Roath Local History Society


December meeting



The Nov 2021 Newsletter has now been uploaded onto the website. 

I’m always on the look out for war memorial plaques in the Roath and surrounding area to help with my work on the Roath Virtual War Memorial.  This week I was lucky enough to be able to photograph one at City United Reformed church in Windsor Place.  It is outside or immediate area but having researched the first two names on it I find they were from Splott and Cathays. 



Our latest blog post looks at the history of the The Penylan Club, or to give it its proper title, the Penylan Bowling and Cardiff Bridge Club, is hidden away on the back lanes off Marlborough Road.  Its history goes all the way back to 1907 and it was opened in 1909 by Lord Tredegar, their first President.  Croquet and tennis used to be played there but that has now been replaced by bridge and pétanque.  



Roath Castle Hotel

Roath Castle Hotel, City Road, Cardiff

The Roath Castle Hotel was on City Road at the junction with Penlline Street.  It opened in around 1865 when City Road was then known as Plwcca Lane.  It was named after Roath Castle which was Plasnewydd, home of the Richards family, later called the Mackintosh Institute.  In 1924 the licensee was charged with permitting gambling on the premises after a policeman entered the hotel and heard  the shouts of “Roll up for the rabbits”. Roll Up was a gambling game played on a bagatelle table which consisted of rolling a number of balls together towards the pockets at the top of the table and presumably betting on the accumulated score. The Roath Castle Hotel closed around 1970 but the building survived.  It became the Mirchi Indian Restaurant , later the Mirpur restaurant and now Spicy Hut/Jinny Pizza. 

More Roath pubs history on our Pubs & Clubs page 


Society Background:

Roath is a suburb of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Our area of interest is not just Roath as we know it today but all areas that were in the ancient parish of Roath.  That includes the suburbs of Adamsdown, Splott, Tremorfa, Pengam, Plasnewydd, Penylan, parts of Cathays and Cyncoed as well as Roath itself.

St Edwards, Blenheim Road - Photo from church website

Our lively and interesting meetings are held at 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month from September through to May.  See Programme for details.

We meet at  St Edward’s church, Westville Road, Pen-y-lan, Cardiff. CF23 5DE.

Annual membership is just £10 and visitors are welcome to attend any meeting for £2.

In June and July we undertake a series of trips to places of historic interest in both Cardiff and the wider South Wales area.


Roath, Splott and Adamsdown - 1000 Years of History

We are now over 40 years old. More information on our activities can be found on the  Society page. A Short History of Roath Local History Society has also recently been added and can be found on the Society page

We have published a number of books about Roath history.  These together with links to other books of interest can be found on the Publications page.

On our Links page we have listed websites that ma be of interest to people studying local history in the Cardiff and surrounding areas.

In our Local History section we have started to assemble articles on a whole range of topics connected to the old parish of Roath.

Finally, we draw your attention to our Blog.  We hope you enjoy the posts and having a wander around the website.

Thanks for visiting.