Adamsdown / Roath streets

Adamsdown Lane

Houses date from ~1990s.  Built on land that used to be railway sidings. The name Adamsdowne or Adam’s Down, dates back to at least 1440, but who was Adam?  Probably Adam Kyngot, the gatekeeper at Cardiff Castle. The nearby ‘black bridge’ footbridge was raised in 2017 to allow for electrification of the mainline.  A recycled street name as Adamsdown Lane was the former name for Glossop Terrace, itself no longer there.

Bottom right: Raising of the footbridge 1997 (photo credit Crouchwaterfall)

Adamsdown Square

This used to be the site of Adamsdown House, which later became Martha Vaughan’s Ladies School. It was demolished around 1875.  Adamsdown School was built in 1879 on edge of square and itself demolished around 1988.  All Saints church on the edge of the square used to be site of St Elvan’s chapel which was opened in 1893. All Saints closed in the 1966 and was then used for a variety of commercial premises including L.H.Evans the Electrical Wholesaler, a furniture saleroom and then by a dealer in fireplaces and architectural salvage.  It has since been converted into flats in 2012.

Adamsdown Square, Adamsdown House, Adamsdown School and All Saints church

Agate Street

Dates from 1874. Named after the attractive colourful rock formed at high temperatures in volcanoes. Part of original street demolished to make way for Splott Cinema, opened 1913, rebuilt 1930, closed 1961, then a bingo hall, a church then destroyed by fire 2015.

Bottom: Agate Street in 1891 with Diamond Street in the background. Splott Cinema 1961.

Anderson Place

Dates from the 1970s.  Built on the site of the former Roath Cattle Market and abattoir.  Thought to be named after Anderson, the deputy Health Inspector who was a frequent observer of the market.

Top Right – Cycle Street with the abattoir on left. Bottom Right: Anderson Place newly built with Constellation Street behind.

Arthur Street

Dates from around 1880.  Named after Arthur Nicholl, nephew of the landowner William Bradley. Arthur was born in Llanelli in 1868, son as a church minister and raised in Bromyard, Herefordshire. After leaving school he went on to gain three degrees from Oxford including law. His career was spent as a Town Clerk including at Wandsworth Council where he was awarded an OBE for his services. He died in 1949 in Bournemouth.

Arthur Street 2021, map of the area before Arthur Street was built, the Bradley family tree showing members of the family after which streets are named.

Augusta Street

Houses date from 1857. Probably named after Adelaide Augusta Lavinia Hastings (b.1812), daughter of Earl of Moira and sister of the Sophia who was wife of 2nd Marquess of Bute, the landowner.

Bottom: Baptism at St James, Westminster in 1812 of Adelaide Augusta Lavinia Hastings, daughter of the Right Honourable Francis Earl of Moira and Flora, Countess of Loudoun & Moira.

Beresford Road

Dates from 1887, originally called Spring Gardens Road. It is probably named after John Beresford Bradley (1886-1958), nephew of the William Bradley, a solicitor and owner on the Bradley estate on which the roads were built. The Beresford Road Bridge was opened in 1908 and had been built in response to large number of accidents to people crossing the railway line.  The bridge had been a long time coming.  An article in the papers of 1897 reported that several owners of property nearby had been contacted asking about contributing towards a bridge.  Spillers & Nephews biscuit factory refused and said they were more likely to sue the corporation for damages for not building a bridge. The bridge was reconstructed in 2016/7 as part of the South Wales Mainline electrification process.

Right: Opening of the railway bridge in 1908. Bottom left: Before the railway bridge was built.

Bertram Street

Dates from 1874.  The landowner William Bradley had a habit of naming the roads after his children.  This one was named after newly born William Bertram Bradley (1874-1921), who went on to have a passion for the military and became Major William Bertram Bradley. He was educated at Marlborough Military school but on leaving he took up his father’s profession of law. During WWI he was in command of the Glamorgan RGA depot in Cardiff and then Nell’s Point Battery in Barry Island where some may postulate that he partook of the occasional ice cream. Bertram Street used to have The Bertram pub at one end and St Agnes church at the other, both now gone.

Top Rt: Major William Bertram Bradley. Bottom left: The Betram (photo credit: Spanna on Flickr), lower right: St Agnes church.

Blanche Street

Dates from 1882.  When the landowner William Bradley married Blanche Bradley Pritchard (probably  a cousin) in 1871 she became Blanche Bradley Bradley. The street however probably named after their daughter, Blanche Jane Bradley (1878-1948). She grew up in Cathedral Road.  She never married and went on to live with her unmarried sister Florence in Fairwood, a large house on Llantrisant Road, Llandaff.  The sisters would hold annual garden parties for the Conservative party. When she died in 1948 she left £88K (~£3million today) to her sister. At the end of the street is Cardiff Sikh Gurdwara temple that used to be Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Lower left: Blanche Jane Bradley at one of her garden parties.

Booker Street

This small street off Broadway probably dates from 1870s.  It is named after Mary Booker, the first wife of the landowner Rev Cyril Stacey.  She was daughter of Thomas Booker MP, industrialist, landowner and politician who owned Melingriffith tin-plate works in Whitchuch.  The Melingriffith tinplate works employed some 500 people and were owned by the Booker family who lived in nearby Velindre House.  Mary Booker married Rev Cyril Stacey in April 1860.  In the ‘Lost Houses of Cardiff’ Matthew Williams reproduces a newspaper report of the wedding reception held at Velindre:  ‘In the hall’s meadow, on the banks of the river Taff, below the sylvan terrace, in front of the mansion, twenty-four good sized cannons were placed, and announced in mimic thunder, the celebration of the nuptials’ …’the Velindra brass band, consisting of young men engaged in Messer’s Booker’s works, was stationed on the lawn in front of the grand dining room’. 

Mary and Cyril Stacey went on to have two daughters before she died in 1867 in Whitchurch aged just 36.  She is buried in a grave that is adjacent to the Booker family vault in St Mary’s Gardens on Old Church Road, the graveyard of the original St Mary’s church.  On the side of her grave is inscribed ‘Here resteth the body of Mary Booker Wife of J.T.Cyril Stacey Clerk M.A. Oxford’. 

Bradley Street

The street dates from 1877.  It was originally called Maud Street after Florence Maud Bradley (b.1875) the landowner’s daughter.  I thought originally maybe Dad wanted to see his own name up in lights or maybe they decided that nearby Florence Street was to be named after her instead, but a newspaper report from 10 May 1894 explains that the residents petitioned for a change of street name as the street had a bad reputation. The troublesome residents had now been removed so the respectable residents wanted to start afresh. The Canadian pub stood on the corner with Pearl Street for 120 years and finally closed in 2015.

Bradley Street. Top Rt: The Canadian (photo credit – After Dark website). Bottom Rt: Headstone of William Bradley in St David’s church, Groes faen.


An ancient road of medieval origin, previously called Green Lane and for a time Garnet Street before being rebranded Broadway in 1875. Two classic pubs, the Royal Oak and the Clifton Hotel, remain at either end but many have now gone.  The old Broadway Methodist church building was destroyed in a fire in 1989.  

A look back at some of the history of the streets of the Roath / Adamsdown area of Cardiff. The street included are those north of the railway line and south of Newport Road.

Cyril Crescent

Cyril Crescent dates from 1873.  The name derives from landowner Reverend John Thomas Cyril Stacey.  Tredegar Hall, the Roath Conservative Club, was opened 1926 by Lord Tredegar and was a conversion of existing houses shown in the 1891 photograph.  Also present in the photograph of the opening of the club is Dr J.J.E.Biggs, a surgeon who went on to become Lord Mayor and was one eldest of the Biggs rugby playing brothers.  All six of them played for Cardiff and Norman Biggs being the youngest player to play for Wales.

Priest Road

A street bereft of houses but with two repair garages housed in interesting old buildings.  Named after Edward Priest Richards (1792-1867) who was agent to 2nd Marquess of Bute who helped him amass his fortune.  Edward Priest Richards left his nephew Rev Stacey, the landowner, quite a fortune so it looks like Rev Stacey though he’d better name some roads after his uncle.  Note the Victorian pillar box on the corner near Newport Road.

Lithograph: L to R – Edward Priest Richards, John Bird, Rev. Thomas Stacey (South Glamorgan County Libraries)

Richards Terrace

Named after Edward Priest Richards (1792-1867) who was solicitor and agent to the Marquess of Bute and who helped him amass a fortune.  Not convinced about his haircut though. Houses date from 1877.  Some houses still have the original villa names above the porch.

Top right: A lithograph of Edward Priest Richards

Stacey Road 

Dates from 1875.  Named after Reverend Thomas Stacey, the landowner of Island Farm which lay in the triangle of land between Newport Road and Broadway.  Stacey Road School, opened in 1892 and has a blue plaque to footballer Fred Keenor.  Stacey Hall was once an Electric Theatre and also a library but strangely not a church even though it has an appearance of one.

Tyler Street

A short street off Broadway with houses dating from 1877. The landowner Reverend John Stacey was married to Amelia Blanche Tyler.  Amelia was granddaughter of Admiral Sir Charles Tyler of Cottrell House, St Nicholas, just east of Cardiff.  Admiral Tyler was badly injured whilst commanding the H.M.S.Tonnant at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.