Crwys Road

The boundary of the old parish of Roath ran down the middle the whole length of Crwys Road.

The first house plans were approved for Crwys Road in 1868 with five property plans being approved.

By 1914 a considerable amount of development had taken place and amongst the commercial properties on Crwys Road were seven butchers, four grocers, four fruiters, three bookmakers, three bakers and confectioners along with a number of various combinations of confectioners, tobacconists, stationers, newsagents and hairdressers.


Crwys Hotel

The Crwys Hotel is one of the oldest pubs in the area dating back to 1870 at least. The pub’s Welsh name Crwys means cross in English. In 1872 Dr Lougher was riding past on his horse on his way to an urgent case in Whitchurch when his horse bolted, frightened by a nearby scavenging cart. He was thrown to the ground and ‘dreadfully injured’.  He was taken into the Crwys Hotel where he was able to give instructions on how to stem the bleeding. Unfortunately the horse didn’t survive. In 1876 the papers report a gas explosion that shattered the windows and blew out the exterior door frame. The Crwys Hotel had four bars till the early 2000s.  A number of refurbishments have taken place since, the latest adding a roof-top outdoor seating area.

Crwys Hotel, Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff

Crwys Hotel, Crwys Road, Cathays. Left – pictures from 1890-1. Top Rt: 1982 (pic credit – Anthony France), lower right: 2005 (pic credit: Neil Moffatt)

 

Woodville Road Baptist Church

Woodville Road Baptist Church, on the corner of Woodville Road and Crwys Road, began as an offshoot of Bethany and Tabernacle Baptist churches in the 1870s.  It started as a group meeting   in an upper room at the town end of Cathays Terrace.  The school room was then constructed on the site of the present church, the first mention of which in the newspapers appears to be 1876.   By 1881 it had 280 scholars attending.  Membership continued to increase and the main church was constructed and opened in 1887 with galleries added in 1892. A pipe organ and a young men’s institute followed, and organisations for all ages made for a lively church.  In 1904, the year of Revival, over 100 baptisms took place. In the 1920s the church was often filled, and the Sunday school peaked at 611 with 45 teachers.  Over the years however the building deteriorated and in 1990 a gale removed part of the roof.  The church was demolished in 1993 and the new church Woodville Baptist Church – ‘Woodville Christian Centre’ constructed and opened in 2002 on part the same site whilst the corner part of the original site is now an Italian desert parlour.

Woodville Road Baptist Church

Woodville Road Baptist Church – top – the schoolroom and original church. Bottom- looking along Woodville Road from Crwys Road with the church on the right.

Crwys Road School

Crwys Road Board School, near the junction with Fanny Street, had a chequered history.  It opened in January 1883 and enlarged in 1890.  In 1901 it had accommodation for 1255 pupils.  It closed in 1939 as an elementary school when it was handed over to the council for war purposes.  After the war the building was then refurbished and took on a new identity as the College of Food Technology, which acquired a national reputation even before its move in the late 1960s to new buildings on Colchester Avenue. The school building reverted briefly to a school c.1972, accommodating an overflow from Gladstone Girls’ Secondary Modern, but was demolished in 1973. A Co-op foodstore with offices above and British Heart Foundation charity chop now occupies the site. Its most famous pupil was First World War hero Fred Barter of Daniel Street who won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery at the WWI Battle of Festubert on 17 May 1915.  On the 8 July 1915 a reception was held at Crwys Road School for the return of Sergeant Major Barter V.C. from the war. A plaque remembering the former pupils who had fallen in WWI was unveiled by Fred Barter in the 1930s.  Tensions appear to have been running high in 1921 when headmistress Miss Wakley protested about her class sizes being 86.  She was told her protest was unreasonable and given three months notice.  The newspaper archives feature a number of references to former staff including Mrs Tate who is said to have opened the school and Bill Charles who taught there for 42 years.

Crwys Road School, Cathays, Cardiff

Crwys Road School, Cathays, Cardiff

Trolley bus towards the top end of Crwys Road in the 1960s outside T R Gill the newsagents.