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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom



 


Notes: Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county in Wales. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for many national cultural and sport institutions, the Welsh national media, the most popular visitor destination in the country and the seat of Welsh Assembly Government (although its various offices are distributed throughout Wales). According to recent local government estimates, the population of the unitary authority area is 317,500.
The city of Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan (later South Glamorgan). Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. Cardiff Urban Area covers a slightly larger area, including Dinas Powys, Penarth and Radyr. It was a small town until the early 19th century and came to prominence as a major port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region. Cardiff was made a city in 1905, and proclaimed capital of Wales in 1955. Since the 1990s Cardiff has seen significant development with a new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay which contains the new Welsh Assembly Building and the city centre is undergoing a major redevelopment. International sporting venues in the city include the Millennium Stadium (rugby union and football) and SWALEC Stadium (cricket). Cardiff is a significant tourist centre with 11.7 million visitors in 2006.
History
Origins of the name
The name Cardiff and its Welsh equivalent Caerdydd are both believed by most modern experts to derive from post-Roman Brythonic words meaning "the fort on the Taff". "Dydd" or "Diff" are both modifications of "Taff", the river on which Cardiff Castle stands, with the T mutating to D in Welsh. According to Professor Hywel Wyn Owen, a leading modern authority on toponymy, the Welsh pronunciation of "Caerdyff" as "Caerdydd" shows the colloquial alternation of Welsh "-f" and "-dd".
In the past, antiquarians such as William Camden suggested that the name Cardiff might derive from the name "Caer-Didi" ("the Fort of Didius") given in honour of Aulus Didius Gallus, governor of a nearby province at the time when the Romans established a fort at Cardiff. Although some websites repeat this theory as fact, it is disputed by modern scholars on linguistic grounds, with Professor Gwynedd Pierce of Cardiff University recently describing it as "rubbish".
Roman period to the Middle Ages
The history of what is now Cardiff began with a Roman fort on the site, built in 75 CE. As Roman rule in Britannia ended near the start of the 5th century the fort was abandoned.
In 1091 Robert Fitzhamon began work on the castle keep within the walls of the old Roman fort. Cardiff Castle has been at the heart of the city ever since. The castle was substantially altered and extended during the Victorian period by John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, and the architect William Burges. Original Roman work can, however, still be distinguished in the wall facings.
Soon a little town grew up in the shadow of the castle, made up primarily of settlers from England. Cardiff had a population of between 1,500 and 2,000 in the Middle Ages, a relatively normal size for a Welsh town in this period. By the end of the 13th century, Cardiff was the only town in Wales with a population exceeding 2,000, but it was relatively small compared with most other notable towns in the Kingdom of England.
In the early 12th century a wooden palisade was erected around the city to protect it. Cardiff was a busy port in the Middle Ages, and was declared a Staple port in 1327.
In 1404 Owain Glyndwr burned Cardiff and took Cardiff Castle. As the town was still very small, most of the buildings were made of wood and the town was destroyed. However, the town was soon rebuilt and began to flourish once again.
County town of Glamorganshire
In 1536, the Act of Union between England and Wales led to the creation of the shire of Glamorgan, and Cardiff was made the county town. Around this same time the Herbert family became the most powerful family in the area. In 1538, Henry VIII closed the Dominican and Franciscan friaries in Cardiff, the remains of which were used as building materials. A writer around this period described Cardiff: "The River Taff runs under the walls of his honours castle and from the north part of the town to the south part where there is a fair quay and a safe harbour for shipping."
Cardiff had become a Free Borough in 1542. In 1573, it was made a head port for collection of customs duties, and in 1581, Elizabeth I granted Cardiff its first royal charter. Pembrokeshire historian George Owen described Cardiff in 1602 as "the fayrest towne in Wales yett not the welthiest., and the town gained a second Royal Charter in 1608. During the Second English Civil War, St. Fagans just to the west of the town, played host to the Battle of St. Fagans. The battle, between a Royalist rebellion and a New Model Army detachment, was a decisive victory for the Parliamentarians and allowed Oliver Cromwell to conquer Wales. It is the last major battle to occur in Wales, with about 200 (mostly Royalist) soldiers killed.
In the ensuing century Cardiff was at peace. In 1766, John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute married into the Herbert family and was later created Baron Cardiff, and in 1778 he began renovations on Cardiff Castle. In the 1790s a racecourse, printing press, bank and coffee house all opened, and Cardiff gained a stagecoach service to London. Despite these improvements, Cardiff's position in the Welsh urban hierarchy had declined over the 18th century. Iolo Morgannwg called it "an obscure and inconsiderable place", and the 1801 census found the population to be only 1,870, making Cardiff only the twenty-fifth largest town in Wales, well behind Merthyr and Swansea.
Building of the docks
In 1793, John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute was born. He would spend his life building the Cardiff docks and would later be called "the creator of modern Cardiff". A twice-weekly boat service between Cardiff and Bristol was established in 1815, and in 1821, the Cardiff Gas Works was established.
The town grew rapidly from the 1830s onwards, when the Marquess of Bute built a dock which eventually linked to the Taff Vale Railway. Cardiff became the main port for exports of coal from the Cynon, Rhondda, and Rhymney valleys, and grew at a rate of nearly 80% per decade between 1840 and 1870. Much of the growth was due to migration from within and outside Wales: in 1841, a quarter of Cardiff's population were English-born and more than 10% had been born in Ireland. By the 1881 census, Cardiff had overtaken both Merthyr and Swansea to become the largest town in Wales. Cardiff's new status as the premier town in South Wales was confirmed when it was chosen as the site of the University College South Wales and Monmouthshire in 1893.
Cardiff faced a challenge in the 1880s when David Davies of Llandinam and the Barry Railway Company promoted the development of rival docks at Barry. Barry docks had the advantage of being accessible in all tides, and David Davies claimed that his venture would cause "grass to grow in the streets of Cardiff". From 1901 coal exports from Barry surpassed those from Cardiff, but the administration of the coal trade remained centred on Cardiff, in particular its Coal Exchange, where the price of coal on the British market was determined and the first million-pound deal was struck in 1907. The city also strengthened its industrial base with the decision of the owners of the Dowlais Ironworks in Merthyr (who would later form part of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds) to build a new steelworks close to the docks at East Moors, which was opened on 4 February 1891 by Lord Bute.
City and capital city status
King Edward VII granted Cardiff city status on 28 October 1905, and the city acquired a Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1916. In subsequent years an increasing number of national institutions were located in the city, including the National Museum of Wales, Welsh National War Memorial, and the University of Wales Registry Building—however, it was denied the National Library of Wales, partly because the library's founder, Sir John Williams, considered Cardiff to have "a non-Welsh population".
After a brief post-war boom, Cardiff docks entered a prolonged decline in the interwar period. By 1936, their trade was less than half its value in 1913, reflecting the slump in demand for Welsh coal. Bomb damage during the Cardiff Blitz in World War II included the devastation of Llandaff Cathedral, and in the immediate postwar years the city's link with the Bute family came to an end.
The city was proclaimed capital city of Wales on 20 December 1955, by a written reply by the Home Secretary Gwilym Lloyd George. Caernarfon had also vied for this title. Cardiff therefore celebrated two important anniversaries in 2005. The Encyclopedia of Wales notes that the decision to recognise the city as the capital of Wales "had more to do with the fact that it contained marginal Conservative constituencies than any reasoned view of what functions a Welsh capital should have". Although the city hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1958, Cardiff only became a centre of national administration with the establishment of the Welsh Office in 1964, which later prompted the creation of various other public bodies such as the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Development Agency, most of which were based in Cardiff.
The East Moors Steelworks closed in 1978 and Cardiff lost population during the 1980s, consistent with a wider pattern of counter urbanisation in Britain. However, it recovered and was one of the few cities (outside London) where population grew during the 1990s. During this period the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation was promoting the redevelopment of south Cardiff; an evaluation of the regeneration of Cardiff Bay published in 2004 concluded that the project had "reinforced the competitive position of Cardiff" and "contributed to a massive improvement in the quality of the built environment", although it had failed "to attract the major inward investors originally anticipated".
In the 1999 devolution referendum, Cardiff voters rejected the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales by 55.4% to 44.2% on a 47% turnout, which Denis Balsom partly ascribed to a general preference in Cardiff and some other parts of Wales for a 'British' rather than exclusively 'Welsh' identity. The relative lack of support for the Assembly locally, and difficulties between the Welsh Office and Cardiff Council in acquiring the original preferred venue, Cardiff City Hall, encouraged other local authorities to bid to house the Assembly. However, the Assembly eventually located at Crickhowell House in Cardiff Bay in 1999; in 2005, a new debating chamber on an adjacent site, designed by Richard Rogers, was opened.
The city was county town of Glamorgan until the council reorganisation in 1974 paired Cardiff and the now Vale of Glamorgan together as the new county of South Glamorgan. Further local government restructuring in 1996 resulted in Cardiff city's district council becoming a unitary authority, the City and County of Cardiff, with the addition of Creigiau and Pentyrch.

OpenStreetMap

City/Town : Latitude: 51.48075215073069, Longitude: -3.1829452514648438


Birth

Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID 
1 Anne Gifford, Charlotte  14 Feb 1883Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom I272856

Died

Matches 1 to 2 of 2

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID 
1 Bakker, Roelf  02 Apr 1842Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom I108566
2 Hesselberg, Sofie Magdalene  17 Nov 1967Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom I676140

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