dexter, a horse argent, bridled gules ; sinister, a stag proper, attired 
or. {Debrett.) 

The entrance to Cardiff Castle is from High-street, 
through the ancient gateway, having upon its left a square 
tower named! after Kobeoi^, Duke of Normandy. Upon 
entering the grovmds, visitors will at once perceive that the 
Castle consisted of two wards or bailies, the outer one con- 
taining the shire hall and other buildings, whilst the inner 
contained the Castle proper. These wards were divided by a 
thick wall, the foundations of which now only remain. 
This wall connected the square tower already mentioned 
and the Castle with the Keep. The architectural vicissi- 
tudes through which Cardiff Castle has passed have been 
extraordinary. Ever since he attained his majority. Lord 
Bute has devoted great thought and large sums of money 
to the restoration of this noble and deeply interesting monu- 
ment of antiquity, having entrusted the work to the late 
Mr. Burgcs, R.A., a man whose knowledge of all matters 
relating to aorchitecture was of the most comprehensive and 
trustworthy character, and whoee sudden death caused such 
a gap in his profession. When Mr. Burges was consulted 
respecting the restoration of the Castle, the building pre- 
sented an appea3:unce far different from what it does at the 
present moment. It was surrounded by small and imsightly 

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Guide to Cardiff. 59 

buildings, which it was necessary to remove before the 
restorer could commence his work 

In the first pkice, the curtain wall running from tne 
entrance tower to the present clock tower was restored, 
Aiid ihe parapet with its embrasures and arrow slits once 
more occupies the proud position it held in fonner cen- 
turies. This parapet was covered in, and now afPords com- 
munication with the dock tower at the south-west angle of 
the curtain wall. This tower has been built with a view to 

The Castle Front. 

three requireimeints, viz., the improvement of this portion 
of the town, the provision of a cl(X;k, and of a set of private 
apartments for the Lord of the Castle. Externally the 
tower is of conunanding appearance, while much taste, 
care, and skill were applied to the decoration of the 
interior, glowing, as it does, with colour. Outside, about 
seventy feet from the base, each face of the tower is divided 
into three arched panels, the centre one being occupied by 
the dock face, while those on each side contain statues of 
Mars, Jupiter, Sol, &o., the pedestals upon which they 
stand being car\^ed with the signs of the zodiac, which thej' 
respectively govern. The whole is surmounted by a roof 
covered with lead, decorated with tinned stars. In the 
interior of the tower the rooms are highly decorated. On a 

•60 Guide to Cardiff. 

level with the great curtain wall is the winter smoking room, 
the prevailing ooloiu: — ^which also acts as a back ground — 
being dark blue. Upon this are figures, painted in light 
and beautiful colours, whilst the upper part of the windows 
that light the rooms are in stained glass, with pictorial 
Tepresenta-tions of the gods from whom our Saxon ancestors 
named the days of the week. The central boss of the 
vaulting is carved into a representation of the sun. On 
the eight spandrels of the vaulting are eight of the twelve 
signs of the zodiac, the other four being placed in circles on 
the side walls. On the remaining portion of the walls the 
occupations of the four seasons are delineated. The frieze 
of the elaborate chimney-piece is occupied by a series of 
groups, showing the amusements of lovers during the winter, 
whilst above stands the figiure of Cupid with bow and arrow. 
The walls of the apartment above, which is used as a bed- 
room, are treated in a more simple manner, the paintings 
being simply outline figures on a white ground. The stories 
represented are those connected with the precious stones 
and metals. The next apartment contains the clock, and 
above this is the kitchen. The uppermost room has been 
appropriated for a summer smoking-room, which is hand- 
somely fitted up. Tho floor is of tiles representing the 
length of the lives of various animals sudi as formerly 
existed in the pavement before the high altar at Westmin- 
ster. The chimney-piece is similar to the one iu the winter 
smoking-room, witii the exception that the subject is Love 
in Summer. A low dado of red marble runs round Hie 
room, and between the windows are painted tiles, with sub- 
jects illustrating the legends of the zodiac. Above all these 
runs a gallery, lighted by a clerestory, the latter surmounted 
by a dome divided into panels, in which are represented the 
four elements and the constellations. 

The grand staircase of the Castle cousists of two flights, 
and leads from tha entrance hall — on which level the library 
is situated — ^to the great hall. In the centre is a marble 
column, from which springs the groining of the ceiling. 
On the level of the landing at the top there ia a gallery on 
two sides, formed by a second plane of tracery, which goes 
all rovmd the inside. The columns are of marble, and the 
steps of rose-coloured granite. From the grand staircase 
entrance is obtained to the Banqueting-hall, a noble room 
lined with carved walnut wainscotting, above which are 

Guide to Cardijff. 6L 

frescoes represfaiting incidents in the life of Robert, Duke 
of Gloucester. From this handsome and historic apartment 
an entrance is obtained to a beautiful octagonal staircase, 
highly decorated ; and from this access can be gained either 
to the Library or the Private Chapel, the latter being one 
of the richest portions of the Castle. It is lined with 
marble, diapered with enamelled shields; the walls- 

Chimney Cornice, Winter Smoke-Koom. 

and ceiling being covered with the most beautiful works 
of ai*t illustrating sacred subjects. The altar rej>reseiifcs 
the tomb of our Saviour, outside of which are the figures 
of the guards in bronze. On the left of the Banqueting-hall 
is Lord Bute's sitting-room, exquisitely decorated in coloiurs, 
and the frieze has the story of the local saint of the Isle 
of Bute. Beyond this is an apartment fitted up most 
elaborately and on the highest principles of art. The pen- 
style here, with its beautiful flowers, the grand and^xquisite 

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62 Guide to Cardiff. 

The Clock Tower — Elkvaiion 

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Guide to Cardiff*. 63 

fountain, the Inxiuions appointments, tlie walls with paint- 
iags repreeenting the tiial of faith between Elijah and Ahab, 
its bronze and exquisitely inlaid doors, form a scene of sur- 
passing grandeur. 

The library is a magnificent apartment, 75ft. by 23ft., 
beautifully furnished and decorated. Of the books a writer 
has remarked that, "viewed from an aesthetic or a literary 
point of view, the tridy unique collection is a fair reflex of 
the mind of its noble owner. It differs from the libraries 
of most ancient families, inasmuch as, instead of being tlie 
accumulation of many generations, it has been entirely col- 
lected by its present possessor.'* The Library, as might be 
expected, is specially rich in works pertaining to ecclesiaa- 
ticid history. None of the Marquess's MS coUections are 
at Cardiff. 

It has been well said that the decorations of the Castie 
"are not only legible, but to read them is a treat to educated 
people. The thoughts and occupations of the owner ar& 
translated on the things surrounding him. There is a style 
in them — ^not the style of the midtitude, but of a grand 
seigneur, who from circumstances has more sympathy 
with the past than with the present ; who is poet enough 
to choose poetical subjects for the decoration ol his rooms, 
and who, blessed with vast hereditary possessions, chooses 
to make a little world of them and live in it." 

In the Castle grounds are the ruins of the Herbert Man- 
sion, of the Grey and the Black Fiiars, all carefully preserved 
by the noble Marquess. Tho outline of the Grey Friars 
may be caught through the trees by anyone stainding on 
Cardiff Bridge. On the wall which separates the Castie 
grounds from Castie-street are a series of animals modelled 
by Nicholls, and remarkable for truthfulness and vigour of 

The Castie may be viewed, in the absence of the family, 
by payment of a small sum, the latter, by Lord Bute's direc- 
tion, being devoted to local oharity. A full description of 
the ediQce, from a master hand, may be found in G. T. 
Clark's "Mediaeval Military Architecture." That distin- 
guished archaeologist declares that the Castle (whose total 
area is ten acres) would, with disciplined trooj>s, be im- 
pregnable — doubtless, in the absence of artillery. A very 
interesting account of the Castie also appears in CasseU's 
"Historic Houses of the United Kingdom." r^^^^i^ 

Digitized by V^OOQ IC 

64 Guide to Cardiff. 

public £uilMnd0. 


Although we commenoe this section, as in duty bound, 
with the Town-hail, it will be apparent to the visitor almoel^ 
at the first glance that this buUding, excellent as it is, is in 
no way commensurate with the present municipal impor- 
tance of Cardiff, and that it must before long become as 
obsolete as in its day was the old Town-house which the 
present edifice superseded. The Town-hall in St. Mary- 
street was erected in 1849, from the design of Mr. Horace 
Jones, of London, and of its kind is a handsome building, 
with a facade which is classical and ornate. Embracing tlie 
two storeys of the front are four Roman Ionic capitals with 
festoons surmounting plain cylindrical shafts, which are 
coupled together on massive pedestals of Forest stone, aod 
above the main cornice is an attic storey which provides 
height for the coved ceiling of the Assembly Eoom. The 
vestibule, which is entered by three arches, is occa^onally 
used as a com exdiange, and gives access on the north 
side to a private apartmdiit and newsroom for members 
of the Corporation, and on the south side to the 
Mayor's Court, formerly the police-court, which is now 
utihsed as a place of meeting for committees, coroners' 
juries, &c. From the middle of the vestibule runs a corridor, 
which is about twelve feet in width, and extends to the 
extremity of the building, where there is a descent of steps 
and doorway leading into the yaj:Td. On the south side of 
this corridor is the Crown Court, and on the north side the 
Nisi Prius Court. Diverging north and south from the 
corridor is a passage opening into the Grand Jury Boom, 
the Judges' Retiring Room, the Robing Room, and the Law 
Library. Above, and approached by a staircase from the 
vestibule, is the Assembly Room — a commodious hall, in 
which public meetings, mayors' banquets, &c., are held. At 
the head, of the room are two handsome fluted pillars stand- 
ing at either side of an alcove in which the platform is usually 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff, 65 

placed. On the west side is an orchestral gallery, and at 
the lower end an ante-room of moderate dimensions. In 
the Assembly Room is a fine painting of Ivor Bach of Castell 
Coch, compelling the captive Norman Earl to sign his own 
renimciation of stolen estates in Morgauwg. The ground 
on which the Town-haJl stands slopes from St. Mary-street 
to Westgate-street, and this enabled the architect to provide 

The Town Hall. 

for the oells which are placed undeimeath the building. 
These cells are now only used during the sittings of quarter 
sessions and assize. In 1876, the Town-haJl premises having 
become totally unequal to the demands made upon them, 
Messrs. James, Seward, and Thomas were requested to pre- 
pare plans for a new Council Chamber and Town-clerk's 
offices ; but ultimately it was decided to carry out a more 
comprehensive scheme by which all the additions required 
might be erected at once. The architects, therefore, en- 
larged their scheme, retaining the original proposition of 
erecting the Council Chaanber and a portion of the offices on 
the grand jury room, block at the rear of the Town-hall. 
The police-station, superintendent's residence, poUce-court, 
and magistrates' office, were placed in an entirely new block 

Digitized by 


66 Guide to Ca/rdijff. 

erected on vacant land adjoining the haJl, with a frontage to 
Westgate-street. Tiie walls of the Council Chamber are 
adorned with a series of portraits of the municipal worthies 
of CardiflF, including an admirable full-length painting of the 
Marquess of Bute. The fire brigade premises, with their 
admirable ox)ntingent of engines and other appliances, are 
well worth a peep : the motto of the brigade, under Superin- 
tendent McKenzie, is "Ready, aye ready !" Plans are being 
considered for the erection of new municipal buildings on 
lines woi-thy of the present position and future requirements 
of the borough. 


The mimicipal authorities of Cardiff have dealt in right 
generous fashion with the Free Library, the result being that 
the institution is at present one of the finest and most pro- 
gressive in the provinces, and in every way worthy of the 
position and reputation of the town. In 1861, the rate^ 
payers having refused, in a public meeting, to adopt the 
Public Libraries Acts, a nimiber of the leading townspeople 
issued a circular which contained the details of a scheme 
for the formation of a Free Library. The promoters proposed 
to start tlie institution as an experiment for twelve months 
on the voluntary principle, and they appealed for funds for 
tbe purpose. Tlie appeal was not made in vain, and early in 
the following year the hbrary was opened in a temporary 
building on the site of the present Royal Arcade. 
The imprecedented success of the undertaking pa^ed 
the way for the subsequent adoption of the Public 
Libraries Act, which took place in 1862. On the 
27tJi of October in tliat yeir the coimcil appointed a 
committee to undertake the maoiagoment of the institution. 
The library thus became the property of the biurgesses, and 
the object wliicli the promoters had in view was accom- 
plished. Shortly afterwards the library was removed to 
premises in St. Mary-street, rented from the committee of 
the Cardijff Y.M.C.A. In 1866 the Science and Art 
Schools were established, and in 1867 the Naturalists* Society 
(which had as one of its main objects the establishment of a 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff, 67 

Museum in connection with the Library) ; and thus the 
institution continued to grow until the necessity of pro- 
viding a new building was once more recognised. During 
the subsequent ten years several tentative schemes were 
propounded by gentlemen interested in the welfare of the 
institution, but nothing definite was axicomphshed imtil 1879. 
In that year the Corporation resolved to offer a premiiun of 
£100 for the best design for a Free Library, Museinn, and 
Science and Art Schools, to be exacted on a site in Working- 
street. No less than one hundred and four sets of designs 
were sent in from architects in various parts of the country. 

The Central Library. 

These received careful consideration by the building com- 
mittee, the one finally selected being the work of Messrs. 
James, Seward, and Thomas, with an estimated cost of 
^,000. On the 27th of October, 1880, the foundation stone 
was laid by the Mayor of Cardiff, Mr. J. M'Connochie ; and 
the various departments of the institution were opened to 
i:he public, with ODnsiderable ceremony and eclat, by Mr. 
Alfred Thomas, M.P., the Mayor of Cardiff for 1882. The 

Digitized by CjOOQ IC 

68 GuicU to Cardiff. 

building as then erected was one oi the leading structures of 
Cardiff, but so rapid has been the growth of the library 
during recent years as to necessitate an enlargement of rlie 
premises. This work has been carried out upon the adjoining 
site. The new building — opened in 1896 by his Royal 
Highness the Prince of Wales, who visited • Cardiff 
in company with the Princess of Wales and the 
Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales and suite — consists 
of two large and handsome reading rooms, one situated on 
the ground floor, for newspapers and periodicals, and the 
other on the first floor, for the reference library. The older 
portion of the building is now utilised for the lending 
library on the ground floor, and for book storage on the 
first floor. A large ladies' reading room is provided on the 
groimd floor close to the lending library. The reference 
library has been enriched by several handsome donations. 
The late Judge Falconer, an old friend to the library, sent, 
shortly before his death, a large number of volumes, many 
of them rare and valuable. The Cardiff Exhibition Com- 
mittee (1831) presented some important works, and 
the Trustees of the British Museum have also pre- 
sented their valuable publications, including a set of 
the Autotype fac-simile of the "Codex Alexandrinus" and 
many rare and valuable books on Antiquities, Art, Natural 
History, &c. The Most Hon. the Marquess of Bute has 
given a complete set of the publications relating to the sm-vey 
of Western Palestine, including the large and small maps 
and plans. A complete set of Specifications of Patents from 
1871 was added to the library in 1886, and is kept up to 
date. In 1891 Mr. Herbert M. Thompson, ]\LA., purchased 
and presented a large section of the scientific library of the 
late Professor W. Kitchen Parker, F.R.S. The Marquess 
of Bute, Mr. John Cory, and many others have 
subscribed liberally for the purchase of books rnd 
MSS. for the Reference Library. The latter is 
rapidly becoming a collection of immense impor- 
tance, and students find there valuable works of Art, Hisr 
tory, and Science, which would otherwise be quite beyond 
their reach. An effort is also being made to collect books in 
Welsh and relating to Wales, and gratif3dng progress is 
chronicled in this direction. The "Tonn" Library, collected 
by the Rees family of Llandovery, and the famous collection 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff. €9 

of Welsh MSS. collected by the late Sir Thomas Philipps, 
Bart., have been purchased and added to the library 
The Welsh collection comprises in all some 7,000 printed 
books, 2,000 MSS., and thousands of prints and drawings. 
The lending library is most extensively used, and, in addi- 
tion to a collection of recreative literature, contains good 
collections of books upon Art, Science, Mechanical trades, 
English Literature, History, French books, an extensive 
collection of Music, a collection of books in embossed t3rpe 
for the blind, and a good library for boys and girls. A 
complete catalogue of the lending library was pubhshed 
in 1894. There are also catalogues of books suitable for 
beys and girls, and of books for the blind. All these are 
issued imder the editorship of the hbrarian, Mr. John 
Ballinger, to whom the institution, as well as the public, 
is under a deep debt of gratitude for valued services rendered 
during a series of years, the resxdt of which is apparent in 
the high standard attained by the library, which to-day is 
one of the finest and most complete in the provinces. The 
library contains about 66,000 voliunes, and the annual use 
by the public exceeds 200,000 voliunes. Branch Reading 
Booms have been opened at Cathays, Roath, Canton, Grange- 
town, the .Docks, and Splotlands. 


The Museum is at present housed in the same building 
as the Free Library, but will shortly be removed to more 
suitable and commodious premises at Cathays Fark. The 
earliest public nuiseiun in Cardiff was in the old Atlienamm 
and Mccham'cFi' Institute, and was promoted by Dean Cony- 
beare, of LlandafT. This institution fell into dilficidties, and 
at length was broken up, the greater portion of the books 
and museum specimens being subsequently ti*ansferred to 
the Glamorganshire and Cardiff Scientific Institution, which 
had its home in Crockherbtown, in the building now occu- 
pied by the Ofiicial Receiver, and immediately adjoining the 
National Schools. This institution, after some years of 
active and useful work, collapsed, primarily through want 
of adequate support, and for years after its valuable hbrary, 
and excellent collection of geological, numismatical, and 


70 G^dde to (Uivdiff. 

general exhibits were stored on the premises unseen, uncared 
for, and practically forgotten by the public. Ultimately, 
however, the Free Library Committee took the matter up, 
and, after considerable delay, the least valuable of 
the books and specimens were handed over to the 
Free Library, which transferred them to its shelves 
at St. Mary-street. The late Mr. William Adams, 
then chairman of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society, 
and a number of other gentlemen, collected su]:)scription3 
and contributed specimens, and in 1867 a rocm in the Free 
Library (St. Mary-street) was opened as a museum. For 
several years the museum was in charge of honorary curators, 
and was opened to the public two evenings a v/eek. The 
Free Library Committee, finding that their old premises 
were too small for the growing institutions under their 
management, erected tihe present building in Trinity and 
Worlang Streets in 1882, appropriating the upper storey for 
a museum. Hitherto the collection consisted almost entirely 
of natural history specimens; but in 1881 about £250 of 
the profits of a Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition, held in 
Cardiff, were spent in the purchase of fine art objects for 
the museum, and Sir Edward Reed, K.C.B., M.P., presented 
a large oil painting, "Noon on the Siurey Hills," by the late 
Vicat Cole, R.A. Shortly afterwards a magnificent col- 
lection of thirty -eight oil paintings, estimated as wortli about 
£10,000, was presented by the late Mr. William Menelaus, 
J .P. Since then the Fine Art department has made steady 
progress, and has been greatly enriched from the collection 
of the late Mr. J. ?yke Thompson, who was during his iife- 
tirre one of the warmest friends of the museum. The col- 
lectiv-^n of old We^sh (Nantgarw and Swansea) porcelain 
bids fair to become the best in existence, if it is not ali*eady 
so. There is a small but excellent collection of Welsh 
sculpture, Milo ap Griffith and Mr. Goscombe John being 
the best represented. In "Morpheus, ' a hfe-sized statue, 
presented by the latter scidptor, the Art Gallery possesses 
one of his best and most characteristic works. Old local 
maps, and engraved views and portraits, castti of Glamor- 
ganshire Pre-Nomian inscribed and sculptured stones, British 
burds, and very extensive collections of fossils and minerals 
are the other chief featiures of the museum. Since March 
1, 1893, the institution has been supported by a rate levied, 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff, 71 

and managed by a committee appointed, under the Mnseimas 
and Gymnasiums Act of 1891. Mr. John Ward, P.S.xV.., 
is the capable and courteous curator. 


The offices of the Clerk of the Peace for Glamorganshire 
are located in a building erected in 1882 from designs by Mr. 
Horace Cheston, of London, on a site having a frontage 
in Westgate-street. The structure is a handsome one, and 
the internal arrangements are of an excellent and complete 
character, and include Clerk of the Peace's office, committee 
room, clerk's office, inspection room, book room, record room, 
and domestic apartments for the caretaker in residence. It 
is probable that the rapid development of the coimty and 
the increased work entailed by the new parish councils, &c., 
may result ere long in the remodelling of the premises. 


The splendid new Post Office at Westgate-street, with the 
thousand or so employees connected with it, is surely the 
very antithesis of the "one small office" and solitary "post- 
woman" of sixty years ago. Even in 1840, when Cardiff's 
trade had received a great impestus, tliere was but one 
delivery per diem. As years went by, however, the accom- 
modation greatly increased, and, in 1868, a commodious 
office for postage and inland revenue was erected in High- 
street, this in ite turn being replaced by the noble building in 
Westgate-street, one of the finest establishments of the land 
in the provinces, and which abundantly shows the confidence 
that the central authorities repose in the future of Cardiff. 
The new office covers an area of 4,000 square yards, and the 
total cost of the land and building has been £75,000. The 
^rontage is 215 feet in length, and the height from tlie^ve- 

72 Guide to Cardiff. 

ment to the parapet is 61 feet 6 inches, while the central 
tower rises to nearly double this height. The building has 
fouj' floors, and in the instrument-room accommodation is 
provided for no fewer than 300 telegraphists. This is 
necessary, for the number of telegrams received and trans- 

Th : General Post Oi fice. 

niitted yearly is over 4,000,000. Other figures relating to 
the Cardiff district are equally startling. In the district 
there are 104 post-offices, 197 letter-boxes, and 44 telegiupli 
offices. The number of persons employed is 947, and the 
number of letters delivered weekly is 400,000, the nimaber 
posted bein^ about the same. There are eight deliveries 
of letters a day. One-third of the employes are in the tele- 
graph department. The postmaster is Mr. G. Far^.QQ[^ 

Guide to Cardiff. 73 


The Custom House occupies a block of buildings on the 
comer of Custom House^street, facing the Canal. It was 
erected in the year 1845. The unsuitable position of the 
Custom House has lately necessitaited the transfei* of the 
essentially shipping department to a temporary office in 
MoTint Stuart-square, pending the erection of a permanent 
home in Bute-street. 


The principal offices of the Board of Trade are located in 
the Government Buildings, Bute-place, Bute Docks. The 
foundation stone of these offices was laid by Sir E. J. Reed, 
M.P., on Thursday, September 9, 1880. The building is in 
the Doric style of architecture, and was designed by Mr. 
Rivers, architect and surveyor to H. M. Board of Works. 
The district extends from Barmouth, on the Welsh Coast, to 
Lynmouth, on the Devonshire Coast, and includes Gloucester. 


The Borough Hospital for Infectious Diseases on Ely 
Common was opened by the mayor (Alderman Carey) in 
1895, and is deemed one of the most complete and weU 
arranged isolation hospitals in the kingdom. The site of the 
sanatoriima occupies some twelve acres. The building con- 
sists of eight blocks, the wards being erected on the pavilion 
principle. The cost of the sanatorium was £40,000. 


The old market haU was on the site of the present one, at 
St. Mary-street, and erected in tlie year 1836. The new hall 
was opened by the Marchioness of Bute in 1891. The hall 
is some 200 feet by 80 feet, with a large fish market adjoining 
the eastern end. The premises are light and airy, and their 
general appoaranoa is most imposing. ^ , 

Digitized by LjOOQ IC 

74 Guide to Cardi£, 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardijf. 75- 


These axe in Giiildford-street, near the Taff Vale Station. 
The baths are open, on week days only, all the year; in 
simuner, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ; in winter, from 8 a.m. 
to 7 p.m. There are three swimming baths, viz. : — ^Men'a 
1st class, 6d. ; men's 2nd class, 3d. ; and women's, 4d. ; 
also separate baths at prices ranging from 4d. to Is. ; and a 
fine Turkish bath. Is. Monthly, season, and annual ticket* 
may be had; also swimming lessons by a competent 
teacher. One of the baths is covered over and used as a 
gymnasium in the winter. 


To north of CardiJff, on the way to Maiudy, stands the 
Barracks, a magnificent pile of buildings erected by the War 
Office, in 1871, at a cost of £60,000. The Welsh Regiment 
(the 41st) is attached to this district. 


The old County Prison of Cardiff ocaipied a site in St. 
Mary-street, contiguous to the borough market. It was in 
occupation tiU 1832, when a new gaol, which 'vas corrmenood 
in 1826 on the site of the present structure, in Newtown, 
was completed. This erection consisted of a governor's 
house, with wings on each side for male and female 
prisoners, the total accommodation which it contained being 
about 200 cells. The present prison was begun in 1854 and 
finished in 1857. In 1876 a new wing for females and a 
chapel were added, at a cost of £30,000. The number of 
cells in the gaol as it now exists is 319. Many notable 
criminals have been confined within the walls of the gaol, 
amongst them being five murderers, Pritchard Lewis, ahas 
Dick Tamar, John Lewis, John Webber, David Roberts, 
and Thomas Nash, aU of whom were sentenced to death and 
hanged for the offences of which they were found to be 
guilty. The prison, which is in the Sir Joshua Jebbs' §tyle, 
is under the management of Mr. Howard, governor, and the 
staff of warders consists of 17 males and 5 females. 

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76 Guide to Cardiff. 


Cardiff is being rapidly lit with electricity, the power 
being supplied from works on what was formerly Canton 
Common, the site admitting of large extensions when the 
same become neces&ary. The plant employed is on the high 
tension, alternating current system, with rectified current 
for the street arc lamps. The gas illimiination of the 
borough conunenced in 1837, the handsome offices of the 
company being at Bute-terrace. 


The fine bridge which carries Cowbridge-road over the Taff 
lias had several predecessors, and before their time there was 
probably a ford ait the spot. Leland, 300 years ago, spoke 
of "Pont Cairdife, of wood," and went on to explain that 
it was useless building a more permanent structure because 

Cardiff Bridge (Winter). 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff. 11 

of the sudden violence of the Taff, which, by the way, is still 
a characteristic of the river. Somewhat later a stone bridge 
was erected, but this was destroyed during the Civil War. 
The next bridge lasted till 1796, and, being then very 
ruinous, was re-placed by a structure of five arches. This 
again was re-placed in 1859 by the present bridge, which was 
widened in 1877, a portion of tbe former bridge being still 
visible a few yards to the north. The present bridge has 
four elliptical arches, each of 45 feet span, and the widening 
was carrif-d out by means of cantilevers. Cardiff (or Can- 
ton) Bridge has a highly picturesque appearance, with its 
ornamental lamps and railings, and the view both up and 
down the river is a charming one, especially when there is 
abundance of wat«r. Further down the river are the Wood- 
street, Great Western, Clarence, and other bridges. 


This imposing structure was opened in 1890 by the late 
Duke of Clarence and Avondale. The bridge connects 
Grangetown with the Docks district, and comprises a central 
swinging span of 190 feet, providing two openings each of a 
clear width of 72 feet for the passage of vessels navigating 
tbe river, and two end fixed spans each 132 feet from centre 
to centre of end pins, and forms the principal feature of the 
works carried out under the powers of the Cardiff Corpora- 
tion Act, 1877. The works comprise the formation and 
construction of two-thirds of a mile of new roads 50 feet 
wide, half a mile of roads 40 feet wide, a bridge over the 
Taff 464 feet long, and one of 104 feet over the Glamorgan 
Canal. The abutoents, &c., of the bridge are of Pennant 
stone and grey Cornish igranite, and 5ie superstructure 
mainly of mild steel. At the time of erection the Clarence 
Bridge was the largest swinging road bridge in the country. 

Digitized by 


78 Guide to Cardiff. 

places of Morsbip, 

As becomes the metropolis of Wales, Cardiff is rich in 
places of worship, whilst its cosmopohtan character is seen 
in the variety of creeds represented. The Chiu:chman, the 
Roman CathoHc, the Nonconformist (whatever his sect), the 
Hebrew, the Spiritualist, the Theosophist, the Agnostic, 
each and all, and many more, find congenial quarters. 
We are less concerned here with opinions than with what 
interests the sightseer, and to him can specially be com- 
mended St. John's Chiu-ch, with its fine interior and vener- 
able history, St. Mary's, the handsome temples of St. Ger- 
man's and St. James', the Koman CathoHc fanes at St. 
Peter's and Charles-street, the striking Jewish Synagogue, 
Wood-street (the largest Nonconformist chapel in Cardiff), 
and the fine Presbyterian Church at Windsor-place, Roath- 
road Wesleyan Chapel, Pembroke-terrace Calvinistic Metho- 
dist Chapel, and Tabernacle Welsh Baptist Cliapel, on the 
Hayes, with its memories of a former pastor, the sainted 
Christmas Evans. As will be seen from our historical 
sketch, the Estabhshed and Roman Catholic Churches, as 
well a&y the Nonconformists, have much reason to feel pride 
in the history of Cardiff, and to-day a couple of hundred 
places of worship testify to the efforts made by men of many 
a creed to minister to the spiritual and moral welfare of a 
^eat and busy centre. It would be pleasant to make special 
mention of the devoted and often scholarly and cultured men 
who are labouring in many ways to one common end, but 
the exigencies of space forbid. 


•or, more con-ectly, the Parish Church of St. John the Bap- 
tist, is the only rehgious edifice in Cardiff at present in use 
that has serious claims upon the archaeologist. It, therefore, 
takes precedence of all other places of worship, and will, 
•doubtless, without question, be conceded that honour upon 
all hands. St. John's, as we have seen elsewhere, is nigh 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff. 79 

upon 500 years old, and it is likely that the present edifice 
occupies the site of a. still more ancient building. A six- 
teenth century writer speaks of it as a "faire chui'ch," and 
remarks that the steeple "of all skilful behoulders is very 
well liked of," a description which still applies with much 

St. John's Chukch. 

accuracy to this noble and venerable fane. The style of 
St. John's is perpendicular, though successive restorations, 
not always judicious, have robbed it of many of its original 
characteristics. In what spirit these so-called restorations 
used to be executed may be gleaned from Lemuel Jenkins' 
"History of Cardiff," in which he says (1854), "Diuing the 
last few years great taste has been displayed in restoring the 
church. The gaudy painting and gilding with which it was 
decorated have been carefully scraped off, and the walls 
coloured, whidi has added to the beauty of the venei^able 
structure." Surely, this is the very apotheosis of white- 
wash ! The beautiful tower, the finest in South Wales, was 
built in 1443 by one Hairt, who is also undcMs^^iood to bave 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

80 Guide to Cardiff, 

erected the noble steeples of Wroiham and of St. Stephen's, 
Bristol. The cost of the work was defrayed by Lady 
Ann of Warwick, afterwards wife of Richard III. It is 
surmounted by four open stone lanterns, richly ornamented 
with pinnacles and vanes, and is in process of much 
needed reparation, under the careful hands of Mr. 
Fowler. The tower (which contains a peal of ten bells and 
an illuminated clock) is a striking object, but so built round 
that the full effect of its graceful proportions can only be 
seen with difficulty. 

The interior of the church consists of two aisles, separated 
by lofty arches, resting on massive pillars; and a chancel. 
Attention may be called to the immersion baptistry at the 
west end of the north aisle; the numerous and beautiful 
stained glass windows in the north aisle and Herbert Chapel, 
where may be sesn the Bute Arms, including quarterings 
belonging fto the noble families of Plantagenet, Neville, 
Beauchainp, Herbert, Stuart, Windsor, Hastings, and 
ethers, the blazons embracing a period of some eight hun- 
dred years, from the time when the Castle and its land 3 
were wrested by the Normans from their Cymric possessors. 
Here also are fine monuments erected to the memory of 
members of the Herbert family of the old Grey Friars 
Priory, ancestors of the Marquess of Bute, viz., Sir John, 
secretary to Queen Elizabeth and James II., and ambassador 
to the coiuHs of France and Poland ; Sir William Herbert, 
afterwards Earl of Pembroke and first Lord of Cardiff. One 
of the quaint epitaphs records that 

'*H€re lies Anne Herbert by her Hvsband's syde, 
His ever loviuge wife she livd and dyed." 

The chastely cai-ved stone reredos behind the altar is the 
work of Mr. Goscombe John, a native of Cardiff, the weU- 
kno^ai sculptor. The unique groups of heads on the cor- 
bels of tlie wall-shafts in the chancp] are intended "to 
illustrate the continuity of the church." Beginning with 
John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul, tkey go on to include 
SS. Dubricius and Augustine, Eawlins White (the Pro- 
testant martyr of Cardiff), Archbishop Laud, Doctors Pusey 
and Keble, the present Bishop of Llandaff, and the Rev. 
C. J. Thompson, D.D., the present vicar — a very com- 
prehensive and fair representation of "the Holy Catholic 
Church throughout all the world." 

Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff, 81 

St. John's has within the past half centuiy been much 
renovated and added to. The additions made during the in- 
cumbency of the present vicar have beoi carried out with 
judicious care, and it is safe to say that there are few 
churches in the kingdom that bear stronger traces of the 
coixstant touch of tender and loving hands Some £20,000 
has been expended on the edifice in little more than a 
decade, the splendid organ alone (the gift of the late Mr. 
F. Stacey) costing over £2,000. The church now seats 
1,500 persons, and there are 900 free seats. Most of the 
tablets and brasses have been carefully placed in the tower, 
where they will be safe from "Time's effacing fingers" for 
many a century to come. 

The living of St. John's is in the gift of the Dean and 
Cliapter of Gloucester, and has been held since 1875 by the 
Rev. Canon Thompson, whc»se zeal for the Church in CardiiT 
is only equalled by the interest he takes in all branches of 
social and public work. A handsome brass tablet near the 
west door serves as a memorial of the gratitude and esteem of 
Dr. Thompson's parisliioners for a devoted and untiring 
servant of the Church. 


But for the disastrous flood of 16U7 St. John's would have 
a serious rival in the parish church of St. Mary which at 
that date was undermined and washed away. This edifice, 
there can be no doubt, was a most imposing one, and it is a 
thousand pities that it should be lost for ever to Cardiff. 
After the disaster St. Mary's and St. John's parishes were 
united for many years, but in 1843 the present church of 
St. Mary's was re-built, and was consecrated shortly after- 
wards. At that time pieces of poetry having reference to 
the event were contributed by several hands, Wordsworth 
amongst them, whose beautiful lines may here be inserted : — 

Wh©n Severn's sweeping flood had overthrown 
St. Mary*s Church, the Preacher then would cry, 
"Thus, Christian people, God His might hath shown 
That ye to Him your love may testi^. 

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82 Guide to Cardiff', 

Ha«te and rebuild the pile !" But not a stone 
Resumed ite place. Age after age went by, 
And Heaven still lacked its due ; though Pietj 
In secret did, we trust, her loss bemoan. 
But now her epirit has put forth its claim 
In power, and Poesy would lend her voice. 
Let the new work be worthy of its aim, 
That in its beauty Cardiff may rejoice ! 
Oh, in the past, ii cause there was for shame, 
Let not our times halt in their better choice ! 

St. Mary's Church. 

St. Mar}''s is in the Romanesque style, and seats some 1,800 
people. The living is in the gift of Lord Bute, and has been 
held since 1872 bv the Rev. G. A. Jones, M.A. 

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Gnide to Cardifi, 83 

St. Maroabet's, Roaih. 


Besides St. John's, already described, the parish of that 
name contains the following churches : — St. James', New- 
port-road (erected 1894, with a spire 160 feet high); St. 
Alban's, Blackweir; St. John's Mission Room, Queen- 

St. Mary's Parish has, besides the church of that name, 
St. D3rf rig's, Wood-street (Early English), and St. Michaers, 

St. Andrew's Parish Church, St. Andrew's-crescent (1860, 
Early English Gothic) ; St. Teilo's, Cathays ; St. Illtyd's, 
Cathays; St. Cuthbert's Mission (Gothic). 

St. Stephen's, West Bute-street; St. Stephen's Mission 

All Saints', Tyndall-sti-eet (1856, Gothic) ; Eglwys Dewi 
Sant, Howard-gardens (Welsh, 1891, Decora ted^Gothip) ; 

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84 Guide to Cardiff, 

Cemetery Chapel, Moira-street (Gothic) ; Mission Room, 

St. Margaret's Parish Church, Roath (Early English 
Gothic, re-built by the Marquess of Bute 1868) ; St. Ajdh's, 
Crofts-street; St. Agnes', Bertram-street; St. Martin's, 

St. German's, Metal-street (Gothic, 1884) ; St. Saviour's, 
East Moors (Gothic); St. Francis, temporary mission 

St. John's, Cowbridge-road, Canton (1856, Gothic); St. 
Paul's, Grangetown; St. Vincent's, mission; Pontcknna 
mission; Riverside mission. North Morgan-street. 

St. Catherine's, King's-road (Gothic). 

All Souls' Seamen's Church and Institute, West Dock 
Basin (opened 1891, and re-placed the old mission ship 

St. Peter's ^^K.C.) 


There is a numerous Roman Catholic population at Car- 
diff, which town forms part of the Diocese of Newport and 
Meuevia, the bishop being the Right Rev. John Cuthbert 

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Guide to Cardiff', 85 

Hedley, O.S.B., resident at Llanishen. The Catholic 
Churches include, St. Peter^s, Roath (1861, Geometrical 
Gothic); St. David's, Charles-street (Gothic); St. Mary's, 
Canton (Gothic) ; St. Patrick's, Grangetown (Gothic) ; St. 
Paul's, Tyndall-street (Early French Gothic) ; St. Alban's, 
on the Moors, Swinton-street ; the Convent of the Good 
Shepherd, Penylan ; and the Convent of the Poor Sisters of 


The Synago(jue. 

The Jewish Synagogue is a departure in local religious 
architecture. It is situated at Cathedral-road, and takes 
the place of the edifice at East-terrace, wnich was erected in 
1858, and enlarged ini 1874, and which the Jewish community 
at Cardiff has now outgrown. The new temple, opened in 
1897, accommodates 241 men in the ground floor and 158 
women in the gallery, but provision for large extensions 
has been made. The Oriental style of the Synagogue 
makes it a very noticeable building : cost over X5,000. 

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86 Guide to Cardiff, 


English Baptist: — Bethany, St. Mary-street (1807, pre- 
sent diapel, erected in the Italian style, 1865) ; Eldcn-road 
School Chapel, Canton; Hope Chapel, Cowbridge-road 
(Romanesque) ; Bethel, Mountstuart-square (Classic) ; Tre- 
degarville, Parade ((Early English Gothic) ; Pearl-street, 
Roath; Zoor, Windsor-road (Romanesque); Longcross- 
street (Early English) ; WoodviUe-road, Cathay s ; Grange- 
town, Clive-street ; Splotlands-road. 

Welsh Baptist: — Tabernacle, the Hayes (erected 1821, 
re-built in the Italian style 1865, the famous Christmas 
Evans a former pastor) ; Canton, Llandaff-road (Gothic) ; 
Siloam, Mountstuart-square (Classic). 

Bible Christiar. : — Diamond-street, Roath (Victorian) ; 
Miskin-street, Cathays (Gothic) ; and several mission rooms. 

English Calvinistic Methodist : — Clifton-street (Gothic) ; 
Great Frederick - street (Gothic) ; Plasnewydd - square 
(Gothic) ; East Mocrs ; Clive-road ; Grangetown Hall ; 
Davies Memorial Hall, Cowbridge-road (1893). 

Welsh Calvinistic Methodist : — Salem, Albert-street, Can- 
ton (Mixed); Pembrokf>terrace (Early French Gothic); 
May-street (Gothic); Bethania, South Loudoun-square 

English Congregational : — ^Wood-stre<it (built in the 
Italian style, originally a theatre; seats 2,200); Charles- 
street (Decorated Gothic) ; Hannah-stieet (Corinthian) ; 
Cowbridge-road; Roath Chapel, Stacey-road (Gothic Iron 
Church); Star-street, Splotlands (Victorian); St. Paul's, 
Neville-street ; Richmond-road (Gothic) ; Charles-street 
Missicm Hall, Grangetown. 

Welsh Congregational : — Ebenezer, Ebenezer-street 
(1828); Severn-road; Mimiy-street, Cathays; Mount- 
stuart-square (Classic). 

Plymouth Brethren: — ^Meeting House, Clyde-street; 
Grangetown (Gothic) ; Neville-street (Gothic) ; Richmond- 
road ; Clive-sti'ect and Holmesdale-street, GraUj^^etown ; 
Eleanor-street, Bute Docks; Bradley-street, Roath; Mill- 

Presbyterian : — ^Windsor-place (1866, cost £10,000) ; Mis- 
^on Church, Cathays. 

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Guide to Cardif. 87 

Primitive > Methodist : — ^Mooint Tabor, Moirarterrace 
(Gptliic) ; Canton, Severn-road ; Cathays, Minny-street ; 
Mount Hermon, Pearl-street, Llandaff. 

Society of Friends — Charles-street. 

United Methodist Free Church : — Penarth-road. 

Wedeyan Methodist: — ^Weeley Chapel, Chai*les-street 
(original building destroyed by fire 1895); Roath Road 
(Gothic); Broadway, Roath (Gothic); Cathays (Italian); 
South SploUauds (Gothic); East Moors; Albany-road; 
Loudoun-square (Gothic) ; Conway-road (Gothic) ; Grange- 
town (Gothic); Riverside; Bethel (Welsh) ChapeL 

Glamorgan Deaf and Dumb Mission, Windsor-place. 

Unsectarian Gospel Halls : — Earl-street ; Lower Grange ; 
Pontcauna; Bute-road; Bute Docks. 

Unitarian: — Tredegarville (Italian Renaissance), 

Christadelphian : — ^Custom House-street. 

Salvation Army : — Stuart Hall, the Hayes ; Roath ; Can- 
ton; Grangetown; Cathays; East Moors. 

Lutheran: — South-east comer of West Bute Dock. 

Free Church, Cathays (Gothic). 

J'.iK DojKs Post Office. ^ , 

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88 Guide to Cardiff, 

leDucational iBstabUebmenie, 

Cardiff may claim to have shown deep interest in the 
cause of education, and to have readily and liberally sup- 
ported every Welsh educational movement. It is the seat 
of the University College of South Wales and Monmouth- 
shire, and has also Technical and Intermediate Schools, 
Pupil Teachers* School, Higher Grade School, sixteen 
Board and nineteen Voluntary Schools, as well as some 
private establishments. 


The University College of South Wales and Monmouth- 
shire occupies the old Cardiff Infirmary buildings, Newport- 
road, until the erection of new premises, for which funds 

University College. 

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Guide to Cardijf. 89 

are being raised. To tell the svory of the college would be 
in good part to rehearse the history of Higher and 
Intermediate Education in Wales. Suffice it to say that 
Cardiff and Swansea competed for the honour of housing 
the college. In this "battle of sites," Cardiff had, at least 
on two important points, a decided advantage. In one hand 
she brought a monetary subscription of £22,000 and a site 
of the value of £10,000, and in the other hand she presented 
a well-considered scheme • whereas her rival, although offer- 
ing a still more valuable site, had only a comparativly small 
sum of money to offer, and had no plan of any land to 
produce. The choice, therefore, fell upon Cardiff, and the 
college was inaugurated in October, 1883. Its progress has 
been gratifjdng, and it now comprises the following depart- 
ments : — ^Faculties of Arts and Science, Department of Ap- 
plied Science and Technology, Medical School, Departments 
for Training of Teachers in Elementary and Secondary 
Schools, and in Cookery, Department of Evening Lectures 
in Arts, and of Extension Lectures in the Counties of Gla- 
morgan and Monmouth. There are some 400 day students, 
and double that numbw attend the evening classes. The 
most important of the recent additions are the erection of 
new Chemical and Biological Laboratories and Lecture 
Rooms, and extensive buildings for the Department of En- 
gineering and Medicine (the latter at a cost of £5,000). 
The college Ubrary contains some 25,000 volumes. 


In connection with the University CoU^e is a large resi- 
dence for women students, known as Aberdare Hall, and 
situated in Corbett-road, erected at a cost of £7,500, includ- 
ing outlay on boundary walls, garden, tennis courts, furni- 
ture, installation of electric hght, fire escape apparatus, &c. 
The premises contain day room and dining room, eacli 40 
feet by 28 feet, divided by a movable screen , also library, 
30 feet by 30 feet, connected with day room by a panel door. 

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9;) Guide to Cardiff. 


The Technical School occupies the old Proprietary 
School in Dumfries-place, and is under the joint control 
of the Corporation and the University College. Having 
adopted the Act of 1889, the Technical School includes 
the former Science and Art Schools. The present number 
of students is 2,600, who with Universitv College students 
make a total of 3,000. 


This school was opened for girls a couple of years ago, 
and has been from the start a complete success. It is in 
TredegarviUe, under the management of Miss Collin, and has 
about 200 scholars. A site for a temporary boys' school 
has been selected on Newpcrt-road, on the estate now occu- 
pied by Mr. Ellis's nursery. Tlie permanent boys' scliool 
will probably be in Cathays Park. 


The Baptist College, originally established at Pontypool, 
has been removed to Cardiff, and is now situate in premises 
at Eichmond-road. Principal, Rev. W. Edwards, B.A., 


This fine School is situated at Llandaif. As the Howell's 
Charity produces about ^6,^500 a year, and is the most 
valuable educational endowment in the Principality, a 
short history of its orisrin may he of interest. 

In 1540 Howell, supposed to have been a native of Usk, 
in Monmoutli shire, but then living at Seville, in Spain, 
bequeathed to the Drapers' Company 12,000 ducats, to buy' 
tluTewith 100 ducats of rent yearly for evermore. The 
wiU required "That the said 400 dukats be disposed unto 
four may dens, being orphanes — ^next of my kjmne and 
bludde — to theire marriage, if they can be founde, every one 

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Guide to Cardiff. 91 

of them to have 100 dukats — and if they cannot be found 
of my lynnage, then to be geven to other foure maydens, 
though they be not of my lynnage, so that they be orphanes^ 
honest, of goode fame, and every of them 100 dukats — and 
so, every yere, for to marry four maydens for ever." In 
1543, tbe Drapers' Company, having received 8,720 ducats 
(tlie rest never arrived), covenanted to distribute the rents 
arising from the money, to and for the maxriage of poor 
maidens, being orphans. 

In 1559 a suit was instituted by certain poor female 
orphans, alleging themselves to be kinswomen of the foimder, 
and complaining that the Company had not properly applied 
the revenues. The Court of Chancery ordered that the 
rents should be devoted to four orphans, of the blood of the 
founder, so that each of them should have £21 a year. The 
certificate of the lineage of the orphans (according to a 
pedigree certified by Cardinal Pole) was to be made by the 
Bishop of Llandaff for the time being. This Bishop was 
chosen because Monmouthshire is in the Diocese of Llandaff, 
and in 1593 certain Justices of the Peace for the County of 
Monmouth were associated with the bishop. No further 
legal proceedings took place until 1838, when the Attorney 
General filed an information against the Company. The 
Company replied that the sima of £84 was paid annually to 
the four poor maidens, but that the rest of the yearly income 
(then some £1,900) was carried to the Company's account. 
Lord Langdale, by a decree in 1845, declared that the whole 
fund was applicable to the charitable purposes of the will, 
and the Master of the Rolls directed that a request should 
be made for an Act of Parliament to regulate the Charity. 
Acts were passed in 1846 and 1852, the latter directing that 
the money should be used for establishing and supporting 
two schools for female orphans in Wales, one school to be at 
Llandaff, the other at Denbigh. 


The Cardiff School Board was established in 1875, and now 
provides accommodation for 17,000 scholars, the Voluntary 
Schools accommodating another 9,000. The oldest board 

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92 Guide to Cardiff*. 

school is tliat at Eleanor-street (opened in 1878). The others, 
are at Adamsdown, South Church-street, Wood-street, 
Stacey-road, Severn- road, Splotlands, Crwys-road, Grange- 
town, Albany-road, Radnor-road, Moorland-road, Court-road, 
and Roath Peirk. The Higher Grade School — ^at Howard- 
gardens — was opened in 1885. It is a splendidly appointed 
building, and has acconunodation for 1,100 scholars, exclu- 
sive of laboratory and three lecture rooms, cookery kitchen, 
&c. The head master is Mr. James Waugh, M.A. 

Higher Grade hiCHooL. 


The National Schools are Bute-terrace (opened 1848), 
Moimtstuart-square, Wood-street, North Church-street, 
Leckwith-road, Grangetown, East Moors, Crofts-street, and 


The Roman CathoHc Schools are David-street, Grange- 
town, Tyndall-street, Canton, and Roath. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 93 

Benevolent an& Cbaritable 3n6titution6* 


This handsome pile of buildings stands on an extensive 
site between Newport-road and Longcross-street, and is an 
important addition to the architectural features of that 
quarter of Cardiff. The infirmary as an institution is con- 
temporaneous with the reign of Queen Victoria. The nucleus 
of the fimd subsequently raised for its erection was obtained 
from the proceeds of the Gwent and Dyfed Royal Eisteddfod, 
which took place at Cardiff Castle in August, 1834, imder the 
patronage of the Princess Victoria (her present Majesty), 
and the presidency of the late Marquess of Bute. The sum 
realised was £350, to which his lordship added £1,000, and 
also gave the site upon which the present building stands. 
Amongst those who havei been its greatest benefactors was 
the late Daniel Jones, of Beaupre, formerly a solicitor in the 
town, who contributed, by subscription and bequest, £6,894 
6s. 2d. In 1866 it was found necessary to enlarge the struc- 
ture, the cost of which was borne by public subscription. 
With the increase of population the accommodation again 
became inadequate, and the Governors saw no other way 
out of the difficulty than the erection in 1883 of the present 
building. The present infirmary comprises an administra- 
tive block, wards right and left of a central corridor, chil- 
dren's ward, operation room, and kitchens, laundry and 
mortuaiy. The wards of the institution are named after 
the donors of £1,000, as foUows : — "Bute," "Gwendolen," 
"Insole," "Leigh Morgan," "Shand," "Tredegar," "Ware," 
and "Windsor." The total cost of the building, including 
furnishing and laying out the grounds, was £28,000. Dur- 
ing 1892 extensions were made costing an additional 
£12,000. From the architectural standpoint the infirmary 
is, perhaps, the best of Mr. Seward's buildings : it is in a 
domestic Gothic style, which has a character of its own ; the 
small central tower is very graceful in design, and the treat- 
ment of the projecting wings, each with a semi-octagon bay 

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^4 Guide to Cardiff. 



Digitized by 


Guide to Cardiff. 95 

at each side, forms a very pretty and unusual piece of 
architectural grouping. The infirmary is recognised by the 
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Society 
of the Apothecaries' Hall, London, as a placs for clinical 
t>ctaching in connection with the Cardiff Medical School. 
The institution is supported by volimtary subscriptions, 
donations, and legacies. 


This institution is situated on the north side of the Cow- 
bridge-road. It imderwent re-construction during the close 
of the year 1879 and the years 1880-81. The old buildings 
were erected about 40 years ago, when Cardiff was a town 
of little commercial importance, and the whole population of 
Glamorganshire did not number more than 170,000. With 
the progress of the Union, the necessity of increased accom- 
modation made itself felt, and various alterations were made, 
including the present board room and hospital, which are of 
modem design. But at length it was urged, first by the 
medical officer, and then by the Local Government Board, 
that nothing short of a re-construction of the workhouse 
premises would suffice to meet existing requirements, and in 
1879 the Board of Guardians decided to advertise for con- 
tracts for the carrying out of plans which had been prepared 
for this purpose by Messrs. James, Seward, and Thomas, 
architects, Cardiff. The contract was let to Mr. C. Burton, 
of Cardiff, at a sum of £27,000, and in October, 1879, the 
work was oommeneed, and finished at the end of 1881. 
During the years 1889-90 further additions were made to the 
buildings, and these have recently been added to by the 
architect to the guardians, Mr. Seward. The administrative 
department has a frontage of about 250 feet to the Cow- 
bridge-road. It c»mprises board room, committee room, at- 
tendants' offices, waiting rooms, &c., and is built with Forest 
stone dressings and Radyr strings. It is lighted by lancet 
and square headed windows and deep mullions, and the 
centre portion is surmounted by a handsome clock tower 
and bell turret rising to the height of 72 feet. The heating 
apparatus of the workhouse is dominated by a chimney 

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96 Guide to Cardiff. 



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Guide to Cardiff, 97 

stack of graceful design, and the whole premises have a 
pleasant and even homelike aspect. They house a popula- 
tion as large as that of Cardiff itself at the beginning of the 
century I 


This commodious structure in North-road was erected in 
1874, on a site given by the Marquess of Bute. It is con- 
ducted by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, and is in connection 
with the mother house at Haimmersmith. The sisters devote 
their lives to the care and siistenance of the aged and infirm, 
the destitute poor, incurables, children and orphans, who 
are received into the home without distinction oi creed or 
nationality, and are nursed, clothed, and waited upon by the 
sisters with scrupulous care. They also train young girls 
for domestic service. At present the inmates number over 
200. A new wing has been added to the building at a cost 
of between £5,000 and £6,000, which is used as a Poor Law 
School, affording accommodation for over 100 children. 


The "Cardiff Institute for Improving the Social Condition 
of the Blind" is situated in Longcross-street and Glossop- 
road. Itl was established about 29 years ago, chiefly through 
the instrumentality of the late Miss Shand and Mr. J. B. 
Shand, her brother. Commodious workshops were 
erected in 1868, the cost being defrayed by volim- 
tary subscriptions. Eight years ago the committee 
registered the institution; and, having bought a piece of 
land at the side of the present structure in Longcross-street, 
they have since adopted the above title and address. Ex- 
tensive alterations and additions have been made to the 
building and completed at a cost of £3,000. The principal 
entrance, and also the shop for the sale of goods, is in Long- 
cross-street, opposite the new infirmary. 

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98 Guide to Cardiff. 


This inslitution was established in 1862 by Mr. Alexander 
MehdUe, by whose widow it is still carried on. At the 
beginning lie building occupied was a very small one, and 
only a few pupils could be acconunodated. After a while 
premises in Romilly- crescent were available, the freeliold 
was purchased, and vested in trustees. There are about 
30 pupils at present. 


H.M. Ship Havannah, an old 42 gun frigate, was lent to 
the Cardiff Industrial and Ragged School Committee by the 
Admiralty for the purpose of an Industrial School in the 
year 1860. It was at first intended to fit her up as a train- 
ing ship, but this design was abandoned from want of means, 
the Admiralty having declined to supply spars and rigging 
with the hidk. The number of boys the school is certified 
for is 100. 


This institution was founded, at Stuart-street, by the late 
Marchioness of Bute, and the foundation stone was laid by 
her son, the present marquess, in 1855. It is a neat Tudor 
structure, and since its foundation it has afforded shelter 
to 83,000 weekly boarders and 40,000 casual inmates, who 
have deported and withdrawn in the aggr^ate the sum 
of £65,150. 


In 1866 the Admiralty supplied H.M. diip Hamadryad, 
an old 21 gun frigate, for the purpose of a Seamen's Hos- 
pital. She was towed round from Plymouth, and is now 
moored near the Canal Sea Lock. The hospital was opened 
on the 1st of November, 1866. Arrangements aire being 
made to substitute for the Hamadryad in honour of the 
Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen a permanent 
building woriihy of the importance of Cardiff. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 99 


This seaside home for invalids, convalescents, and scrofu- 
lous patients is situated between Porthcawl and Sker on one 
of the healthiest sites in the kingdom, commandiDg a lovely 
view. The embryo institution was started as far back as 
1862. In 1869 measures were taken to obtain a permanent 
and suitable home. A site and £1,000 were generously 
given by Mr. Talbot, and the cost of the buildiog was 
defrayed by public subscription, to which Lord Bute, Mr. 
H. T. Crawshay, Col. T. Picttm TurberviU, Lord Aberdare, 
Lord Windsor, and others were large contributors. The 
original plan, on the block system, was designed by the late 
Mr. John Prichard, to consist of a central building and two 
detached blocks, domestic offices, &c. The Rest was 
intended for the reception of about 120 patients of both 
sexes to occupy opposite sides of the building. The first 
jK>rtion was carried out in 1878, and additional blocks in 
1885 and 1893. 

^beatres ant) Iballs- 

Shortly after the destruction by fire of the old theatre 
in Crockherbtown — ^a play-house the stage of which had be»n 
trodden by Macready, Mrs. Siddons, and Edmund Kean — 
the present Theatre Royal, in St. Mary-street, was built, 
£12,000 being expended in its construction. The house is 
conimcdious, and is visited by all the best London operatic 
and dramatic companies. 

The Grand Theatre, in Westgate-streeit, is built dn a 
-circular form, with ample means of exit. It was opened in 
] 887 as a music-hall, the magistrates having refused a full 
dramatic hcence. A dramatic licence was, however, granted 
on April 9, 1888. 

The Empire Palace of Varieties is situated in Queen-streeu 
It was erected under the personal supervision of Mr. Dolph 
Levino, the first lessee, and was opened in 1887, and haft 
since been enlarged and elaborately re-fitted. 

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100 Guide to Cardiff. 

The Philharmonic Music Hall, in St. Mary-street, was 
originally designed as a high class concert hall; but, the 
old theatre being b^jmt down just at the time the new hall 
was completed, and the new theatre not being ready for 
opening, a dramatic hce^nce was granted to this place of 
amusement. Upon the completion of the new theatre the 
dramatio Hoence was withdrawn, and a music and dancing 
licence substituted. Tlie hall is now called the Panopticon, 
and used as a waxwork exhibition and novelty palace. 

Park Hall Buildinus, Cardiff. 

The Park Hall and Hotel Company was formed for the 
purpose of erecting upon the site of the old Theatre Royal, 
in Queen-street, an. extensive building, combining, with a 
magnificent) hall, an hotel, and a mmiber of shops and offices. 
The main hall, which forms the chief feature, was opened 
in 1885. 

The Colonial Hall is built in New-street over some new 
warehouBee. It is let for meetings and entertainments. 

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Gaide to Cardiff, 101 

Iparfts ant) ©pen Spaces* 

In the matter of parks and open spaces Cardiff holds a 
fortunate positi(»i, few towns of its size and importance 
being more completely equipped. The distribution of 
oxygen throughout the community is reflected in the com- 
paratively small death rate and the general health of the 
borough, the former being only about 18 per 1,000 per 
annimi, and the mortahty from zymotic diseases in pailicu- 
lar being gratifyingly lew. We shall first briefly describe 
the parks of CardiS. 


This fine park, covering 120 acres, is the most extensive 
in Wales, and may be reached by SaJisbmy-road tram ; or, 
still better, by Richmond-ro«d or Castl&-road 'bus. This 
latter sets down passengers within two minutes* walk (by 


Wellfield-road) of the Recreation Field at the beginning 
of the Park. The pubHc of Cardiff owes Roath Park in the 
main to tho generosity of the Marquess of Bute, who pre- 
sented the bulk of the land to tho town, smaller portions 
being added by Lord Tredegar and Messrs. Clark and Jack- 
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102 Guide to Cardiff. 


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Guide to Cardiff, 


son. The ceremony of cutting the first sod was performed 
by the Marchioness of Bute in 1887, and on Juiie 20, 1894, 
the opening ceremony took place amid great rejoicings, being 
perf onned by the heir to the marquess, the Earl of Dumfries, 
on his ttdrteenth birthday. Beyond the 23 acres of recrear 
tion ground lies tlie second portion laid out in pleasant walks 
and flower beds all about the coui-se of the brook, which 
runs down the centre. Beyond this, again, passing under 
the Docks branch railway bridge, we come to the Botanical 

Ro4TH Park Lake. 

Gardens, 15 acres in extent, smiling with flowers in trim 
beds — a ma» of dazzling colour. Flowers and plants in this 
section are all labelled for the instruction and delight of 
students and amateur gardeners. Beyond the botanical 
garden is the lake (41 acres), the wild garden and the ovaJ. 
Fishing tickets are issued for the season, March 1 to Sep- 
tember 30, 5s. each; rod licence is Is. The lake, dotted 
with boats and enlivened by water fowl, is extremely pretty. 
Its charm is enhanced by its setting among the hills and 
its outlook toward Cefn On. Boats are let out on hire. 
The charge begins at Is. an hour, for the first one or two 
passengers, 6d. each beyond that number. 

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104 Guide to Cardiff. 

Sophia Gakdens. 


These pretty and romantic gardens are situated on the 
west side of the river Taff, and take their name from the 
late Marchioness of Bute, at whose instance they were laid 
out and opened to the people of Cardiff by the trustees of 
the late Marquess of Bute ; in whose memory they have 
since been devoted to the same purpose by the present 
Marquess. The grounds were opened to the pubhc in 1858, 
and since then they have continued to improve in the variety 
and beauty of their attractions, not the least of which are 
the bowling green and the picturesque lake and fountain. 


To the rear of the Sophia. Gardens is an extensive field, 
which has been laid out by the Marquess of Bute, and opened 
to the public for the purposes of recreation. 

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Guide to Cardiff', 1 05 


This park occupies the land between Westgate-street and 
the river Taff, and has been placed at the disposal of the 
principal athletic clubs of the town by the Marquess of Bute. 
All the matches in connection with the Cardiff Cricket and 
Football Clubs are played here, and the Park has been the 
scene of some famous encount/crs of modem sport. 


A favourite resort is the very pretty park at Canton 
which townsfolk owe to the generosity of Mr. Charles 
Thompson. It is beautifully kept, and full of picturesque 


Quite lately the Corporation have acquired Ely Conmion, 
and laid oiit there a park 25 acres in extent, and a similar 
park of 22 acres on Canton Common. T^e former was 
opened Jime 16, 1897, by the Mayor (Alderman Beavan), 
and chrihtened Victoria Paik . 1'he Council have acquired for 
the town the picturesque Llandaff Fields. They have also, 
during the past few years, laid out nearly twenty open 
spaces, varying in area from half an acre to three acres 
respectively. Amongst these may be mentioned Plasturton, 
Clare, Uanbleddian, Moorland, and Howard Gardens, which 
in the summer time are bright with flowers and form a 
pleasant lounge for denizens in the vicinity. These open 
spaces were presented to the town by Lord Bute, Lord 
Tredegar, Lord Windsor, and other landowners. At 
Grangetown is a recreation groimd presented by Lords Bute 
and Windsor. 


There are two Cemeteries in Cardiff, the Old and the 
New, the formei* situated at Adamsdown, the latter on the 
grounds connected witli St. John's rnd with the older 
chapels, but all are now occupied to their fullest capacity. 
The New Cemetery has an area of some 80 acres, and is 
tasteftdly laid out. It has a handsome entrance and two 
n'crtuary chapels. ^ l 

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106 Guide to Cart 

Htbletic ant) ®tber Clube. 

The followiri^' are the principal athletic and recreation 
Clubs of Cardiff:— 

Cardiff Football Club, which includes amongst its members 
most of the leading players of the town, occupies the Cardiff 
Arms Park as its headquarters. For the convenience of 
the public a grand stand has been erected upon the ground, 
and open stands occupy the other three sides of the enclo- 

Cardiff Cricket Club was established about 40 years ago, 
and now numbers 200 members. The cricket ground is 
situated in the Cardiff Arms Park, which is placed at the 
disposal of the club, free of all charge, by the Marquess of 
Bute. His lordship has also erected on the ground a con- 
venient rustic pavilion, containing dressing rooms, &c., for 
the use of the players. 

The leading Cycling Clubs of the town include: — ^The 
Cardiff United (Bridgwater Arms), Cardiff Jockey (Chfton 
Hotel, Roath), Cardiff Borough (Grand Hotel), Catford. 
South Wales Branch (Royal^ Hotel). Cardiff (Haskell's 
Temperance Hotel), 100 Miles (Royal Oak Hotel). 

Roath lidivni Temiis Club was formed in 1887, and nirni- 
bei-s over 200 members. The ground is at Pengam, at the 
end of Newport-road. 

Cardiff Harlequins' Athletic Club has its ground at Roath. 
The 'Quins have a thoroughly up-to-date emlosui-e, including 
a banked cycling track, laid down at a cost of over .€1,000. 
There is a spacious grand stand, imdemeath which is a niun- 
ber of dressing-rooms, baths, &c. 

The Bowling Club meets at the Sophia Gardens, where 
a beautiful green has been formed for its use through the 
munificence of the Marquess of Bute. The club numbers 
1 50 members. 

The handsome Racquet Court, situated on the Cardiff 
Arms Park, was erected in 1878, at a total cost of £2,300. 
In May, 1880, the attractions of this place of amusement 
were considerably enhanced by the formation of a Lawn 
Tennis Club. The tennis courts, of which there are five. 

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Guide to Cardiff'. 107 

axe laid in an enclosed part of the Cai diff Arms Park. The 
dub numbers 100 gentlemen and 50 lady members. 

Tlie Cardiff Quoit Club was formed in 1866, and meets, 
by permission of the Marquess of Bute, on ground adjoining 
the Cardiff Arms Park. Entrance from the bottom of Park- 
street. There are ten rinks on the groimd, ranging from 
fifteen to twenty-one yards. The dub now numbers 250. 

The Cardiff Amateur Rowing Club has its headquarters 
at the boat-house by Llandaff Weir, where a fine stretch 
of water is available. It possesses a roomy boat-house, with 
dressing-room and bathing accommodation, and a good stock 
of light and heavy boats. The present membership is about 

Some years ago Cardiff had one of the strongest Chess 
Clubs out of London, but through various causes it collapsed, 
and it was not until October, 1883, after some correspon- 
dence had appeared in the "Western Mail," that it was 
decided to form another Chess Club for the town. The 
meetings take place every evening from 7 to 11 p.m. at the 
Castle Arcade. 

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108 Guide to Cardiff, 

TRail an& Sea Communication. 

There are few large centres more favourably situated than 
Cardiff for communication with all parts by land and water. 
As regards the former it is estimated that within a radius oi 
25 miles of the town there are nearly 700 miles of railway, 
and that in 24 hours nearly 250 trains enter or take their 
departure from the Welsh metropoHs. Cardiff is connected 
with the Great Western, London and North Western, Mid- 
land, Taff Vale, Rhymiiey, and Barry Railways. Of these, 
the oldest is the Taff Vale, opened in 1840, the handsome 
station and offices of which lino are situated at Queen-street. 
The Midland line carries goods to Cardiff over the Taff 
system, by which tlirough access is also gained to the Cam- 
brian Railways. The Taff Vale line is quadruple throughout 
the greater portion of its extent, and its enormous business 
is still rapidly developing. Next in order of time comes 
the Great Western, formerly the South Wales Railway, 
which communicates on the one hand with England and the 
Metropolis, and on the other with Swansea and South Wales 
in general. The service of express trains on the Great Wes- 
tern is being constantly improved, and the journey to 
London has been reduced to thi-ee hours and a quarter. 
The central station at Cardiff has been recentiy enlarged at 
a cost of £200,000; a station is shortly to be erected at 
Roath • and the line for twelve mile© to the east of Cardiff 
is being quadrupled. The Taff Vale line runs into the 
Great Western station ; the goods station of the latter line 
is at Newtown, and a passenger station at Canton is talked 
of. The Rhymney Railway, whose station is at Queen- 
street, was opened in 1858, and is connected with the Lon- 
don atnd North Western system. Like the Taff, though in 
less degree, it taps the great coalfields of the "hinter- 
land." The Barry Company runs passenger trains into Car- 
diff over the Penarth branch of the Taff Vale Railway and 
the Great Western Railway. Its station is at Riverside, 
adjoining that of the Great Western Railway. The exten- 
sive railway system of the Bute Docks Company at the 
Docks need only be mentioned : the lines and sidings cover 
some 120 miles. A new line between Cardiff* and Ponty- 
pridd is one of the projects likely to be carried out in the 
near future. ^ I 

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Guide to Cardiff. 10;^ 

The Glamorganshire Canal has been described already 
«»lsewhere : it sull does a considf raHe trade, and the most 
modem improvements have lately been effected. 

Cardiff Tramways cover some nine miles, and in the year 
ended June, 1896, the cairs and 'busses of the company con- 
veyed over 14,000,000 passengers. There are three main 
tram routes, viz., from Roath to the Pier-head, from Canton 
to the Pier-head, and from Grangetown to Splotlands. There 
is also a subsidiary tram route from St. John's-square to 
Caliiays. Besides the town routes, 'busses or breaks run to 
Llandafi, Penarth, and Blackweir. There is also an exten- 
sive service of cabs. The following particulars may be 
found useful : — 

Gars. Colour of V&hicle. 

Roath and Bute Docks Green. 

Oanton and Bute Books Red. 

Oatbays and St. John's Square Yellow. 

Grangetown and Splotlands Chocolate. 

Monument and Wellfield' Road (Via Castle Road)... Red. 
Monument and Wellfield Road (Via Richmond Road) Q-reen. 

High Street and Llandaff (Via Cathedral Roadi) Red. 

High Street and Llandaff (Via Wyndham Road) Red. 

Bute Terrace and Portmanmoor Road Red. 

Splott Road! (proposed route to Queen Street) Red. 

Llandaff Road and) Docks (Via James Street) Green. 

Theatre Royal, Wood Street, and Grangetown, 

Evenings only Green. 

IJesides the enormous coal and other shipping of Cardiff, 
the regular ccmmunications by sea for passenger ai.d geneial 
cargoes ure fairly numerous, there being periodical sailings 
for Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp every ten days 
or so; Belfast, Glasgow, and Greenock every Monday; 
Bordeaux weekly ; Bridgwater, Tuesdays and Fridays ; Cork 
e^•ery Wednesday or Thursday ; Dublin every Monday ; Hull 
fortnightly; Liverpool twice or thrice weekly; London 
every Tuesday. Steamers ply daily to Bristol, and there is 
a handy line of ferry boats to Penarth. A remarkable 
development of recent years is the stmamer excursion traffic 
by steamer to various favourite resorts along the Bristol 
Channel, including Weston, Ilfraoombe, Clevedon, Lyn- 
mouth, &c., with occasional trips to Chepstow, Tenby, and 
the Mumbles. By means of the excellent pleasure boats 
connected with this service, the most charming resorts along 
the Channel may be easily and cheaply visited. ^ , 

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(j'lcide to Cardiff, 



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Guide to Cardiff. Ill 

lenvirons of CarMff* 


About two miles from the town of Cardiff is the tiny 
city of Uandaff , which is already a suburb of its great neigh- 
bour. Llandaff may be reached by road, or by the 
path along what are f amiharly known as Uandaff fields, the 
latter being the pleasantest route, affording charming views 
of the city and of its cathedral, the latter occupying one of 
the most picturesque sites that could well be imagined. 
Uandaff, a plan of which was drawn by Speed in the time 
of James I., was in 1815 described as a "miserable village 
of niean cottages." It is now undergoing rapid metamor- 
phosis, fine villa residences re-placing the humble tenements 
which have so much in them that the artist admires. The 
principal "lions" of Llandaff are, of course, its cathedral, 
and the adjacent lovely graveyard, the ancient cross, the 
bishop's palace, ruins of the former palace, and Howell's 

Uandaff Cathedral stands on one of the most ancient 
ecdesiastical sites in the whole country — perhaps, the most 
ancient — and must, therefore, possess for all Christians pecu- 
liar and abiding interest. Tha late Bishop OUivant says : 
"Tradition informs us that a church was built at Uandaff 
by Lucius, a descendant of Bran^ the first Christian convert 
of the British nation. Lucius ib said to have sent an em- 
bassy to Eleutherius to solicit a supply of Christian 
instructors, and that good man was not appointed to his 
bishopric until 177. We have, if the tradition be true, an 
approximate date for the erection of the original church. 
Tlie first Bishop of Llandaff was Byfryg, or Dubricius, who 
flourished at the close of the sixth century. In 1108 Urban 
was consecrated bishop, and immediately commenced build- 
ing the cathedral. Of his work, however, httle more is left 
than the massive Norman arch dividing the presbytery from 
the lady chapel. Tlie present building is partly of Early 
Enghsh and partly of Decorated architecture. During the 
Reformation the see became greatly impoverished and the 
cathedral decayed, until towards the close of the seventeenth 

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irj Guide to Cardiff, 

century its oondition was scandalous. At lengtli, in 1730, 
definite steps were taken for restoring the edifice, but un- 
happily at this time architects had peculiar ideas, and a Mr. 
Wood, of Bath, dishonoured the venerable fabric by erect- 

Llandaff Cathedral. 

ing within it one of those lath and plaster Italian structures 
dear to the heart of the Early Georgian epoch. In the 
present oentury more sensible steps were taken, notably by 
the Rev. Henry Douglas, precentor of the cathedral ; Dean 
Bruce Knight; Dean Conybeare, and Dean Coplestone, to 
all of whom honour is due for their unwearying efforts, 
crowned as they were with gratifying success. 

In 1851 the first choral service since the days of William 
and Mary was held within the fane ; in 1857 the lady chapel, 
presbytery, choir, and a portion of the nave were re-opened ; 
and in 1869 a festival marked the completion of the towers. 
The restoration had cost £30,000, and the money was well 
and wisely spent, Llandaff taking rank once more as a pic- 
turesque and well-appointed cathedral, in every way worthy 
of its noble and venerable history. 

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Guide to Cardiff. H^ 

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114 Gaide to Cardiff, 

The ca4iiedral, as it stands at present, oonsists of nave, 
aisles, choir, lady chapel, chapter house, and two towers at 
the west end As the whole body of the church is open, 
a beautiful effect is produced from the western entrance, a 
fine round-headed door with a central pendant and a figure 
of St. Teilo in the tympanum. The west front — ^which in 
its general arrangement is very like the French cathedral of 
St. Bemi — ^is an exquisite specimen of the Pointed style. 
In the second storey are a central and two smaller side 
windows, which, with their intermediate piers, are faced by 
an arcade of fine lancet arches, resting on their shafts and 
set off with Early Enghsh moulding. The top storey pre- 
sents an Early Pointed arcade rising to the centre, so as to 
correspond with the gable in which is an image of St. 
Dubricius. The lady chapel is constructed in a variety of 
early decorations, which Dean Conybeare denominated 
Tangential, from the style of the windows, viz., lancets of 
two lights, supporting a circle on the backs of the arches. 
The nave and west half of the choir are decided but peculiar 
Early English; the pier shafts have a slightly elliptical 
se'^tion, and the foliage of the capitals is liliaceous. 

The south-west and north-west doors and the aisles may be 
referred to about 1160, and are fine specimens of Norman 
work, the former being the most rich in decoration and 
having a moulding resembling an Etruscan scroll : the latter 
is siumounted by a dog tooth moulding, and is a valuable 
example of the Early Enghsh feature combined with 
decided Norman. Both from style and position it is im- 
probable that these doors belong to the old Norman church, 
which did not extend so far, but terminated one bay west 
of the present choir arch. The chapter house attached to 
the south side of the church is of the transition style, from 
Norman to Early English, and consists of two storeys, the 
lowest of which has a vaulted roof springing from a cylin- 
drical column; it is lighted by narrow trefoil windows. 
The arch from the choir into the lady chapel is a splendid 
Norman example, and (as we have already seen) was the 
work of Bishop Urban. The side walls of the choir or 
presbytery are also Norman, although Pointed arches of 
the twelfth century were afterwards added; and in the 
south wall a curious appearance is presented by an interpo- 
lated Pointed arch intersecting an original Norman window. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 1 1 5 

Old Gateway — Llandaff Cathedral. 

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116 Guide to Cardiff, 

That the same additions were made to the Norman wall was 
cleaj- from Hie fact that during the restoration a Norman 
string course was discovered running along it. 

The presbytery or choir presents a most beautiful 
appearance from tlie chasteness of the execution and the 
richness of the carving, particularly conspicuous in the Nor- 
man arch in front of the lady chapel, in which the peculiar 
moulding is presented, consisting of a circlet marked by studs 
and enclosing a flower of many petals ; in the reredos behind 
the high altar (with paintings by the late D. G. Rossetti), 
in which the roses, the device of the house of Tudor, are 
emblazoned in th.e panek; the sedilia on the south side; 
the font, and th'3 piilpit, the latter encircled with sculpture 
by Woulner. All these are sculptured with a delicacy and 
pui'ity scarcely to be siu^passed. The wood carving on the 
bishop's throne and the stalls for the chapter and the choir 
are extremely good, and well worthy of careful examination. 
The organ, with an elaborately decorated fiont, is placed on 
the north of the choir. The chapter house formerly con- 
tained a curious painting on wood of the Coronation of the 
Virgin, the angel represented with swallow's wings. It is 
now in the bishop's palace. 

ITie ncrth-west tower is said to have been built by Jasper, 
Dulsje of Bedford, who received from Henry VII. the lord- 
ship of Glamorgan, and died childless in 1495. It is per- 
pendicular, and crowned with an open-worked parapet like 
St. John's, CardiflF. Three of the angles have tunets of 
uniform design, and the fourth, in wliich is the staircase, 
has a short spire. The south-west tower was the last and 
almost the most important work of the whole restora- 
tion, for as nothing of the old tower, blown down in a storm, 
remained, the architect had to create as well as build a new 
one. It is of Dundry and Campden stone, and consists of a 
massive tower, with buttresses at the west, south-west, and 
south-east angles, terminating in open canopies with, pyrar 
midical roofs, each canopy containing a figure, viz., St. Peter, 
St. Paul, and Bishop OUivant, in whose time the fim'shing 
stroke was given to the work. Connecting the tower with 
the roof of the side aisle is a range of arches filled with seated 
figures of the Aposties. The tower is 195 feet in height, 
and is of three storeys, the uppermost being the belfr}', the 
windows in which are flanked by niches filled with figures 

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Guide to Card{fi. 1 1 7 

Llandaff Caihedral liEFORE Kkstoration. 

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118 Guide to Cardiff, 

representing all nations. Abore the arches of these win- 
dows protrude in watchful attitude the heads of those men 
who have most distinguished themselves in the conversion 
cf the nations over the types of which they are pla^jed. 

Tlie principal monimieints and effigies within the cathedral 
iu-e those of St. Teilo and St. Dubritius ; Bishop de Breose, 
1265-1287; Bishop Marshall, 1478-1496; Bishop OUivant 
(the effigy full size and admirably executed); Sir Chris- 
topher and Lady Matthew, 1500, 1526; Sir David Matthew, 
standard bearer to Edward IV. at Towton; Sir William 
and Lady Matthew, 1528, 1530 ; Lady Audley (temp. Henry 
IV.); and a curious emaciated figure in a winding sheet., 
die aspect of which is sufficient to terrify the nervous 

The working architect throughout the restoration of the 
cathedral was Mr. John Prichard, who died in 1886. 

A popular account of Llandaff Cathedral has been pub- 
lished! by the Rev. Compton Davies, of Cardiff, and elaborate 
ones by Freeman and Ollivant. 

The picturesque graveyard (one of the prettiest spots in 
the three kingdoms) and the adjacent fields and river bank 
afford scope for an infinity of pleasant rambles. 


In 1850 Penarth boasted but a dozen houses, a hundred 
people, and a wretched ruined church. It is now a pros- 
perous town and harbour, with a popidation numbering over 
12,000. As a watering place Penarth has no superior on 
the Glamorganshire seaboard, and it is besides the favourite 
of the many suburbs of Cardiff. A word may be said of the 
rapid progress of Penarth, which has been contemporaneous 
with, and may be traced to, the growth of Cardiff. When 
the parent port had risen to a position of importance, and 
the whole of it® dock accommodation was utilised by its 
rapidly increasing trade, the Ely Harboiu* and the Penarth 
Dock were constructed. The area of the original dock was 
17^ acres. It was bmlt by the Penarth Dock Company, 
and by them was leased to the Taff Vale Railway Company 
for a term of 999 years. Since then the commerce of the 


Guide to Cardiff^ 119 


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120 Guide to Cardiff. 

port has attained such dimensious that th^e leasing company 
have considered it prudent to make an enlargement of their 
property, and for this purpose they obtained an Act of Par- 
liament in 1880. By that Act they were empowered to in- 
crease the water area of the old dock by 5^ acres. In order 
to effect this the dock has been continued inland a distance 
of 800 feet, making a total length of 2,900 feet The width 
of the additional ^ ater space is 370 feet at its junction with 
the present dock, diminishing to about 150 feet at its nar- 

Bbidge, \Vind60R Gardens. 

rowest point. This affords accommodation for four addi- 
tional tips on the hillside of the do(^, making a total of 
fom-teen. These tips are capable of shipping 150 tons of 
coal each per hour. In order to obtain ?pace for the requi- 
site sidings and approaches, it has been found necessary to 
remove over 1,000,000 cubic yards of the hillside In the 
progress of this work, as well as of the excavations for the 
dock itself, large quantities of d3manute and other explo- 
sives have had to be employed. The cost of this extension, 
including a siun of £5,000 authorised to be expended on the 
erection of a stage on the north side of the Ely Tidal Har- 
bour, specially f.dapted for the discharge of iron ore, 
amounted to £255,000. The work was completed, and the 

Gicide to Cardiff. 121 

extension opened by Lord Windsor oa April 9, 1884. Con- 
sidering the magnitude and difficulties of the undertaking, 
and that it was only commenced in November, 1881, this 
cannot fail to be regarded as a very satisfactory rate of pro- 
gress. The contractor for the work was the late Mr. T. A. 
Walker, of Westminster, who also constructed the Prince of 
Wales Dock at Swansea, the Severn Tunnel, Barry Dock, and 
other important works. 

Penarth is reached from Cardiff by rail, road, or steamer, 
and, since it has thus been made so easily accessible, it has 

Penaeth Piek. 

become the residence of the principal merdiants of the iieigh- 
bourhood, and a summer resort of thousands from the sur- 
rounding districts. As a town, it is well constructed. The 
streets are regular, the sanitary arrangements are good, and 
the houses which have been erected during recent years con- 
sist of handsome terraces and semi-deta>ched villas of ornate 
architecture. Penarth contains many attractions, which 
make it of interest to the visitor. From the bluff headland, 
200 feet high, on which stands the church of St. Augustine, 
a magnificent view of the country to the north and east, and 

122 Guide to Cardiff, 

of the Bristol Channel, with its distant coastline to the 
south, may be obtained. The Penarth Hotel, which is 
built near the summit of the promontory, is a fine building, 
with pleasure-grounds attached, from which a descent may 
be made to the beach below. On the beach, to the east and 
west of tha Windsor, or Beach-road, a sea wall has been 
erected by Lord Windsor, along which aai esplanade has 
been made, which forms a spacious promenade for visitors, 
with seats arranged at convenient intervals. An extensive 
pier has also been added to the attractions of the place. 
On the slope of the hill, and extending from the bottom of 
Beach-road to a point above the Coastguard Station, his 
lordship has laid out a beautiful public garden. Near the 
entrance to the lower part of these grounds the local authori- 
ties have constructed very fine searwater baths, which were 
opened on the 1st of Jiily, 1885. From an architectural 
point of view, these baths are unquestionably a valuable 
acquisition, and their internal arrangements are quite in 
keeping with the external appearance. Nearly adjoining 
the baths has been erected a very handsome and commo- 
dious hotel, which was opened in the summer of 1S88. 
Other schemes are ini contemplation which will make Penarth 
one of the most aittractive seaside resorts of the Bristol 
Channel. The Coastguard Station is a conspicuous build- 
ing, occupying an excellent site just above a point called 
"The Dingle." The Lifeboat House is situated on the 
Penarth Beach, near the dock entrance, and is provided \vitli 
every appliance necessary for the saving of life at sea. 

No account of Penarth would be complete without some 
allusion to the Turner House, founded by — and now, alas, 
a memorial to — the cultured and generous J. Pyke Thomp- 
son. This gentleman, whose lamented death occurred in 
February, 1897, will long be remembered as an art con- 
noisseur, as a large-hearted philanthropist, and, perhaps, 
still more particuLarly as an ardent advocate of what might 
be called "the rational use of the Sabbath." In the Litter 
direction he eave an earnest of his sentiments and feelings 
by building an art gallery at Penarth, which ever since its 
estabhsliijnent has remained open on Sunday afterntions. 
In this gallery — ^popularly known as Turner House — ^he had 
gathered together a very valuable and intere-^ting collection 
of pictures, which are a source of great attraction and 

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Guide to Cardiff. 123- 

interest, not only to the residents of Penartli, but also to 
visitors from a distance. Besides his munificence at Penarth 
Mr. Thompson grea.tly enriched the art gallenr at Cardiflf. 
Penarth possesses a flourishing free librar}'. 

The Turner House. 


Fifteen years ago Barry had a population of le<s tiian a 
hundred, and was as lonely as many another tiny village 
along the pictui-esque Glamorgan coast. To-day all is 
changed, and a rapidly growing town of verging on 30 '000 
l^eople and a busy dock, 73 acres in extent, testify to a 
progress that savours more of the United States than of our 
slower moving islands. As a resort for visitors, Barry is 
lieing gradually opened up, and the charming island has, 
doubtless, a future before it as a holiday resort. From the 
standpoint of the geologist and archseologist, it is also full 
of interest, as witness the researches of Mr. Howard and Mr. 
John Storrie. Giraldus speaks of a remarkable cave on 
Barry Island, which, however, is referred to another part of 

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Guide to (Uirdiff. 

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Gitide to Cardiff, 125 

the coast. Leland says of the island : "The passage into 
it at ful se is a flite shot over, as much as the Tamise 
(Thames) is above the bridge. At low water there is a 
broken causey to go over, or els over the ahalow stremelet 
of Barrey brooke on the sandes. The island is about a mile 
in cumpace and hath very good come, grasse, and sum wood. 
The femie of it worth a xl. a yeare. Ther ys no dweUing 
iu the isle, but ther is in the midle of it a fair little chapel 
of S. BaiTOck, wher much pilgrimage was used." Leland 
would proba.bly be astonished could he ro-visit the glimpses 
of the moor and see the Barry, and, foi* that matter, the 
Cardiff of to-day! 

Barry owes its present growth and prosperity to its dock, 
the company for the construction of which was incorporated 
in 1884. 'The water area of the dock (opened 1889) is, as 
we have said, 73 acres, and there is a companion dock in 
course of construction. There are also two large graving 
docks. B.'ury and Cardiff are connected by the Barry 
Railway, eight miles in length. Barry town is somewhat 
straggling, and bears palpable traces of ne^vnes^ everywhere. 
Near the docks is a statue to the late Mr. David Davies, 
of Ll.aiiflinam, one of the chief promoters of the place — ^sculp- 
tor, Alfred Gilbert, R.A. Near Barry are the ruins of an 
old Norman castle 


Whilst Llandaff boasts justly its cathedral, to Caerphilly 
belongs the proud distinction of possessing one of the 
gi'andest rums in Great Britain. Caerphilly is some seven 
miles from Cardiff, the Rhymney Railway running through 
a long tunnel beneath Cefn On in order to reach it. The 
quaint Httle town presents few special features, the sights of 
the locality being the castle and the old nanor house of the 
Van, with its picturesque dovecote large enough to shelter 
a couple of thousand pigeons. Fn»n the summit of Cefn On 
there is a splendid view of Cardiff and the Bristol Channel, 
whilst the whole neighbourhood aboimds in picturesque 

Caerphilly Castle (described by Tennyson in his "Idylls 
of the King*') has well been called stupendous, even in its 

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126 Guide to Cardiff. 

ruins. It covers thirty acres of gioimd, and prior to the 
invention of artillery must have been practically impreg- 
nable. The history of the castle is somewhat obscure, but 
it. was probably of Norman origin, and was largely added to 
by Hugh le Despenser, favourite of the unfortunate Edward 
II., in whose defence, when at war with his barons, it with- 
stood a siege of the most obstinate character. Caerphilly 
was formerly called Senghenydd Castle, sometimes the Blue 
Castle, to distinguish it from the Bed Castie (Castell Coch). 
From the De Spensers the castle parsed, by succession or 
marriage, tc the Beauchiimp and Neville families, and, after- 
wards lapsing to the Crown, was given by Edward VI. to 
WiQiam, Earl of Pembroke, in whose family it remained 
imtil it passed, by marriage, to the ancestors of the Marquees 
of Bute. The ruin is most carefully and religiously pre- 
served. Mr. G. T. Clark has published a most oom- 
plel-e account of the wonderful old fortress, which in 
its ruins looks much more like a town tlian a castle. 
Amongst the most interesting points about Caerphilly 
Castle are, perhaps, its great gate-house, its spacious 
banqueting-hall, and its leaning tower. The latter 
waij probably blown into its present position by the 
soldiery of Chaiies I. The tower is an immense mass of 
masonry, eighty feet high, and incHning some eleven feet 
out of the perpendicular. 

The following sctoietwhait detailed description of these 
splendid remains is from the accurate pen of Mr. Clark : — 

The oastle of Caerphilly not only oovers a very extensive area, 
Bomewhat exoeeding thirty acres, but is in substance of one date 
and efvi-dently the design and execution of one head and hand. It 
is aJso remarka;ble for the skill with which the natural features of 
the groundl have been taken adtvamtage of and their military capa- 
bility turned to account. Having regard to the movements it was 
intended to hold in check, and to tihe means of attack and defence 
at tlhat time in uee, it may be regained as a very complete exeumple 
of a mediaeval military work, and, moreover, one which, from 
peculiar circumstances, has been neither repaired' nor lestered. 

It stands at the lower part of a short valley contained between 
the rising ground of Eglwysilan on the north and the crest of Cefn 
Oamau on the south, while to the west it is separated by the low 
ridige of Nlantgarw from the channel of the Taff, the valley iteelf 
being occupied by the Nant-y-Gledyr, a tributary to the Rhvmney. 
Thus placed! it blocked the pass by which the insnrgent Welsh, 
mustering in the hilly tracts of Miskin and Glyn Rliondida, were 
accustomed to turn the flank of the garrison of Cardiff, and break 

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GiMe to Cardiff'. 127 

into the fertile plains of Gwent. The more circuitous rouite by the 
Taff was expoeed to attacks from Cardiff Oastle and the castellets 
of Oastell Oooh and Whitohurclh, which, if not always strong 
enoug*h to check an advancing host, were very useful to harass and 
cut off parties on their return more or less disorganised and laden 
with their spoils. 

An oblcag tongue of gravel risin,g about ten or twelve feet out 
of what was natiural'ly a morass was adiopted as thje central part 
of the fortress. Ita margins were scarped tand revetted, and cross 
cuts deep enough to be filled with water, converted it into an island. 

Thus formed, a central space 60 yards east and west by 50 yards 
north and south was enclosed within four strong curtain walls, 

Caerphilly Castle. 

cappeKl at the angles by four three-quarter drum towers, of great 
size, height, and strength. In the centre of each end' was placed 
a large and lofty gate-house, containing prisons, porters' lodges, 
state and other bied rooms, ffuardrobes, and an oratory. The south 
side of the area was occupied' by the great hall, chapel, cellar, with- 
drawing rooms, and other chambeirs for the lord of the castle when 
resident. The gate-houses were probably occupied by the constable 
and deinity-conista'ble anjd other principal officers. The curtains 
along tne south side and at the two ends were lofty, and pierced 
by a mural gallery giving aooess from the lord''8 quarters to the 
gate-houses and the towers at the four angles. All six had port- 
cullised doorways, and were capable of being held independently. 
The oasile being conoentric had' no regular keep, but the area thus 
described was its inner ward or citadel. ^ , 

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128 Guide to Cardtff. 

This ward, howeiver, does not occupy the whole area of the earth- 
work ; this, meaauring 110 yairds east and west and 90 yards north 
aoid south, is support^ on each face by a revetment wall, carrying 
a raised parapet, and each of the four angles is capped by a large 
three-quarter bastion, correspondang to the four great towers. In 
the centre of each end, corresponding to the inner gate-houses, are 
two other rather smaller gate-houises. connected with and a part 
of the former ones, and the space between the curtains of the inner 
ward and the parapet of the retaining wall constituted the midclle 
ward, by which the inner ward was thus girdled. Towards the 
north face and at the two ends, saving the gate-houses, this ward 
was open ; but along its south side it is occupied' by a strong and 
vaulted but low tower, containing the kitchen, and connected witli 
it a square tower and gaMety covering a water gate. Opening from 
the kitchen is a sort of scullery, a large oven, and a tank, probably 
a fish stew. The kitchen oommundcates with the lower eoid of the 
great hall, from which also a doorway opens into a sort of gallery 
or passage, large enough to contain two or three boats when hauled 
up, and opening by a doorway upon the water. 

To the west of the central part of the castle remained the root 
of the tongue or peninsula already described, and from which an 
attack might be made with advantage. To provide against this a 
third cross cut was dug to the west of the other two. and the inter- 
mediate platform thus isolated being also scarped and revetted, 
became a ravelin or horn work covering the western entrance, tlie 
approach to whic(h wa«s carried across it. This work seems to have 
been provided with a palisade and gateways of timber and two 
draw-bridges, of which one formed the outer entrance to the cast'e 
from the west, and the other connected the outwork with the middUe 
and inner wards, and thus there were two distinct platforms of 
earth isolated by the three cross ditches, and rising from twelve 
to fourteen feet out of the low ground. This ground, both north 
and south of the castle, admitted of being flooded, and thus were 
formed two very considerable sheets of water connected by the 
cross ditches already mentioned. The southern, and much the 
larjper of the two lakes, was about 400 yards long by 80 broad, and 
from ten to twelve feet deep opposite the castle. The northern 
lake was of less area, and unequ>ally subdivided by a narrow curved 
ridge, covering the north front of the middle \nard, and which might 
have bee-n occupied by an advanced post of bowmen behind' a 
wooden palisade. 

But the grandest feature in the fortress remains to be described. 
This, the principal or eastern front, is 300 yards in length. Near 
its centre is the great gate-house, and at either end are towers con- 
taininor and covering posterns of unusual strength, whence anv 
attempt to turn the flanks of the front might be readily frustrated 
and converted into a corresponding attack. Along this front the 
Xant-y-Gledyr, having supplied the lakes, forms, and origi'nal'y 
filled, a moat of considerable depth and breadth. This front is 
built upon a natural platform which lies across the direction of the 
water course, and acts as a natural dam to the lakes already men- 

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Guide to Cardiff, 129 

tioneci. Ai one point, however, it is waatiag, and advantage Las 
been taken of this to place there sluices and an outfall dam, by- 
means of which the lakes could be regulated. The outer oir eafltem 
face of the platform is occupied by the line of the gnand front, of 
which th^v lower five or six feet is built ae a retaining wall against 
tha bank. The great gate-house, 60 feet broad and) 40 feet deep, 
is rectangular and very lofty. The central passage was dosed- with 
gates and a double portculUs, and preceded by a diaw-biidge, and 
from its rear a stnxng curtain wall extends 35 yaxds back to the 
countorscarp of the inner ditch, andi thus divides the platform into 
two parts, a provision against surprise. Upon this waiLl is a small 
tower, of which the ground floor contains a gateway communicating 
with the northetm area, having a portcullis and a ctaw-bridge span- 
ning a cross ditoh, connected with a water postern opening upon 
the outer moat. The northern division of the front is a curtain 
^'ali 130 yards long, strengthened by three large square buttress 
towers, and terminating northward m a double tower containing 
a strong postern ; this opens from a long gallery ia the rear ef thi 
curtain, thought to have been a stable. 

South of the great gate-house, the curtain, at first sight, forms 
a bold bow, beyond which the wall is continued southwards in a 
straight line of great height and thickness, and stiffened by eight 
or nine buttresses, between each pair of which the wall is grooved, 
so that a missile dropped from the summit would be shot outwairds. 
Something like this very peculiar arrangement is seen at Chateau 
Graillard on the lower ^eine. The angle next lihe bow is occupied 
by a square gardterobe tower, the upper part of whidh- forms a place 
d'armes upon the rampart walk. Beneath a sewer acts as tail race 
to the castle mill, which stood on the platform and' was supplied 
by water from the lake. The south end of the curtain with the 
sluice and the dam are broken d<own to allow the passage of the 
stream and the converoion of the area of the lake into meadow land. 
South again of this the ground rises, forming the southern bank of 
the Nant-y-Gledyr, and the wall ends in a cluster of half-round 
towers, between a pair of which is a large and strongly diefended 

In front of the great gate-house in the (middle of the wet ditch 
is a large pier, which commiunioated by two draw-bridges with the 
main gate and the counterscarp, so as to break the approach at two 

The whole object of this eastern front was evidently to provide 
against an attack by disciplined forces from the side of England, 
and supposing such a force drawn up between the Porset brook and 
the front of the castle, a space about 140 yards deep, it could be 
attacked by a sally of cavalry both in front «und on ^ two flanks, 
the accommodation within the castle for such a force being ample. 

The danmiing up a streamlet to flood' the enceinte of a castle was 
not unusual, but nowhere save at Leeds and' Kendllworth was this 
effected on so larse a scale. One merit of such a defaice was that, 
even supposing the enemy to master the dam and drain the lake, 
some time must elapse before the nrad would be hard enough to 
allow of its being traversed. 

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130 Guide to Cardiff. 


Newport, distant some twelve miles from Cardiff, with a 
popiUation of 55,000, is the largest and most important 
town in Monmoathshire, and a well-known seaport. It was 
named by Giraldus Novua Burgur or Newtoun, in con- 
tradistinction to the ancient city of Caerleon, upon the 
ruined greatness of which it airose. It was afterwards 
called by the Welsh CasteU Newydd or Newcastle, because 
Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a natural son of Heiivy I., 
ertcted a castle here on the western bank of the river to 
defend his possessions. From lum it descended through 
many noble families till it came to Edward, third Duke of 
Buckingham, on whose execution both the castle and the lord- 
sliip were seized by Henry VIII. The present oAvner is 
the Duke of Beaufort. Two towers and some walls of the 
castle still stand between the two bridges which cross the 
XJsk. In modern times the town is famo»i3 for the attack 
made on it by the Chartists, under the leadership of John 
Frost, on November 4, 1839. On this occasion the mayor, 
Mr. (afterwards Sir Thomas) Phillips, acted with remarkable 
courage and decision; but, failing to persuade the mob to 
relinquish their desperate designs, he read the Riot Act 
from the windows of the Westgate Hotel. Ha^nng received 
a wound in the arm when sot engaged, he ordered the soldiers, 
who were posted inside, to fire, which soon dispersed the 
rioters, who amounted to several thousands, while the 
defenders were some thirty or forty soldiers and a few 
special constables. Several of the rioters were slain in the 
attack. With the present century the progress of the town 
has been rapid in consequence of the development of mineral 
treasures in the neighbourhood. With increasing shipments 
the construction of floating dodss became a necessity. These 
have from time to time been extended to meet the require- 
ments of the port. The town also possesses extensive manu- 
factories, engineering establishments, iron foundries, and 
sliipbuilding yards. The principal public buildings are the 
Town Hail, Victoria and Alb«i; Halls, Barracks, Custom 
House, Com Exchange, Free Library, and Banks, as well 
as numerous chiurches and chapels and elementary schools. 
These, together with a large increase of private villa resi- 
dences, and a general improvement in the commercial 

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Guide to Cardiff. 131 

premises and shop fronts, indicate that the town is botli pro- 
gressing and prosperous. The parish church is that of St. 
Woolos, and until about 1836 it was the only one in New- 
port. It is an ancient structure, standing on the summit of 
Stow Hill, from the tower of which a splendid prospect may 
be obtained. The church contains several features of archi- 
tectural beauty. The tower is said to have been erected by 
Henry IH., and formerly contained a statue of that monarch. 
It possesses a fine peal of six bells. The church was 
externally repaired in 1855. Its register dates from 1702. 
Newport is reacaed by G.W.E.. 


Pontypridd, on the Taff Vale line, thir»>02iii miles from 
Cardiff, is famous for its bridge and for iis connection 
with Druidic mysteries. The scenery of tho locality 
is fine, but is, of course, disfigured by the numerous works. 
The old bridge at Pontypridd is one of the most T^markable 
in the country, and its fame has spread ftr beyond the 
bounds of the British Isles. It was the work of a self-taugat 
native mason and architect, named William Edwards, who 
became one of tlie most famous bridge builders of the 
last century. He failed twice at Pontypridd — ^first, in 
1746, when he built a bridge of three ardies, which 
was swept away by a flood ; and, secondly, in 1751, when he 
constructed an arch with two thin a crown. Not to be 
daunted, Edwards set again to work, and the third attempt 
succeeded perfectly. By introducing three circular openings 
in each of the abutments, the weight was reduced, and the 
keystcmes relieved. The span of the bridge is 140 feet, 
forming the section of a circle 175 feet in diameter, the 
height fiom the water being 34 feet, and the width of the 
roadway eleven feei. The bridge was built in 1756, and iS, 
therefore, the best part of a century and a half old, and 
likely to stand for many a winter to come. Underneath it 
is a remarkable echo. Near Pontypridd are some interesting 
waterfalls. Here, also, is the metropolis of British Druidism, 
the sacred spot being marked by a logan or rocking-stone. 
Here, many years ago, the late Myf yr Marganwg constructed 

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132 Guide to Cardiff, 

a model of a temple, and every year at each solstice and 
equinox performed the rites of the ancient Druids ''in the 
face of the sun and in the eye of light." It was near 
Pontypridd that the eccentric, but talented, Dr. Price per- 
formed an experiment in cremation which created intense 
excitement at the time. 


Castell Coch, or the Bed Castle, is picturesquely situated 
on a wooded eminence a few miles to the north of Cardiff 
and in the midst of a romantic region. It has been restored 
by Lord Bute from its former ruinous condition, and con- 
verted once more into a residence. Little is known of the 
history of the castle, but the situation leads the visitor to 
suppose that it must have been practically impregnable. 
Lite Cardiff Castle, its noble owner has restored Castell 
Coch af tei* a mediaeval model, the present building embracing 
all that is known or conjectiured of the old castle, thus filling 
the mind with gratification at its stately and magnificent 
appearance. Mr. G. T. Clark has written in his usual accurate 

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Gitide to Cardiff, 133 

style of the history and archaeology of Castell Coch. From 
the top of the hiU where the castle is seated there is a splen- 
did view, embracing Cardiff, Llandaff, and Penarth, the Steep 
and Flat Holms, and Garth Mountain within nodding 
distance. Castell Coch is famous as well for its castle as for 
its vineyards, planted by Lord Bute, and which for success- 
ful open air growth have no rivals in the country. Castell 
Coch is reached from the Walnut Tree Station of the 
Taff Vale Railway. 


Taff's Well, on the Taff Vale R^lway, is a tiny spa, 
which unlike its northern rival of St. Winifrede has no 
halo of sanctity to recommend it. This well, however, is 
much esteemed locally for its medicinal properties : the water 
is tepid, and its effects on rheumatism are very marked. The 
well is reached from Walnut Tree Station on the Taff Vale 


The Vale of Neath is justly famed for its picturesque 
character, more especially in the neighbourhood of Pont- 
Nedd-Vychan. Here are the waterfalls of the Neath a»d 
Perddyn, of the Hepste and Mellte, and the caves of Porth 
yr Ogof and Pwll y Rhyd. All these are well worth inspec- 
tion, and are only the chief amongst a perfect wilderness cf 
natural beauties. The Falls are reached by train from the 
Rhymney Railway to Glyn-Neath or Hirwain, and thence 
walk or drive; the former is best. 


Neath is the most important town on the Great Western 
line between Cardiff and Swansea, and is probably the 
Nidum of the ancient Romans. The situation of the place 
is beautiful though marred — ^like so much of Glamorgan- 
shire — ^by collieries and works. Here are a castle and abbey. 
The former is a mere ruin, and there is, of course, the usual 
story of a subterraneous passage. The remains of Neath 

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134 Guide to Cardiff. 

Glyn-Neath Waterfall. 

Abbey are a little distance to the west of the town. It was 
once a great Ciscercian centre, and was founded in the twelfth 
century. Leland calls it the "fairest abbey in all Wales," 
and a writer of the period is eloquent in its praise. "Like 
the sky of the Vale of Ebron (says he) is the covering of this 
monastery ; weighty is tlie lead that roofs this abode — ^the 
dark blue canopy of the dwellings of the godly. Every 
coloiu* is seen in the crystal windows ; every fair and high- 
wrought form beams forth through them like the rays of 3ie 
sun-portals of radiant guardians ! . . . Here are seen 
the graceful robes of prelates — ^gold and jewels, the tribute 
of the wealthy — ^the gold adorned chair, the nave, the gilded 
tabernacle work, the pinnacles — on the glass, imperial arms ; 
a ceiling resplendent with kingly bearings, and on the sur- 
rounding borders the shields of princes, the arms of Neath 
of a homdred ages; the arms of the best men under the 
crown of Harry. The vast and lofty roof is like the spark- 
ling heavens on high ; above are seen archangels' forms ; the 
lloor beneath is for the people of the earth, all the tribe 
of Babel — ^for them it is wrought of variegated stone. The 
bells, the benedictions, and fiie peaceful songs of praise, 
proclaim the peaceful thanksgivings of the white moiis.'j^ 

Guide to Cardiff, 135 


After leaving Cardiff on the down journey, the Great W es- 
tern Railway passes through Ely, now a suburb of Cardiff 
and possessing large paper mills. The next station is at 
St. Fagan's, a quiet village in a lovely country, where also 
is the seat of Lord Windsor. Hera was fought a sanguinary 
engagement between the Royalists and the Roundheads, 
resulting in the decisive defeat of the former. It is recorded 
that "during the next harvest, so great was the scarcity of 
labourers, that the com was reaped and the hay mown by 
the women." The walk from Ely to St. Fagan's through 
the woods in summer time is charming. 


This ancient borough was once a place of considerable 
repute : it is an, old fashioned place that needs be seen to 
be appreciated. The well-known grammar school was 
founded in the reign of Charles II. by Sir Leoline Jenkins. 
In this neighbourhood, between it and Cardiff, are a number 
of mansions, some of them of great interest. Near Cow- 
bridge, on the coast, is Aberthaw, famous for its excellent 
lime, close to which is Fonmon Castle, an old Norman 
residence still inhabited, and of considerable local historical 
importance. Cowbridge is reached by Taff Vale or G.W.R. 


Margam, near Port Talbot, has been for many years the 
seat of the Talbot family. The park is some five miles in 
circimiferenoe, and is beautifully wooded and stocked with 
deer. The abbey was built in tilie twelfth century, and was 
famous in after days for the charity dispensed by the monks. 
The beautiful chapter-house still remains. At Mai^am 
is a famous orangery, stocked originally from a Spanish 
vessel that was wredsed on tha coast. Mention must also be 
made of the ancient sculptured crosses. Behind Margant 
the ground rises precipitously, and on one of the hills is a 

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136 Guide to Cardiff. 

tall stack, convejnng away the fumes from the adjacent 
copper works. Port Talbot is a rising harbour, and Aber- 
avon, close by, is well known for its numerous works. 


Lavemnck stands on a promontory bome little di&tancc 
west of Pcnarth, and is principally noteworthy for the fine 
view it affords of the Bristol Channel and the various 
objects of interest on the Weldi and English coasts. From 
the cliffs Weston; and its sands, a dozen miles off, are plainly 
visible, and the Steep and Flat Holms form striking objects 
in the middle distanjce. At Lavemock the Glamorgan Volun- 
teers occasionally hold their summer camp. Here are forts 
in charge of a detachment of artillery. Equally pretty, 
and worth a visit, is the neighbouring hamlet of Sully, witti 
its lonely island and its varied glimpses of land and seascape. 
Reached by T.V. or G.W.R. 


Dinas Powis is a charming village between Penarth and 
Barry, which contains many pretfy residences, the homes 
of people who prefer living in rural retirement and, at 
the same time, within easy reach of Cardiff. The castle of 
Dinas Powis is of great antiquity. Near by is Cadoxton, 
a flourishing little place, to all intents and purposes a suburb 
of Barry. Both Dinas Powis and Cadoxton are within short 
rail distance of Cardiff. Reached by T.V. or G.W.R. 


Rumney is a small place a short distance out of Cardiff — 
the first EngKsh village as you journey eastward along the 
Newport-road, being divided from Wales by a streamlet. 
This circumstanoe and the existence of the Welsh Sunday 
Closing Act give Rumney an evil reputation on the "day 
of rest," and have brought it into a notoriety it would not 
have otherwise enjoyed. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 137 


Monmouth, the capital of the county of the same name, 
ifi romantically situated in the midst of a region described 
by Gray as "the delight of the eyes and seat of pleasure." 
It is a place of great antiquity, and was the birth-place of 
Henry V., in 1387. The castle, once of great strength, is 
now a mere ruin. Monmouth is on the G.W.R. 


This small village, which lies between Newport and Usk, 
is interesting as having be^a an important centre under the 
Roman dispensation, and capital of the province of Bri- 
tannia Secunda. Komain remains have been discovered in 
some quantities in the neighbourhood as in other parts of 
Monmouthshire. They include at Caerleon an amphitlieatre 
and the probable site of the temple of Diana. There is 
here an interesting museum of antiquities. Caerleon is on 
♦he G.W.R. 


Crumlin, which Ues between Cardiff and Pontypool, a 
few miles from tho latter, deserves mention for its fine rail- 
way bridge, which quite takes rank as one of the engineer- 
ing wonders of the west. The bridge is of iron, and the 
lattice-work design gives an effect of a peculiarly light and 
graceful character. The bridge is in all 1,700 feet long 
and 200 feet high, and its construction cost over £60,000. 
The scenery in the whole neighbourhood of Crumlin, and 
indeed in that part of Monmouthshire in general, is very 
romantic. Crumlin may be reached by Rhymney or G.W.R. 

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138 Chaide to Cardiff. 


Kaglan, between MomnoutJi and Abergaivenny, has a 
celebrated castle, said to be "the most perfect decorated 
stronghold of which this country can boast — a romance in 
stone and hme — " 

"A famous castle fine, 
That Raglaa hight, stands moted almost round ; 
Made of freestone, upright as straight as line, 
Whose workmanship in beauty doth abound, 
The curious knots, wrought all i!f ith edged toole, 
The stately tower, that looks o*er pond and poo'e : 
The fountain trim that runs both day and night, 
Doth yield in shewe a rare and noble sight." 

No portion of the present edifice can be stated to be anterior 
to the time of Henry V., though there was a castle here 
previously. Raglan is famous for its connection with the 
noble efforts made by its owner, the Marquess of Worcester, 
in the cause of King Charles I : it was at Raglan that 
the imhappy king sought shelter after Naseby. The loyal 
marquess was fattier of the author of the celebrated "Cen- 
tury Inventions" and discoverer of the steam engine. Rag- 
lan was the last castle in the realm to defy the power of 
Cromwell, and after a long and stubborn siege the garrison 
capitulated on honourable terms — afterwards shamefully 
broken. The ruins of Raglan Castle are now carefully pre- 
served by the lord of the manor, the Duke of Beaufort. 
Rag]aii is on the G.W.R. 


Ewenny was a fine old priory in the neighbourhood 
of Bridgend. The aisles and north transept have disap- 
peared in the general ruin, but the nave of the priory 
church is still used for worship. As an example of the pure 
early Norman style the gateway and central tx>wer are 
worth study. The priory was founded by William de 
Londres. Rail per G.W.R. to Bridgend. 

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Guide to Cardiff. 13^ 


The small village of Leckwith is situated two miles west 
of Llandafif. From the adjacent hill an excellent view of 
Cardiff is obtained. Near by is the ancient village of Llan- 
dough^ where was once a monastery of much importance; 
and in the churchyaid are the remains of an extremely 
interesting cross with carved Celtic ornament. Rail per 
T.V.B. and G.W.R. to Cogan. 



Llanishen is a pleasantly situated village four miles north 
of Cardiff, where many of the latter's citizens reside. Some 
distance northward is the noble and deeply interesting old 
mansion of Cefn Mably, the ancient seat of the Kemes 
family. Sir Nicholas Kemes raised forces for King Charles, 
and after the battle of St. Fagan's withdrew to Chepstow, 

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140 Guide to Cardiff, 

Lych Gate — Llanishen Church. 

where he was defeated and put to death. The mansion con- 
tains many historical rehcs of priceless value. The present 
owner is Col. Halswell KemeysrTjmte. Rail per Rhymney 


Llantrissautt eleven miles from Cardiff, is finely situated, 
and has an ancient church dedicated to three Welsh saints 
(hence the name). The castle is now an insignificant ruin. 
Llantrissant with Cowbridge and CardiflF form the curiously 
unequal ParHamentary district returning but one member ! 
Llantrissant is on the G.W.R. 


Bridgend, on the Great Western, twenty miles from Car- 
diff, haa a population of some 5,000. There are some 

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Guide to Cardiff. 141 

interesting ruins, &c., in the neighbourhood, which is also 
of a picturesque character. At Bridgend is the Glaniorgan 
County Lunatic Asylum, erected in the Gothic style at a 
cost of £100,000. There is am additional building a mile 
away, erected at a cost of over 60,000. Bridgend is on the 


Coity Castle, near Bridgend, is a large ruin, and dates 
from the 13th century. Its subterraneous passage, said to 
run for a great distance, has been traced beneath the 
round tower. The castle is said to have been won by a 
Norman knight, not by the sword, but by love. Listead 
of besieging the castle, he wooed the daughter of the Cymric 
owner, and won both. The church is large and of some 


Porthcawl is very picturesquely situated on the coast 
some 30 miles west of Cardiff, and is a favourite health 
resort. It has excellent sands, golf links, bathing, and a 
pure and abundant water supply. There is also a dock, 
where considerable trade is done. At Porthcawl is the 
Rest, an institution described elsewhere. A short distance 
away is the village of Newton Nottage, where Anne Boleyn 
on'je resided. Porthcawl is reached per G.W.R. 


Llantwit Major should on no account be passed by by 
any reader interested in antiquities. Here, in ancient 
times — in the sixteenth century — St. Illtyd founded a col- 
lege of divinity, which flourished for hundreds of years. 
Black calls Llantwit "the lona of South Wales." Jn the 
churchyard are some of the most venerable of British monu- 
ments, early Christian inscribed and ornamental stones, 
besides various evidences of Roman occupation. 

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142 Guide to Cardiff, 


The Bhondda Valleys, famous in mineral annals, and still 
with many traces of na-tural beauty in spite of the numerous 
and important collieries, lie to the north of Cardiff, and 
include such populous centres as Ystradyfodwg, Llwynypia, 
Penygraig, Pentre, Tonypandy, and Treherbert. Mention 
need only be made here of Merthyr, Aberdare, and other 
important centres of north Glamorgan, whidh do not come 
witliin the compass of our guide. Rail per Taff Vale Hne. 


St. Donates Castle is romantically situated, overlooking 
the Channel. It is in its older parts Early Norman, and 
has been described as "unquestionably one of the most per- 
fect of the ancient baronial halls of Wales." The Strad- 
lings, an old Norman family, lived here for six hundred 
years. Through the changes of all the centimes, the castle 
has never been uninhabited. The "hanging gardens" are of 
great interest, as is also the church, with its ancient Strad- 
ling monuments. A watch tower near by occupies a com- 
manding; situation, and was formerly used for wrecking 
purposes. A little further on is Nash Point and its light- 
houses. Dunraven Castle, to the westward, is the seat of 
the earl of that name. Ac Dunraven Caractacus is said 
to liave Hved and other of the ancient British chieftains. 
The romantic story of the wreckers of Dunraven is too long 
to be more than mentioned here. Southemdown, with its 
caves, is in the neighbourhood, and a quiet little watering- 
place. The coast all along here is magnificently rugged, 
juid the cUffs sometimes over 300 feet high. St. Donat's 
may be reached per G.W.R. 

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Guide to Cardiff, 143 

Cbannel ^rips* 

During the season trips run daily from Cardiff to various 
points in the Cliannel, and at somewhat less frequent 
intervals to others. The places of interest include Chepstow 
and Tintem, Newport, Miimbles, and sometimes Tenby, on 
the Welsh and Monmouthshire coast; and on tlie English 
coast, Bristol, Clifton, Clevedon, Weston, Bumham, Bridg- 
water, Minehead, Lynmouth, Ilfracombe, Clovelly, and, at 
rare intervals, the Scilly Islee. The English resorts men- 
tioned above are described briefly below. 


Trippers to the ancient town of Chepstow leave the Severn 
a few miles after passing over the site of the former ferry 
and of its successor, the famous Tumiel, and the steamer 
turns into the narrow mouth of the Wye, noted as one of 
the most picturesque rivers of the west. A short steam 
amid the beauties of an admittedly and charming region, 
and we arrive at the impretentious and charming region, 
Chepstow on our left and in front the somewhat imposing 
tubular suspension bridge of the Great Western Railway. 
This bridge is 600 feet long, and cost some £65,000. The 
walls of the ancient town are in fair preservation. The 
castle is finely situated. It stands on the site of a Norman 
fortress, built immediately after the Conquest, and is itseK 
some 600 years old. The unhappy Edward II. was once a 
refugee at Chepstow, and the castle afterwards saw some 
stirring scenes in the Parliamentarian wars. Jeremy Taylor 
was in late years confined for some time at Chepstow on a 
charge of conspiracy. In the ancient church of St. Mary 
is buried Henry Marten, the regicide, who was imprisoned in 
the castle till his death in 1680. Near Chepstow is the 
famous Wyndcliff, nearly 1,000 feet high, and a place much 
favoured by the tourist. Symond's Yat, another pleasant 
resort, is also within easy reach. Of the Wyndcliff a well- 
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144 Guide to Cardiff. 

known writer remarks, "Cowper might have written 'God 
made the country, man made the town,' from the top of 
this crag. The eye ranges over portions dt nine counties, 
yet there seems to be no confusion in the prospect: the 
proportions of the landscape, which unfolds itself in regular 
yet not in monotonous succession, are perfect; there is 
nothing to offend the most exact critic in 'picturesque' 
scenery. The 'German Prince' who pubhshed a tour in 
England in 1826, and who has written the best description 
of the extraordinary view which the Wyndcliff commands — 
a view superior to that from Ehrenbreitstein on the Rhine 
— ^well remarks the* 'a vast group of views of distincft 
and opposite character here seem to blend and imite in one/ 
'As I stood on the brow of this precipice,' observes an elegant 
writer (Archdeacon Coxe), 'I looked down on the fertile 
peninsula of Lancaut, surrounded with rocks and forests, 
contemplated the hanging woods, rich lawns, and romantic 
cliffs of Piercefield, the castle and town of Chepstow, and 
traced the Wye, sweeping in the true outline of beauty from 
the Bannagor crags to its junction with the Severn, whidi 
spreads into an estuary, and is lost in the distant ocean. 
I traced with pleasing satisfaction the luxuriant valleys and 
romantic hiUs of the interesting county (Monmouthshire) 
in which I stood, but I dwelt with peculiar admiration on 
the majestic rampart which forms its boundary to the west, 
and extends in one grand and unbroken outline from the 
banks of the Severn to the Black Moimtains, 

'Where the broken landscape, bv degrees 
Ascending, roughens into rigid nilLs, 
O'er which the Cambrian mountains like far clouds 
That ^kirt the blue horizon, dusky rise.* 

''Let us attempt to fill up some of the gaps in this 
eloquent outline. On the south of the Channel beyond the 
Holms, which seem to float gracefully on the deep, Devon- 
shire looms in the far wes^ faced by the stem coast of 
Glamorgan, which, apparently, commences at Penaxth Point, 
near Cardiff. Nearer at hand, on the south' side, is the vast 
upland region of Exmoor. The Quantock Hills — ^the Men- 
dips — Dundry Tower — ^the country about Bath — ^the Wilt- 
shnre Downs — are seen in succession. Tlie wooded promon- 
tory of Portishead keeps watch and ward at the portal of 
the Channel right before you. Bluff Aust Hill rises dog- 

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Guide to Cardiff. 145 

gedly oil the eastern bank of the Severn. Thombury Cliurch 
Tower — Berkeley Castle, shaded by Stinchcombe Hill — 
stand in the midst of a region of oaks and elms and green 
pastures. The smiling vales of Gloucester and Evesham 
follow in succession — ^bordered by the Cotswolds, which melt 
in the distance as the eye wanders to the pale north. We 
descend in a moodi to read sermons in stones and good in 
everything.' " 


Tintem Abbey, 33 miles from Cardiff, may be reached 
either by rail (G.W.R.) or by steamer to Chepstow 
in tlie season. It is needless to say that the abbey 
rtJid its charming surroundings will well re-pay a visit, 
and ought on no account to be missed by the 
reader. Tintem was founded as a Benedictine Priory 
in the twelfth and thirteenth century, and has passed 
its prime long before tlie dissolution (A the monasteries. 
The history of the abbey is obscure, but in itsi decay it is one 
of the most beautiful objects in a country aboimding in pic- 
turesque rums. "How different from the severe Uanthony 
in its mountain cradle is the sister institution in the same 
county ! While everything there is rugged, bold, secluded, 
wild, and tempestuous, here we have softness, sunshine, 
repose, and richness. The graceful Wye, filled up to its 
banks and brimming over with the tide from the Severn 
sea., glides tranquilly past the orchardB and fat glebe of 
*Holye Tynteme.' On every side stands an amphitheatre 
of rocks, nodding with hazel and ash and birch and yew, 
and thrusting out from the tangled underwood high pointed 
crags, as it were, for ages the silent witnesses of that 
ancient Abbaye and its fortunes ; but removed at just such 
a distance as to leave a fair plain in the bend of the river 
for one of the most rare and magnificent structures in the 
whole reign of ecclesiastical ardiitecture. As you descend 
the road from Chepstow the building suddenly bursts upon 
you, like a gigantic stone skeleton ; its huge gables standing 
out against the sky with a mournful air of dilapidation — 
as though they were waiting for some friendly hand to take 
pity on their lonesomen^^ss and to consummate their ruin by 
dashing them down into the gloom beneath. There is a 

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146 Gvide to Cai'diff, 

stain upon the walls whick bespeaks a weather-beaten 
antiquity; and the ivy comes creeping out of the bare, 
sightless windows ; the wild flowers and mosses cl\ister upon 
the mullionjs and dripstones, as it were, seeking to fiU up the 
unelazed void vd^h Nature's own colours. 


"The door is opened — ^how beautiful the long and pillared 
nave — ^what a sweep of graceful arches — how noble the pro- 
portions, the breadth, the length, and the height. How 
massive are the central arches, clustered, bound, and tied 
together with knots of stonework, as though to support some- 
thing most exquisite — ^the once glorious and stately Lan- 

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Guide to Cardiff, 147 

thorn Tower ; and then with what stately eloquence does the 
eastern window close the perspective— one slender, and that 
the principal, shaft alone left, where formerly there were 
eight; but now that tall shaft, 70 feet in height, runs up 
Hke a dilapidaited rose, and seems to fall like a thread upon 
the woods and hchen stained rocks. As you walk up the 
nave on the smooth velvet turf, which Nature laid down in 
place of the encaustic tile when she took charge of the 
hallowed spot, after man's greedy sacrilege had desecrated 
it, your eye meets with relics and broken fragments dug 
out of the ruins at sevearal times and reverently plaoed at the 
foot of the columns. Here is a truncated Virgin and child. 
Here is a beautiful fragment of the screen — another of the 
wood-loft — Q. keystone timibled from the roof, elaborately 
worked — Sk crozier handsomely chiselled upon a broken slab 
— an exquisite morsel of fretwork — s, delicate specdmen of 
tracery. Few tombs remain — ^no complete tombs, only 
memorials of the dead — some nearly perfect, others muti- 
lated, principally of ecclesiastics. We have the names but 
of three abbots. As you return from the east you must 
admire the great western window, which is almost perfect. 
It has been objected that the breadth is too great for the 
height — this may be true, if spoken of the window as a 
detached portion, but it is not true when considered with 
respect to the doors below, the smaller windows above, and 
the general harmony of the whole building. Thoroughly to 
appreciate Tintem, you must see it at all seasons and in all 
Weathers, and at aU hours of the day; but be not absent 
in the September and October fuU mooais, for then the 
moon's disk, crossing the east window just below the rose, 
floods the chui'ch with a light which no painter can u^anspoee 
upon canvas, but which a devotional frame of mind appro- 
priates to itself the true medium for associating the works 
of the past with the shadowy and fancied forms of those who 
raised them. The cloisters, the sacristy, the crypt, the chap- 
ter house, the dormitory, and espedailly the refectory, with 
its lectern in the wall, for the oonvemenoe of the 'reader' 
during the meals, are well worth inspection." — (Cliffe.) The 
abbey is now the property of the Duke of Beaufort, to whose 
ancestors it was granted after the dissolution. 

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148 Guide to Cardiff, 


A favourite cruise from Cardiff ia up the Severn and the 
Avon to Clifton. Embarked at the pLer, the paasenger, a« 
his boat steams out, passes through the imiumerable swarm 
of boats, big and little, and of aU nationalities, that throng 
the entrance to Cardiff. Then, as he gains open water, he will 
have on his left the Dowlais Works, onl the right the lowering 
cliffs of Penarth Head, in front the Steep and Flat Holms, 
with Somersetshire in tlie distance. As our vessel sweeps 
eastward up the Channel, we pass the lightship that marks 
what are (»lled the Welsh and English grounds, and. then 
note on oiu* rigiit successively the pretty Httle watering- 
places of Clevedon and Pc>rtishead, the latter protected by 
its battery and having the training ship Formidable moored 
close at hand. In front of us is Denny Island. As we 
steam into the Avon, we note, on the left, Avonmouth, with 
its railway and decks, and settle ourselves down to the 
pleasures of the most dehghtful river trip in tlie district 
covered by our guide. A short distance up the river on the 
right is the quaint little harbour of Pill, with its fleet of 
pilot boata. On the other side the river is Shirehampton, 
and the river makes a fine sweep, which, though most effec- 
tive from the standpoint of the tourist, furnishes a ticklish 
piece of navigation. Sea Mills is now passed, with its rail- 
way station, and on the lofty cliffs to the left we notice 
Cook's Folly, an ancient tower occupying a commanding 
site, and with a romantio legend attached to it. To the 
right are the extensive Leigh Woods. Further up the gorge 
of the Avon becomes gloriously wild in character, and the 
first glimpse is caught of the Suspension Bridge, which, 
spanning the river at a height of 300 feet, has a fairy-like 
appearance that is infinitely pleasing. Passing under the 
bridge we land at Chf ton, whilst our steamer passes up to 
Bristol. It is needless to describe Clifton, famous as it is, 
with its lovely Downs, easily accessible from the steamer, 
and its numberless and beautiful walks. A word, however, 
may be said of the Suspension Bridge, which was opened 
in 1864, after many difficulties, having cost the sum of 
£100,000. The Avon has many romantic associations. In 
olden times, when Bristol was the chief port of the realm, 
what heavily-laden argosiee passed between these rocky 
banks, and what stout navigators set sail, ^t was from 

^ Digitized by LiOOgle 

Guide to Cardl£, 149 

Bristol that Cabot set forth to the discovery of North 
America ; it was by a Bristol privateer thai tho real Robin- 
son Crusoe was rescued from Juan Femondez; it was to 
Bristol that the old "Arethusa" belonged, famed in the sea- 
songs of Dibdin; it was from Bristol that the "Great Wes- 
tt-m" started for the States, establishing between them and 
us the first regular steam communication. 


Clevedon, seventeen miles from Cardiff, is a l)ea.utifully 
situated little watering-place, famous as the last home of 
Tennyson's friend, Arthur Hallam, to whom he wrote liis "In 
Memoriam." The epitaph in Clevedon Church records what 
the late Laureate has described in these tender and immortal 
lines : — 

"The Danube to the Severn gave 
The dajken'd heart that beat no more ; 
They laid him by the pleasant shore 
And in the hearing of the wave. 

There twice a day the Severn fills ; 

The 49alt sea water passes by, 

And hushes half the babbling Wye, 
And makes a silence in the hills." 

Clevedon has a population of about 6,000. Its pier was 
opened in 1869, and cost £12,000. In the neighbom'hood 
are many interesting walks. 


Weston is distant from Cardiff elevai miles, and is the 
best Vnown and most frequented by Cardifiians of all the 
cross Channel places. The approach to the pier is striking, 
and tlie pier itself is an interesting structure : it was built 
in 1867, at a cost of £20,000. A destiiictive fire occurred 
on it some years ago. Weston has a population of 16.000 
or more, and some of the streets and buildings are very well 
designed. The sands are also good, and the bathing safe. 
The esplanade is at all times a fashionable resort. The 
''hinterland" abounds in excellent walks and drives, and 
Bristol is conveniently near both by rail and water. 

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160 Guide to Cardiff, 


The Steep and Flat Holms are conspicuous objects in the 
Channel^ and a few words about each will not be without 
interest. Tlie Steep Ilohu ia a stem rock some 400 feet 
high, and about \\ miles iri circumference. The island is 
accessible only at two points, and they are not easy. Here 
Githa., mother of King HMroid, sought refuge after the 
Battle of Hastings* and Gildas, the historion, retired to 
^vrite his history till compelled by the pirates to seek shelter 
elsewhere. A small priory once stood on the site of the pre- 
sent fort. The Flat Holm, like its more wild and rugged 
neighbour, is also fortified, and is the site of the Cardiff 
cholera hospital and carematorium. It is surmounted by a 
lighthouse, with a powerful occulting light. Between the 
island and Lavemock is a dangerous reef known as the 


So far as Wales is concerned we make these the most 
westerly of the points that may be conveniently reached by 
pleasui-e steamer from Cardiff, though there are occasions 
when the boat crosses Carmarthen Bay and steams as far 
as Tenby. Mumbles is an interesting contrast to Penarth ; 
the former relpng on its natural beauties, and until lately 
not much altered by the hand of man, though dynamite is 
now employed to train the wild cliffs into shape and to fashion 
ways where njone ever were before. The pretty village 
itself nestles in a species of bay flanked on the west by a 
bold promontory terminating, in two rocky islands, and 
known as Mmnbles Head. This curious name is denved 
either from the moaning, mimibhng sound of the waves at 
this exposed station, or, peradventure, from "mammals" — 
a possible reference to the breast-hke appearance of the islets 
forming the headland. On the outer islet is a lighthouse, 
300 feet above the sea, the successor of one erected 
over one hundred years ago. Here is also a telegraph 
station and battery, whilst in the rock itself is a cave, and 
seme distance away the Mixon Sands, with a bell buoy, 
which warns mariners of the presence of the treacherous 
shoal. Above the Mumbles is Oystennouth Cagjle, occupy- 

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Guide to Cardiff*, 151 

ing 0, commanding position and of picturesque aspect. 
In Oystermouth diurcliyard is iburied Thomas Bowdler, 
who performed the hazardous task of expurga.ting ("bowd- 
lerising") Shakspeare and other of the dlassics. The 
romantic peninstda of Gower literally teems with the most 
varied scenery, and may be justly described as one of the 
glories of Glamorganshire. Langland Bay, Caswell Bay, 
Bishopston Valley, Worm's Head, Arthur's Stone, and the 
castle of Oxwich and Penrice may be mentioned amongst 
the "hons" of this fine region. Within easy reach of Mumblea 
is Cardiff's great sister borough, Swansea., the mjetalliu^cal 
capital, and Llaiielly, the tinplate metropolis. Tlie bay 
on which Swansea is seated lias been often likened 
to the Bay of Naples, whilst up tiie Landore Valley 
influences as dark as those of Vesuvius, or Erebus itself, 
are abundantly manifest in the vast and numerous works, 
the multitude of grimy stacks, and the huge smoke clouds 
that perpetually covers the locality. Between Landore and 
Llanelly hes the httie town of Loughor, which, with Swansea 
itself, once formed part of the Parliamentary district of 


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152 Guide to Cardij^, 


Lynton and Lynmouth are prominent amongst dio resorts 
of romantic Devonshire, and great faivourites with the people 
of Cardiff, from which town they are distant some 36 rnil-^. 
The landing an*angenijents are somewhat primitive. Until 
of late years Lynmouth was little known. The little port 
is connected with Lynton immediately above it by a steep 
road and b}*^ a cliff railway, the latter being much favoured 
by those to 'wfcora the other ascent may be difl&cuU. Tlie 
principal sights of the locality are Glrailyn, Watersmeet, 
and the VrJlcy oi Rocks, the scenery of the latter bemg 
wild and mi|.>c«ng. 


IlfracomlDe, 50 miles from Cardiff, is a gay and fashionable 
watering-place, of some 8,000 inhabitants. The c-ast 
sceueiy here is magc?tlcent, and the whole neighbouibcod 
romaTitic, whiL^t the temperature throughout the year is 
equable and the climate pleasant* rendering llfracombe an 
ideal wniering- place for invahds. 


Limdy Island, in the Bristol Channel, rises precipitously 
from the sea to a height of several hundred feet. It has an 
aj-ea of some 2,000 acres. The lighthouse is a powei-ful 
one, and the hght visible 30 miles away. 


This charming and romantic village is well worth a visit, 
and, with a strong recommendation of its beauties, we close 
our brief guide to the principal English resorts of the 
Bristol Channel. 

%* It is fifteen years since the first edition of the *' Illustrated 
Guide to Cardiff " was published, during which period the town 
has doubled in size and much increased its already great com- 
mercial prosperity. We have endeavoured to render the Guide as 
useful as possible to visitors, not merely as far as concerns the 
town, but the very interesting district of which it is the centre. 

To Mr. John Ballinger, amongst others, our acknowledgments 
are due, as well as to the Bute (now Cardiff Railway) and Barry 
Docks Companies for kind permission to reproduce photographs 
of the Cardiff and Barry docks. 

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CHAPTERS.— A Modem Berserker— The Curate— A West phalian— The Passing 
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