Suburb of Cardiff

Cenotaph in Alexandra Gardens

This is an old suburb of Cardiff. It is very densely populated with lots of older terraced houses which provide a Victorian atmosphere. The Civic Centre is a major landmark. The University campus is here and gives some parts a studenty feel and demand for housing is very high. Easy access to the City centre either on foot or on public transport. Cathays has railway links to Valleys. Minutes from major roads (M4, A470 and A48). Limited selection of primary and secondary schools. Playing fields; parks; River Taff; restaraunts and pubs.

Click on the Links below to go directly to what you want :

History of Cathays
The origin of Cathays is somewhat unclear. ‘Hays’ denotes woodlands or hedges. One possible reason the area was given its name was because the district was inhabited by wild cats. The other possibility that it is derived from the Welsh language ‘Cad’ meaning “battle”. The area could therefore have been named after a long lost and forgotten battle. The area was established a suburb of Cardiff in 1875. Many of the local roads in the area were named after the various farms such as Allensbank, Wedal to name a few.

The Marquis of Bute inherited lands in Cathays through his marriage to Charlotte Windsor in 1766. The Marquis of Bute was an extremely successful and wealthy businessman buying local land including Cathays Park.

In 1898 the 3rd Marquis of Bute sold 59 acres to the council to build the new town hall. The 3rd Marquis of Bute place strict conditions to and that the avenues were to be preserved, the area to be used for civic, cultural and educational purposes.

The expanding need of the university education has led to numerous departmental buildings to be erected in the area and now on the Newport Road site.

Cardiff City Hall

Cardiff became a city in 1905 and the new City Hall erected at a cost of £129,000. The design and architecture of the building makes it a popular venue for marriages, forums, meetings and formal dinner dances. Cardiff City Council organises annual winter and summer fares and free concerts on the grounds to the delight of thousands of Cardiffians.

Cathays is a striving and popular area, full of young students with nationalities from all around the world.

Back to Top

Local Landmarks

  • Crown Courts built in 1904, major civil and criminal cases are heard here. The style of architecture is built in the French Renaissance style in white Portland stone.

  • City Hall complements the Crown Court buildings. Opened in 1906. There are still Council Office located in the building. Popular venue for Weddings, Banquets and other formal occasions. The impressive halls with beautiful marble and bronze statues.

  • National Museum of Wales completed in 1932 and built in the same style as the City Hall. Museum contains works by Welsh artist as well as others. Paintings and sculptures are exhibited as well as touring exhibitions. Historical artifacts and natural history displays can be seen here.

  • Former Welsh Office Building, this building looks very modern compared to the others located in Alexandra Gardens. It is in the modern style and built to withstand bomb attacks.

  • Temple of Peace opened in 1938, donated by Lord David Davies in memory of fallen comrades from all nations who lost their lives in the First World War.

  • Cathays Park part of the Bute Parks complex. It has a lovely atmosphere with trees, grassed areas.

  • Cathays Police Station. This is not a pretty building and not in keeping with the rest in Alexandra Gardens.

  • University of Wales Campus. The main Administrative building is in the Renaissance style. The university has slowly acquired the use of several other building in Alexandra Gardens. In Summer many students can be found relaxing and contemplating on the lawn s.

  • Maindy Stadium with cycle track and sports field is managed by Cardiff City Council. The pool is located on the corner of North Road and Crown Way. There is a 25 meter pool, double shallow ends.

  • Cathays Cemetery is one of the oldest cemetery in Cardiff and was opened in 1859. A great example of Victorian architecture and contains some elaborate and interesting memorials. The cemetery gateway, forecourt walls mortuary chapels and reception rooms are all Grade II listed buildings. Cardiff City Council organises conducted tours and also provides free leaflets on the more interesting monuments.

Formal Gardens in Cathays

Back to Top

Food and Drink

  • Incognito, pub and night venue. Offering good pub grub and drink. Extended opening hours on most nights till 2am.

  • Pen and Wig Pub. Free Ale house. BBQs food in summer in their large patioed beer garden. Good food. Very popular with solicitors and accountants at lunchtimes and early evenings. Students frequent the pub in the later hours.We love coming when attending events in Cathays Park.

  • Woodville Pub. Very studenty bar. There are 3 bars on two levels. Serves food.

  • Crwys Pub built in 1891. A very popular pub with students and locals living in Cathays and Roath areas. Offers good selsction of beers and pub chain food. There is a skittle alley and beer garden. Team sports organised by regulars, skittles, darts, football and pool.

  • The Flora on Cathays Terrace recently refurbished in 2004. A lively pub very popular with student and working men. Friendly atmosphere. There is a small beer garden at the rear.

  • The Social Pub built in 1881. Loud music bar with DJ nights. Live music venue upstairs. Aimed specifically at students.
  • Mackintosh Pub built in 1881 and has been refurbished several times to encourage patronage. There is a mix of locals and students.
  • The End built in 1882. This pub has several facelifts and refurbishments in 2000s. This is a large pub targetting the student population with cheap priced beer and pub grub.

  • Armless Dragon on Wyverne Road. One of the last places in Cardiff offering traditional Welsh cuisine. The Armless Dragon has had good reviews.

  • On Crwys Road there are several good restaraunts those serving Chinese cuisine include Pheonix Gardens and Phibi's. Pheonix Gardens, the larger, also offers Malaysian and Thai dishes. Lorenza's Italian Restaurant. Modern decor spacious and up-market atmosphere. Popular Italina food.

  • Tenkaichi Noodle bar offering something interesting. Popular with local Japanese. Feels like a typical Japanese fast food noodlebar in the centre of Tokyo. Good food and affordable prices. Run by a Chinese proprietress with chefs trained and qualified in Japan.

Back to Top

Sports and Leisure

  • Maindy Pool with cycle track and sports field. Free car parking.The pool is full size and available year-round, a good size pool for instruction but limited for exercise purposes. Seating is provided for spectators in the cafe, refreshments comes via vending machines offering the usual selection of hot and cold drinks. Triathlon training and competitions for adults and children. Stock of bicycles available for beginners.

  • Cathays Park part of the Bute Park complex. There numerous leisure activites and amenities. Theses include bowling greens. Cardiff Lawn Tennis Club. Coopers Field is often used for outdoor Civic events through out the year. Events include Cardiff Roundtable Fireworks displays; Mardi Gras; Party in the Park.

  • Student Union, an unusual design straddling the Cardiff to Valleys Railway line with entrances on Park Place and Senghennydd Road. The Student Union hosts live concerts, discos in their many function halls. As expected there many bars and eateries. There are Squash courts and gym located on the complex only available to staff and students.

  • Cathays & Central Youth Community Project provides facilities for youth and young adults run by a voluntary board of trustees made up of local residents. There is a cafe and Youth Club as well a facilities for mothers and toddlers. A chance for volunteer in community projects such as Soundscene Music Project. Also there are Dance, Threatre and Music activities that you can join in.

  • Cardiff YMCA located on The Walk. The YMCA organises various sporting and leisure activies. The Boxing Club started in 2002 and runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for all ages, men and women. The Chess Club meets on Tuesday evenings. YMCA Players Theatre group puts on shows in a purpose built 140 seater theatre .

Back to Top

Schooling and Education

  • St. Monica's Church in Wales Primary School, Whitchurch Road
  • Muslim Primary School, Merthyr Street
  • Gladstone Primary School, Whitchurch Road
  • Cathays High School, New Zealand Road
  • Kings Monkton Independent School, West Grove
  • The Academy Independent School, The Parade

Go to our Guide to Schooling and Education to find out more about the schools.

Back to Top

Return to Home Page