Roath Local History Society


It is with regret that we have taken the decision not to reconvene our lecture programme this coming autumn/winter due to the Coronavirus situation.

We will continue to monitor the situation with a view to possibly starting again in March 2021.

We wish all our members and friends remain safe at this difficult time.


Recent additions to our website:

The history of St German’s Church on Star Street, Adamsdown has just been added to our web page that looks at the history of churches in the area.

St German’s is on the corner of Star Street and Metal Street, Adamsdown.  The church is named after St Germanus of Auxerre (a town in Burgandy, France), a Dark Age Celtic saint, who may have passed through these parts.  The first church in the area was Christ Church nearby on Metal Street.  In 1874 a  second-hand iron building brought from Dudley was erected adjacent to the current St German’s church.  With the local population of Roath expanding rapidly architect George F Bodley was employed to design a more permanent structure.  The church was built between 1881 and 1884 on land donated by Lord Tredegar and is the only church with flying buttresses in Cardiff.  It has been described as ‘a sort of greyhound church, strong, lithe, and thin’.  The church was consecrated in March 1886, the same month that the new parish of St German was formed.  St. German’s was narrowly missed by bombing in 1941 (although some damage was done), but the parish hall alongside was destroyed and killing Sister Teresa.  A new hall has since been built on the same site.  Close to the west entrance is a Calvary in wrought iron, the work of sculptor Frank Roper, the stone Calvary having been destroyed in WW2.

St German's Star Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff

St German’s Star Street, Adamsdown. Top L: 1880 maps showing the metal church, and an empty plot where the current St German’s stands. Top R: 1890, View of St German’s with the Great Eastern Hotel in the foreground. Bottom L: Former church hall and sculpture, destroyed in WWII. Bot R: St German’s in 2019.


Our latest blog is about Viscount John Sankey, the Lord Chancellor.  He grew up on City Road and later moved to Newport Road.

343 Newport Road, Roath, Cardiff home of John Sankey

The tram terminus outside the Royal Oak, Newport Road with the Sankey residence being just off picture to the left. 343 Newport Road today.


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.

Penylan Road David Hurn 1973

Photo: David Hurn

Our lively and interesting meetings are held at 7.45pm on the second Thursday of the month from September through to May.  See Programme for details.

We meet at  St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Pen-y-lan Road, Roath, Cardiff. CF24 3PB.

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.

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.