Top 10 quirky facts that you don’t know about Cardiff (or, at least, I didn’t!)

Wales is a country filled with diversity from the forests of the north country to the surf of the south. Cardiff embodies this diversity and has the weird and wonderful facts to prove it!

  1. Cardiff was founded by the Romans in 55AD but was a town of only 2,000 people in 1800. By 1900, the population had grown to 180,000 by 1900! It wasn’t named a real city until 1905.
  2. The Welsh language emerged after 500AD, after Roman rule but before the English, and has its origins in the Celtic language, similar to Irish. It is commonly spoken and is on every sign and plague in Wales
  3. Things are named for things that are no longer there! St Marys Street is named after the St Marys church, but there isn’t a St Marys church in Cardiff! This is the same for North Street which used to have the Northgate to the Roman The Greyfriars neighborhood was the location of a monastery for 500 years until it was abolished by Henry VIII when we split from the Catholic church. It is now the massive commercial building, The Capitol Building
  4. The last Prince of Wales who was actually Welsh was a chap named Owain Glyndwr who lead a revolt against the English(with the help of the French) in 1404 and pretty much destroyed most of Cardiff in the process!
  5. Initially surrounded by a Roman wall, the city wall was slowly dismantled in the 1800s by the townspeople because they stole the stones to build their own houses!
  6. There are large Yemeni, Somali, and Norwegian populations in Cardiff originating from the coal and shipping boom in the 1800s. The Norwegian church still looks out over Cardiff Bay.
  7. A Brains brewery is the oldest and largest producer of beer in Wales aptly named “Brains Beer.” I can feel myself getting smarter just for drinking it!
  8. The infamous architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel (what a name!) redesigned the path of the river Taff to reclaim Arms Island to build a railroad bridge to bring coal to Cardiff’s bay
  9. Captain Robert Falcon Scott(Love these names!) launched the Terra Nova expedition to Antartica from Cardiff Bay in 1910. His ship, the Terra Nova, was brought back to Cardiff in 1913 after he and his crew perished in the cold.
  10. Laura Ashley, Roald Dahl, and Shirley Bassey all hail from Cardiff

Cardiff skyline


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