Pen-y-lan Streets

Dorchester Avenue.

Developed from west to east, starting in 1923. Map (undated) shows houses still being built in black and some gaps still. One of four parallel streets named after places with an abbey/cathedral.


Southcourt Road

Developed around 1932. Nearby roads are named after West London underground stations including Turnham Green, Ravenscourt, Hampton Court, Baron’s Court, Earl’s Court. South Kensington Road would have been a bit lengthy for a road name so Southcourt Road could well be named after South Court in Kensington Palace (now the Victoria & Albert museum).

South Court in Kensington Palace, the snow of 1982, Southcourt Road in 2021.

Marlborough Road.

The houses date from 1898. The two most impressive buildings, the Marlborough Road Board School (destroyed WWII) and the steam laundry, are no more. The laundry was replaced by Thomas Court flats for the retired. Marlborough Road was home of documentary photographer David Hurn, the subject of one of our blog posts: David Hurn – the man who shot James Bond. There is a bit of a debate over where the name of the road originates. It is most probably named after the 1st Duke of Marlborough who led an army at the Battle of Blenheim (1704). Alternatively, it may be named after the Battle of Marlborough in 1642, though this was a relatively minor battle (but you probably wouldn’t say that it you were there!). Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough was decorated during the second Boer War, which would fit in with other streets in the area being named after Boer war events but the Second Boer Boar War where he fought wasn’t till after Marlborough Road had already been named.

A look at the history of the streets in the Pen-y-lan area of Cardiff, Wales.
Marlborough Road 2021. The most up to date Steam Laundry in the Kingdom (corner of Marlborough Road and Blenheim Road). Marlborough Road Board school, now replaced by Marlborough Primary school. The 1st Duke of Marlborough who led an army at the Battle of Blenheim.

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 man.