Sunday 27 May 2012

Olympic torch route - Day 8 Cardiff

Cardiff Castle in the 15th century
Cardiff, a county and parliamentary borough on the Taff, and the principal town of Glamorgan. Though Cardiff has been termed the Welsh Chicago, it is a place of considerable antiquity. As Tibia Amnis it was a military station of importance in Roman days, and one of its gateways has been discovered in the grounds of the castle, which was built on the lines of the Roman rampart. The castle itself is an elaborate modern restoration of the medieval fortress, but the ruins of the Norman keep built by Robert of Caen stand on a moated mound in the centre of the court. The curthouse tower is said to have been for 20 years the prison of Robert of Normandy.
Besides the castle the only other ancient building in the town is St John's church, a fifteenth century edifice with a fine Perpendicular tower. The old church of St Mary, which was connected with a Benedictine priory, was destroyed by a flood in 1607. Cardiff also once possessed some habitations of Black and Grey Friars, and the ruins of the house which Lord Herbert built out of the material of the latter still stand near the City Hall.
Though always a port, Cardiff's commercial prosperity dates only from the middle of docks, and it is the largest coal port in the world. The town is well built and its streets are spacious. A fine group of buildings consisting of the City Hall, the Assize Courts, the Welsh National Museum, and the University College have been erected in Cathays Park, and there is a large library in another part of the town. 
From Glamorganshire 1911 one of the many useful resources for Cardiff as transcribed on its Genuki page

The present-day Cardiff Castle is open to the public, and its website includes a timeline of its history, dating back to Roman times. There is more information about Cardiff at Vision of Britain. The website of the Glamorgan Record Office includes a section Cardiff: the building of a capital


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