Grangetown, Cardiff

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Grange pub, Grangetown, Cardiff - - 5537583.jpg
The Grange, Grangetown
Grid reference: ST177749
Location: 51°28’3"N, 3°11’7"W
Population: 19,385  (2011)
Post town: Cardiff
Postcode: CF11
Dialling code: 029
Local Government
Council: Cardiff
Cardiff South and Penarth

Grangetown is a district in the south of Cardiff, Glamorgan. It is one of the largest districts in the south of the city and is bordered by Riverside, Canton and Butetown. The River Taff winds its way through the area.

Adjacent to the city's Cardiff Bay area, Grangetown is experiencing a period of gentrification and improvements in its infrastructure. Its population as of 2011 was 19,385 in 8,261 households. One of the "five towns of Cardiff", the others are Butetown, Crockherbtown, Newtown and Temperance Town.

Channel View Flats, the tallest building in Grangetown

Grangetown is a diverse and multiracial district and has a significant population of Somali, Asian and mixed-race residents.[1] It is home to a Swaminarayan Temple.[2] and various mosques.


The name Grangetown is used in both English and Welsh, though variants such as Y Grange dating back to the nineteenth century. Owen John Thomas has used the form Y Grange Mawr (literally, 'the great grange', though perhaps influenced by the English Grange Moor).[3] The names Trelluest[4]

The grange was named after the 'moor' or saltmarsh upon which it stood, giving rise to English forms such as 'More Grange' and 'Grangemoor' and French equivalents such as 'La Grange de Mora'.[5]


Until the mid-19th-century Grangetown was an area of marshy land used for farming. It appears to have been granted to the Cistercian abbey of Margam Abbey sometime at the end of the twelfth century. The monks established a monastic grange there which they held until they were expelled in around 1290 by Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan. They were restored to their lands in 1329 and held them until the dissolution of the monasteries.[6]

By the fifteenth century the grange was being farmed to laymen. The last farmer was a landowner called Lewis ap Richard who is also known as a patron of the Welsh-language poet Rhys Brychan.[7] After the dissolution, the grange remained in the hand of Lewis's descendants. Lewis's son, Edward Lewis, also a noted patron of Welsh poets, settled at the Van near Caerphilly. The grange remained in the hands of the Lewises of the Van when they moved to St Fagans Castle during the 1610s. The Lewis estates eventually passed through an heiress into the hands of Other Lewis Windsor (1731–1771), 4th Earl of Plymouth.[8] The grange was farmed by a succession of tenants into the twentieth century.

Grange Farm

The farmhouse, known as Grange Farm, still exists today but is now surrounded by streets of terraced brick houses, which were built to house the many workers who moved to Cardiff to work in the industrial boom of the 19th century, particularly centered on the docks. The farmhouse dates in part from the sixteenth century.[9]

Grangetown developed after 1850, the year Penarth Road and the bridges over the River Taff and River Ely were constructed, linking Cardiff with Penarth.[10] In 1857 Baroness Windsor (whose Plymouth Estate owned the land) obtained an Act of Parliament to build housing in the area, intending to call it The Grange.[11] Grangetown became a suburb of Cardiff in 1875.[10] The area was low lying and subject to flooding. In 1883 the sea flooded parts of Grangetown to a depth of five feet.[10]

Samuel Arthur Brain, the founder of Brains Brewery, was elected to Cardiff Council in 1885 to represent Grangetown.[12]

The original Grangetown Library

Grangetown's original public library on Redlaver Street was built 1900–1901 in the Tudor Gothic style. It has now been sold to developers and converted into flats.

Grangetown was attacked in the Cardiff Blitz. On 2 January 1941, during the full moon, around 100 German aeroplanes raided Cardiff for over 10 hours.

A cellar at Hollyman Brothers Bakery on the corner of Corporation Road and Stockland Street was being used as a bunker. All 32 people in the shelter, including members of the Hollyman family, were killed.[13] The premises continued as a bakery for about a decade before it became Clarence Hardware shop, which remains to this day. On the side of the building you can see a plaque in memory of the victims, which was erected by the Grangetown Local History Society.

Clark's Pies shop in Bromsgrove Street

Cardiff's popular pastries, Clark's Pies, arrived in Grangetown in 1955 when Dennis Dutch (great-grandson of Mary and Arthur Clark) opened a shop in Bromsgrove Street.[14] The shop still trades today.

Parks and gardens

Four public parks are in the district: Grange Gardens, Sevenoaks Park, the Marl and Grangemoor Park. Grangemoor Park was created on top of a rubbish tip and opened in 2000.[15]

Festivals and events

Grangetown Carnival

Grangetown Festival take place for a week in June each year. It began in 1978 and is organised by Grangetown Community Action. The festival culminates in a parade through the streets, ending in Grange Gardens where a carnival takes place.[16]

The 'Roxe Jam' hip-hop and graffiti festival takes place annually in Sevenoaks Park, Grangetown, on the last weekend of July. The first festival was in July 2008.

Sport and leisure

  • Cricket: Bay Dragons Cricket Club
  • Football: Grange Albion F.C., who play at Coronation Park

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Grangetown, Cardiff)


  1. Wightwick, Abbie (2019-07-07). "Inside one of Wales' most culturally diverse schools". 
  2. Site details: Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple, Grangetown (RCAHMW)
  3. Owen John Thomas, 'Yr Iaith Gymraeg yng Nghaerdydd c.1800–1914', pp. 191–3, in Geraint H. Jenkins (ed.), Iaith Carreg Fy Aelwyd (Caerdydd, 1998).
  4. For instance, Marwolaeth Caerdydd: Cyhuddo dyn, Golwg360 (2011)
  5. Grangetown History Society, Grangetown Online History.
  6. Glamorgan: Mediæval Non-defensive Secular Monuments. Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales. 1982. p. 295. ISBN 0-11-701141-X. 
  7. "Rhys Brychan (c. 1500), poet". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. 
  8. "Lewis family, of Van". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. 
  9. Site details: Grange Farm, Grangetown (RCAHMW)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Morgan, Dennis 'The Illustrated History of Cardiff's Suburbs' Breedon Books (2003)
  11. John Newman (1995), The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan, University of Wales Press, p. 291, ISBN 0-14-071056-6 
  12. Glover, Brian 'Cardiff Pubs and Breweries' Tempus Publishing Ltd (2005), p.29
  13. Duffy, Steve (2 January 2011). "Cardiff's 'worst night' of Blitz remembered 70 years on". BBC News. 
  14. Grangetown Local History Society 'Old Grangetown: Shops & Memories' (2009), p.37
  15. Cardiff Council website This page helps you find out more about Grangemoor Park (Retrieved 2011-09-26)
  16. Ed Walker Grangetown Festival returns for 33rd year, Wales Online, 10 June 2011 (retrieved 2011-07-31).