Old St Mellons
|Old St Mellons|
The approach to St Mellons Church
St Mellons as was began as a small commercial centre of Monmouthshire, relying heavily on rural agriculture, farming and travel. Owners of coach houses or coaching inns would cater for travellers using the Newport Road, the old Roman Road between Cardiff and London.
The name St Mellons is believed to be derived from the 6th century Saint Melaine who became Bishop of Rennes in Brittany, rather than the more legendary 4th century Mellonius, Bishop of Rouen. One of these Bishops is known to have been born and raised in the area where the estate now exists, though stories of the two have become hopelessly confused in many biographies over the years  leaving historians unsure as to which is which.
The Welsh name is Llaneirwg: "Eurwg's church", after a mythical King of Gwent. Eurwg is said to have lived on the hill at St Mellons during the Romano-British era, he and his people were converted to Christianity and baptised in the nearby River Rhymney. Eurwg's church was erected near the site of the former church of 1360.
In Old St Mellons there are a petrol station and local shops. There are also four public houses situated in close proximity along Newport Road: The Bluebell Inn, The Star Inn, The Coach House and The Fox and Hounds (widely believed to be one of the oldest pubs in the Cardiff area). These establishments were able to gain extra business on weekends by exploiting the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881. The Act prohibited the sale of alcohol in Welsh establishments on the Sabbath, but as there was dispute as to whether Monmouthshire were in Wales or England the Act did not apply here until 1921.
Old St Mellons has been deemed an area of special architectural or historical interest and lies in a conservation area which the council first adopted in 1977. The area was reassessed and updated in July 2007 to cover a smaller land area. A number of Grade II listed buildings lie inside the boundary of the conservation area including the Bluebell and Coach House (previously named White Hart) public houses, St Johns College, the two churches and the Kingdom Hall for Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Fox and Hounds public house, though widely considered an important landmark, is only covered by a local listing.
- Old St Mellons community council
- Pictures of St Mellons and the area on Geograph.co.uk
- CardiffPubs.co.uk guides: