Marlborough Primary School

CBS23 Marlbourough Road board school

The original Marlborough Road Board School opened in 1900, on the corner of Blenheim Road and Marlborough Road.

Marlborough Road School was constructed in 1898-99 and opened in January 1900 with a capacity for 1350 pupils.

The land for the school was purchased from Lord Tredegar at a cost of £2,893.  Before the school was built the land was part of Tir Colly Farm.  The farmhouse stood where Albany Road Baptist Church now is.  The land purchased was marked on the 1840 tithe map as a field called Waun Ty Cyw (chicken house heath) and being farmed by Evans William Jnr.  The Tir Colly farmhouse is marked as 261 and Roath Mill is just to the east of 271.  St Margaret’s Church is marked as 174.

Tithe map of 1840 with position of Marlborough Primary School marked in yellow - in field 266.

Tithe map of 1840 with position of Marlborough Primary School marked in yellow – in field 266.


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Field 266: Waun Ty Cyw (chicken house heath)


Map - early in the 20th century - Copy

A map from the early 20th Century with few of the streets around the school built.


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A large scale map from 1900. The map shows the schools clearly labelled.  The original infants school was later to become the junior school after the bombing.  Look carefully at the bottom of the map and you will see the tiny Roath Village School still standing in 1900.

The school log book records how school life was interrupted by bad weather and outbreaks of infectious diseases as well as the impact of WWI.  There were however happier occasions with extra days holidays granted to celebrate notable events such as Cardiff being granted City status and visits of important dignitaries to Cardiff such as Lloyd George and the Chief Scout Baden Powell.

The original Marlborough Junior School was unfortunately irreparably damaged in WWII as a result of a bombing raid on March 3rd 1941.  The staff salvaged what they could from the debris, including ‘three sewing machines and a gramophone’  and the school reopened to pupils just two weeks later in the undamaged building which were to become the Junior School.  The pupils that could not be accommodated were reallocated to other nearby schools including Albany Road School and Roath Park School.

The new Infants School was constructed on the site of the old school and opened on June 5th 1952.  More about the school’s history together with reminiscences from past-pupils can be read in the extracts from  Marlborough Junior School Centenary Booklet

Former Marlborough Road pupils include the priest and broadcaster Roger Royle  and the sculptor  David Petersen.  A much-remembered former member of staff was  George Thomas  who was later to become the Speaker of the House of Commons and Viscount Tonypandy.

Marlborough Primary School

Marlborough Primary School in the 21st century

In 2011 Marlborough Infant school and Marlborough Junior school amalgamated to become Marlborough Primary School  and today has over 500 pupils.

Back of old junior school - 2011 - Photo by CarbonCulture

View of the back of the Junior school (Photo: CarbonCredit)

Junior school

The date 1899 marks the year of construction. The empty recess above probably housed a statue of some sort at one time. The stone carved inscriptions in Welsh are Gwybodaeth (Knowledge) and Diwydrwydd (Diligence)