History of Roath
Roath is located to the east
of Cardiff City Centre and has a plethora of shops, restaurants,
pubs, cafes, schools and parks. The boundaries of Roath stretch from
Adamstown in the south to Roath
lake in the north. It is within walking distance of the Centre and
is within easy reach of transport routes. However, of course Roath
hasn’t always been such a hot bed of activity and has a very
In a Name
The origin of the name,
Roath, isn't completely clear, however it is thought to originate
from the gaelic word rįth, which means fort.
It is possible that a fort may have been at the centre of the area
as it was developing. However, another theory is that the name is
derived from the Welsh for gift, 'rhodd'..
times Robert Fizhammon, a warrior lord, established his base in Cardiff Castle. He used the area of Roath as a
farm to feed the huge number of workers for his household. He
established Roath Manor at this time, which would have stood on the
corner of Albany Road and Newport Road.
Later on in the 12th and 13th centuries the land
which is now known as Roath,
fell under the Lord of Glamorgan and became known as Roath Dogfield.
It continued to be known by that name for around 300 years. During
this time, Roath was a village and it wasn’t until housing
development started in the 19th century that Roath moved away from
its rural beginnings.
In 1887 the third Marquis of Bute, along with a few other
landowners, gave over 120 acres of marshland to the Cardiff
Corporation, over 100 acres of which came from the Bute Estate. The
Cardiff Corporation, who the land was passed to, developed a park
with a lake, gardens and playing fields. We know this today as Roath
Park and the development cost £62,000. In 1894 the park was formally
opened by the third Marquis of Bute.
Parks and landmarks
Park is a very popular area. The lake
is the focal point of the parkland, with a circumference of
approximately 1 mile. A major feature of the lake is the lighthouse.
The lighthouse has been dedicated to the memory of Captain Scott.
Scott sailed from
1910, on the Terra Nova, to attempt to be the first group of men to
sail to the South Pole. Scott and his team reached their destination
in 1912 only to find that they had been beaten by Roald Admunsens’
Norwegian team. On the return journey Scott and his team died from a
combination of hunger,
exhaustion and extreme cold. The lighthouse in
Park was dedicated to
Scott in 1915..
St Margaret’s Church, at the junction of
Albany Road and
Newport Road is the place where the
family went to worship. The church started to be rebuilt in 1870 and
was finished in 1873. It is believed that St Margaret's actually
stands on the site of a former Norman chapel. The church was
designed by the architect John Pritchard. The construction of St
Margaret’s church was funded by the third Marquis of Bute, the same
man who gave over land to Roath
Park. As an adult the third Marquis of
Bute was thought to be the richest man in
Europe. The church contains the crypt of the
family, which can be viewed to this day.
BBC have done a short video on ST Margaret's and the Bute family to
view it click here
In 1878 The
George pub was built. The pub is a Scream pub in the present day and
is very popular with students. It was originally known as The Royal
George and the first publican was Samuel Loveless who was the nephew
of James Hammett, a
Tolpuddle Martyr. Continuing to
introduce pubs to the Roath area, the Claude Hotel
was built in 1890 followed by the Albany Hotel in 1895. The Albany celebrated it’s 100th
birthday on 26 May 2005.