Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1905.
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SAINT DAVID STREET, or, commonly, David Street, constructed circa 1830, on the old southern outskirts of the town, bordering the Docks. So called from the Catholic church of Saint David, which, since the erection of its successor in Charles Street, has been converted into a hall.
SAINT FAGAN'S. Llansanffagan (the church of Saint Ffagan.) A village and parish four miles north-west from Cardiff, in the Hundred of Dinas-Powys. Its name is derived from an ancient oratory or chapel (the foundations whereof remain in the Castle grounds) dedicated in honour of this saint; who, according to the early Welsh traditions, was an Italian missionary sent by Pope Saint Eleutherius to preach the Gospel to the clansmen of Lleurwg, the British regulus of Gwent, in the year 140. (Vide Saint Mellon's.) The tradition receives confirmation from the Roman Liber Pontificalis. It is noteworthy that this venerable oratory is the only old church in the world dedicated to Saint Ffagan.
SAINT JOHN STREET. This name was formerly applied to what is now called Church Street; which anciently extended eastward to the north end of Working Street. This eastern portion was called sometimes Vicarage Street—now Saint John's Square, south side.
SAINT MARY STREET. This, in conjunction with High Street, is still, as it has been from time immemorial, the main street of Cardiff town; although of late years the tide of commerce has shifted some of its importance to Queen Street. It takes its name from the long-vanished premier parish church of Saint Mary, the site of which is on the west side of this street.
SAINT MELLON'S. In Welsh Llanlleurwg, "the church of Saint Lucius." A village and parish 4½ miles east from Cardiff, in the Hundred of Gwentllwg, Monmouthshire. The Welsh name of this place is derived from that of the native British under-king of Gwent who, according to the early Welsh traditions, induced Pope Saint Eleutherius, in the year 140, to send to his kingdom Christian missionaries; and who, having himself embraced the Faith, died a martyr in exile on the Continent. (His relics are venerated in the cathedral of Coire, Switzerland.) The missionaries sent in compliance with his request were Saints Ffagan, Dyfan, Elfan and Medwyn, each of whom has his one solitary dedication in the parish churches of Saint Fagan, Merthyr-Dyfan, Aberdare and Llanfedw, Glamorgan. When the Normans had achieved their conquest of Morganwg, they superseded the ancient dedication of this parish by that of their own Saint Melo, the apostle and first Bishop of Rouen. Curiously enough, (whether they knew it or not) they were choosing the name of a Briton of this locality—Saint Mellon having been born at the town of Cardiff, as the writer of his life and legends records. (fn. 1) Saint Mellon's is the head village of an interesting district; the dialect of Welsh spoken here is called Cerniwaeg ("Cornish"), and is closely allied to the extinct British tongue of Cornwall. (fn. 2)
SALT MARSH, The. The land between the G.W.R. station and Penarth Road. On the other side of the road is the Dumballs (1818.) It was probably identical with the Salt Mead or "Saltmede" named in the Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1535, as situate near Canton, and marked by Mr. Corbett as on the south side of the South Wales main railway line, south of Taff Mead, in the curve of the branch line to Penarth.
"SEVOURNEHYLL." A croft in the lordship of Roath (1492.) The Account of 1542 calls it "Sebronhyll, otherwise Thomas Thomas' Close," and states that it contained three acres. The name may mean Severn Hill or, more probably, Saffron Hill.
SMITH STREET. The main street in the eastern part of Cardiff town. It ran from the end of Duke Street eastward to the East Gate. The name was probably taken from a smith's forge near that gate. In the 18th century it was sometimes called East Street.
SOPHIA GARDENS, The. That portion of the grounds of Cardiff Castle lying on the west bank of the river Taff, north-west of Cardiff Bridge. In 1875 they were thrown open to the public, at the desire of Sophia, late Marchioness of Bute. The fields lying to the north of these gardens are known as the Sophia Gardens Fields, and are used for such public displays as the Horse Show.
SOUDREY, Sowdrie, Southrew. ("The South Town," or "Sutton.") The ancient southern suburb of Cardiff, just outside the South Gate. It extended from the Dumballs on the west, along Whitmoor Lane to Bute Street on the east (1600, 1862.) Many tenements here were accounted parcel of the manor of Llystalybont (1715.) It was at one time the fashion to spell the name Sawdry, probably because Thomas' saw-mills stood here.
SPITAL, Spittal, The. A hospital, largely endowed with surrounding lands and tenements, at the east end of Crockherbtown. It probably belonged to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, or Knights Hospitallers, and, on the suppression of religious houses, was sold to a private individual. A thatched cottage here, called by the same name, occupied the original site until 1884, when it was replaced by a row of shops named Spital Buildings. A little to the east-north-east, on the opposite side of Newport Road, stood the Spital Barn.
SPLOT, The. A small tract of land on the moors by the Severn shore, between the mouths of the rivers Taff and Rhymny, in the parish of Roath. The name is derived from "splat," Welsh ysblad, a flat land. The Splot formed an outlying part of the Commote of Llandaff (Leland,) and of the Manor of Llandaff, to which it was a subsidiary Lordship. It was divided into two farms, the Upper and the Lower Splot, the buildings whereof are still standing. The Upper Splot is situate a little south-east of Longcross. In the sixties of the 19th century, this farm-house stood out in the country, all alone save for a barn opposite. The house became the Great Eastern Hotel, and the barn is now replaced by the Metal Street School. The Lower Splot is nearer the Severn, by Adamsdown and Portmanmoor. The Splot, from which these farms and the modern district of Splotlands take their names, is a strip of tidal marsh between Portmanmoor and the sea.
"SPODOMESLONDE." In the lordship of Roath. It consisted of 12 acres, half a rood, and 12 small pieces of land (1492.) In a Minister's Account of 1542 it is referred to as "16 acres of demesne land, one rood, with one ditch, formerly of Adam Spoudere." Perhaps it should read "Spodoureslonde."
STEPASIDE. A small house and two acres of land on the east side of Cathays Park, near the Dobbin Pits (1729, 1786, 1803, 1814.) I suppose this was the property consisting of "decayed dwellinghouses," near Biggs' Brewery in Salisbury Road, which Mr. L. C. Williams purchased from the Corporation some years ago.
STONE BRIDGE, The Little. The small bridge of masonry by which West Street was carried across the Mill Leat, or Tan River, close to Cardiff Castle. This bridge is shewn in Speed's map, 1610, and in Buck's view, 1748. Until Cardiff Bridge was built of masonry, at the end of the 18th century, the other was known as "the Stone Bridge," simply to distinguish it from the wooden one which spanned the Taff (1671, 1715.)
SWELDON. An ancient manor-house, now a farm-house, in the parish of Caerau. In the reign of Henry VIII., and long after, it was held by a cadet branch of the family of Mathew of Llandaff. Sweldon was a sub-manor to Llandaff.
TAFF. Welsh Taf. One of the principal rivers of South Wales, which, rising amid the mountains of South Brecknockshire, flows through the county of Glamorgan and discharges into the Bristol Channel at Cardiff. The earliest known form is Tâm —a pre-Aryan word, like so many river-names, and akin to a host of others, such as Tamar and Thames (French Tamise, Italian Tamigia.) The river Taff seems to have also been known by a second pre-Aryan name Tib. (Vide Roath et Cardiff.) There is a river Taff in Pembrokeshire also. The characteristics of the chief river in Glamorgan are happily described by "Cadrawd" in the rhyme:—
TAFF MEAD. A piece of land, formerly pasture but recently built upon, lying in Saint Mary's parish, west of the Taff and bounded by Clare Road, Grangetown. (Minutes of Health Committee, 6 December 1898.) That it was land common to the burgesses seems likely from the fact that the parish church of Saint Mary owned a portion of it (6 acres) in 1550. It is named in a document of 1762. Mr. J. S. Corbett's map shows Taff Mead as lying immediately south of Cardiff Green, between that and the Great Western Railway.
TAI-COCHION, "Red Houses." Latterly called rather by the English name. A rambling house divided into tenements and afterwards known as Roath Workhouse. It stood north of Albany Road, near the Pen-y-lan Road. Demolished 1899. (fn. 3)
TAN RIVER, The; the Tanyard Brook. A stream which ran into the river Taff just below the Quay. So called from the tanyard which stood immediately west of the Castle (1715, 1766, 1858.) The Tan House, mentioned in 1714, was demolished 1861.
TEMPERANCE TOWN. The nearest south-western suburb of Cardiff, built in 1864, by Jacob Mathews, on land in the bend of the old river-course, after the river's diversion. The land was sold to Mr. Mathews by Colonel Wood. It lies west of Saint Mary Street, north of the G.W.R., south of Cardiff Arms Park, and east of the present course of the Taff. Wood Street bisects it. The site of Temperance Town was once a field on the west side of the Taff. The diversion of the river brought the field to the east side, and it was then built on.
TIR-CALED (the hard land.) A free tenement in the parish of Roath and manor of Roath-Keynsham (1702.) A ruined house and land named in the Heath Enclosure Award of 1809. In 1840 it was called Coed Tir Caled, hard-land wood.
TIR-ELBOD (Elbod's land.) A free tenement in the parish of Roath and manor of Roath-Keynsham (1702.) Elbod, or Elfod, is the name of a saint of the British Church, the first Bishop of Bangor, in the 8th century.
TIR-GRUFFYDD-GIBWN (Griffith Gibbon's land.) A tenement in the parish of Saint Fagan and lordship of Miscyn (1666), named after a member of the ancient Norman-Welsh family which formerly possessed Saint Fagan's Castle.
"TORCOTEFELD." (fn. 4) A piece of land in the farm of the grange in the lordship of Leckwith (1492.)
TOWNFIELD, The. A piece of common land, belonging to the burgesses in certain shares. One piece of it was the property of the parish church of Saint John (1550.) The Survey of 1666 speaks of the Town Land, in the West Ward, whereon a certain house was built. The burgage rent of this house was unknown.
TREDELERCH (the homestead of swans.) The Welsh name for the village and parish of Rhymny or Rumney. The d in this word possesses philological interest, being an intrusive consonant which appears also in late Cornish—a language to which Gwentian Welsh is closely akin. (fn. 5)
TREODA (the abode of Oda, or Odyn.) An ancient messuage in the village of Whitchurch, immediately north of the remains of Whitchurch Castle. In the Middle Ages it was the home of a Welsh chieftain and his descendants.
TRINITY BREWYN. The land between Saint John's Churchyard and the Hayes, belonging to the Guild of the Holy Trinity (1542.) Perhaps identical with the Trinity Ground named in the same document as the above.
TRINITY STREET. The thoroughfare which borders Saint John's churchyard on the west and leads from the east end of Church Street to the Hayes. It was sometimes styled Saint John Street, and Vicarage Street. The name of Trinity Street is derived from the Trinity Garden, which, occupied the north end of the Hayes (1821.)
TY-GWYN (white house.) A house and land bounded east and north by the grounds of Pen-y-lan House, and south by Cefn-coed Lane (Heath Enclosure Award, 1809.) Also the original name of Pen-y-lan farm, now the Convent of the Good Shepherd, on the southern slope of Pen-y-lan (See also Whitehouse.)
TY-MAWR (the great house) The name of one of the more important dwelling-houses in nearly every parish of Wales. It is an alternative name of Llys-du (q.v.), Roath. Ty-mawr, near Rumney church, is a large farmhouse of the 16th century, with mullioned windows. It was the manor-house.
TY'N-Y-COED (house in the wood.) A farmhouse which stood a little north of Albany Road, in the parish of Roath. It was demolished 1895, but the name is preserved by Ty'n-y-coed Place, close to the site of the house.
TY-RHOS-LLWYN (the house of the rose-bush.) The Welsh name of 174 Newport Road, in the parish of Roath. This, which is the private residence of the Town Clerk, Mr. J. L. Wheatley, was built in 1877 on that part of the lands of the Island Farm which was occupied by the Roath village smithy.
TY-TO-MAEN (the house with the stone roof. (fn. 6) ) A farm in the parish of Llanedern. Also a large dwellinghouse standing in its own grounds in the parish of Saint Mellon.
TY-Y-CAPEL (the chapel house), also called Tir Capel, Chapel Land. An ancient chapel transformed into a cottage, at Coed-y-gores in the parish of Llanedern. It is probably the Llanforda ("Lambordan") of ancient records. A burial-ground annexed to the chapel is now the orchard of the cottage.
TY-Y-CWN (the dogs' house.) Also, but incorrectly, called Ty-yn-ycwm, the house in the valley, though the valley is non-existent. The real name probably indicates that the lord's hounds were kept here. Cf. Ty-y-cyw. Ty-y-cwn was a small but solidlybuilt cottage, having a thatched roof and a mullioned window with stone frame, joist and hood-moulding—apparently dating from the 16th century. (fn. 7) It was situate on the the north side of Albany Road, a little east from the end of Pen-y-lan Road. It was demolished 1898.
TY-Y-CYW, "Tyr Cue." A small farm-house on the south-eastern side of Pen-y-lan, in the parish of Roath. The name means "the chicks' house," but perhaps originally signified "the whelps' house" (1731.) Not far south is Ty-y-cwn (q.v.)
TY-YN-YR-ARDD (the house in the garden.) In Crockherbtown, at the north-east corner of Charles Street. There is a rather large garden at the back, on the east side of Charles Street, but the house was long since made into a shop. The hounds used to meet in front of this house sixty years ago.
VELINDRE, Y Felindre (the mill hamlet), often inaccurately spelt "Velindra." A copyhold tenement consisting of a house and garden in the manor of Llystalybont and parish of Llanishen. In 1700 it was devised by Gabriel Lewis. In 1902 it was purchased from the Booker family by the Corporation, for the purposes of an Asylum.
VIA JULIA MARITllMA (The Julian Maritime Way.) This is the Latin name given to the military road constructed c. A.D. 75 by the Roman general, Julius Frontinus, from Gloucester to Neath, for the purpose of facilitating operations against the Silures and other tribes of South Wales. This Roman road still exists. In some places it retains its ancient character, the modern road deviating from the old course in order to avoid a steep hill. At other parts of the route the present highway covers the ancient road. In relation to Cardiff, the Via Julia is represented by the Newport Road, Crockherbtown, Queen Street, Duke Street, Castle Street, Cardiff Bridge, and the Cowbridge Road. The original course, however, enters the Borough further north than the Newport Road, traces of it being discernible between Pen-y-lan and Llanedern. In the Middle Ages the Via Julia was known as the Portway, because it connected the burghs. In Welsh this word became Pwrtwe—in composition "Y Bwrtwe."
VICARAGE GARDEN, The. A Town Plan of 1850 shews this as occupying the northern and wider end of the now open space at the Hayes, just opposite the south front of the Library. It seems to be identical with the Trinity Garden.
VICARAGE STREET. The name given to the eastern portion of Saint John Street, or Church Street, previous to about 1850, when the middle row in what is now Saint John Square existed. It was so called from the old Vicarage, which adjoined the north-east corner of the church and was demolished 1873.
WARTH, The. A name, recorded as early as 1314, for the flat lands along the Severn shore, in the lordship of Gwentllwg, between Cardiff and Newport. The word may be either of British or Saxon derivation.
WEDAL, The. A brook which rises on Cardiff Heath and flows into the Nant-mawr near Fairoak. The name is perhaps the local form of waedol, "bloody," in allusion to the battle of Cardiff Heath, fought near its source, between the Welsh and the Anglo-Normans.
WEDAL-ISAF, Y (the Lower Wedal.) A farm on the Wedal brook, a little south of Wedal Uchaf, and just within the northern boundary of Cardiff Borough. It has lately been taken in to enlarge the Cemetery, but was formerly part of the KemeysTynte estate.
WEDAL-UCHAF, Y (The Upper Wedal.) A farm on the Wedal brook, at the north end of Cardiff Cemetery and east of the new road to Llanishen. It is in the parish of Llandaff and manor of Roath-Keynsham, and is bounded north and west by the Great Heath (1637.)
WEIGH HOUSE, The. An ancient messuage on the south side of Queen Street, immediately west of the site of the East Gate. It is built on part of the Town Wall, and in a late Rental of the Corporation is termed "The Old Queen Street Weighbridge Office." Here, until of late years, waggons of coal, hay, &c., were weighed in the street.
WEST STREET. The principal westward thoroughfare, continuing from Angel Street to the West Gate, between the Castle and the river Taff. It was taken into the Castle Grounds in 1805, and its houses demolished.
WEST WHARF. The land along the west side of the Glamorganshire Canal, south of Saint Mary Street. The old houses here were reckoned in Soudrey; and at this place were the wharves and sheds of the old ironmasters, which still remain, though dismantled and ruinous.
WESTGATE STREET. The thoroughfare leading from Wood Street, parallel with and immediately west of Saint Mary Street, to Castle Street and Cardiff Bridge. It was constructed in the old diverted bed of the river Taff, in 1860.
WHARTON STREET was originally a long thoroughfare from Saint Mary Street eastward to the Hayes, and thence curving northward around the east side of Little Troy and St. John's churchyard, as far as King Street. This thoroughfare was then known as Worten Street (in 1492 as Wotton Street), probably from the worts or roots formerly grown or sold there—whence also the names Heol-y-cawl (1768), Broth Lane and Porridge Lane. Speed's map of 1610 calls it "Porrag Lane." The fact that the name Crockherbtown (q.v.) has a similar significance seems to point to the latter's having originally formed one thoroughfare with Worten Street. At a later period the northward turning of Worten Street had its name corrupted to Working Street (the eastern part of which was at one time called Waste Lane), and Worten Street became known as Wharton Street. Wharton House, the old home of the Vachell family, was on the south side of this street, with one side of it on a lane called Wharton Place, which runs north and south between the Hayes and Baker's Row.
WHITCHURCH. Welsh Eglwys-newydd, "Newchurch." A village, manor and chapelry in the parish of Llandaff and Hundred of Kibbor, 3½ miles north from Cardiff. The Latin name, Album Monasterium (Whitminster), points to an early monastic foundation, probably identical with Mynachdy.
WHITE FRIARS. The convent of Carmelites, or heremitical friars. It was situate north of the Grey Friars, in Cathays Park. It became the property of the Herbert family, who rebuilt it in the 18th century for their residence, but soon demolished it completely.
WHITEHOUSE, The. Welsh Ty Gwyn. A farmhouse which stood near the right bank of the river Taff, on the south side of Cowbridge Road, a little west of Lower Cathedral Road. The Whitehouse Brook took its name from this house, near which it flowed into the Taff after pursuing its course along the west side of Cathedral Road. The brook was condemned as a nuisance and filled in, 1874. "Whitehouse Ditch" was the later name which marked its degradation. In Welsh the brook was called Nant-y-ty-gwyn. Some traces of it remained until 1895. It was the boundary between the parishes of Cardiff and Llandaff. A stone across this brook, opposite Pontcanna Cottages, was dignified with the title of Whitehouse Bridge (1862.) Brook Street, Canton, is near the confluence of this stream with the river.
WHITMOOR LANE, or Whitmore Lane. The ancient name of what is now called Custom House Street. It forms the continuation from the end of Penarth Road, over the Canal, eastward across Bute Street to the west end of Adamsdown (1818.) It was so called because it led on to the Whitmoor, or White Moor. About the middle of the 19th century the name fell greatly into disrepute, owing to the undesirable class of persons who inhabited many houses in this street. The name was altered to Custom House Street in 1872. Since the Custom House has been removed from this part of the town, it seems a pity not to so far restore the old name as to call it Whitmoor Street. Whitmore Lane extended as far east as Longcross Common (1840.)
WILDERNESS WELL, The. At the hamlet of Gabalfa. It stands in the fields, and is a pool in a deep hollow surrounded by a grove. A flight of steps leads down to the water. (fn. 8)
WOMANBY. An ancient street leading from the bottom of Quay Street northward to Castle Street. The name is early Teutonic, and signifies "the abode of the foreigners." It was probably the "strangers' quarter," the place where Welsh and outlandish settlers in the Anglo-Norman burgh were permitted to live together under the shadow of the Castle. It is referred to under the forms "Hunmanby," c. 1550; "Home & by," 1715; Homandby, 1731.
WORKING STREET. The thoroughfare continued from the Hayes northward to Saint John Square. Its name is a corruption of Worten Street (See Wharton Street.) The northern portion used to be called Waste Lane (1792.)
YSTAFELL-Y-CWN (the dogs' chamber.) Called in another record "Stabell-y-cwm." A field at Cefn-coed in the parish of Llanedern and manor of Roath-Keynsham; mentioned in the Surveys of 1650 and 1702. Cf. Ty-y-cwn and Ty-y-cyw.