Roath Local History Society

‘Street of the Day’ – a lockdown project looking at the streets in the area, their history and where their names originate.  Follow the series on Twitter @RoathHistory  or take a look at the Roads of Roath page our website.


Waterloo Road. Starts at heart of Roath, St Margaret, centre of the old village. There’s been a chapel here since the 1100s. First houses 1907. Named after the Battle of Waterloo 18/6/1815. Interestingly, one of the few remaining headstones in St Margaret’s churchyard is that of Sergeant Thomas John (d.1864) who took part in the Battle of Waterloo. I wonder if this had any bearing on the naming of the street. The road was also the childhood home of Michael Moritz, Wales’s richest (Google him).

Our December 2020 Newsletter has now been uploaded onto the website.

Our lecture programme is now delivered via Zoom.  Why not consider becoming a member and join us for our online presentations  (our members also receive the Newsletter a month before it is published on our website). It would be great to see you.

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

New Publication

A new book has been published by Matthew Williams that looks at some of the grand houses of Cardiff that are no more.  Called Lost Houses of Cardiff it includes some of the houses that were in our area.  Available on eBay for £13.99.

Lost HOuses of Cardiff


We get a steady stream of enquiries, some of which we can help with, some of which we can’t.  One thing we have done is to set up an Advice page, full of hand hints as to how people might tackle local history in the area.

One enquiry we had last year turned out to be ‘outside our patch’.  It was asking about a games shop in town, F.C.Parker. The enquirer was searching for a photograph of the original shop near the entrance to the Royal Arcade.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to help and they are still searching.  They have however put together an interesting blog post that may bring back some memories for some of you.


Recent additions to our website:

A piece of research has recently been completed into the men on the Western Mail Ltd Roll of Honour who fell in WWI.  Quite a few of them were from the area.


Of the 21 men who lost their lives they included:

  • Daniel Davies –  brother of the editor Sir William Davies.
  • Harry Dimery, lived on Dogfield Street, Cathays. His framed medal display was fond in a second hand shop in Barry and has now been donated to a museum.
  • Theodore Dreher  – his parents were German and had a jewellery shop in Barry.
  • George Gifford – his parents were in service, his mother Balbina Basteracha coming from the Basque region of Spain.   Lived on Broadway.   His parents lived long lives and were married for 70 years. His son became a sports journalist in London.
  • Harold Harris – a wrestler who won a Welsh championship at Roath Park.  Lived in Rhymney Terrace.
  • Idwal Humphreys – son a Baptist minister and Bard who won the crown at the National Eisteddfod in 1904.  Lived in Shirley Road.
  • Harry Pickard – won a Military Cross for bravery. Lived in Crwys Road.  His son George studied physics at Oxford and joined the RAF and invented infra-red detection and bombsight design contributed to anti-submarine attack techniques and the Dam-Busters attacks on the Ruhr Dam.
  • Launcelot Shipton- born in Florida, lived in Deri Road.  As an aside, his niece, Dr Margaret Shotton, Consultant Obstetrician,  delivered Britain’s first sextuplets at Birmingham’s Maternity hospital in 1968.

Our latest blog posting is about local man Brian Josephson – Nobel Prize winner

Brian Josephson pictures and nobel prize

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.