The following chronology covers the main elements of the history of Cardiff & the Vale of Glamorgan and some of the surrounding areas eg the Watford area of Caerphilly, Tongwynlais & Pentyrch mainly for the period up to 1960 with a few later events. It is intended to be of use to people researching their family history in the area, in order to provide a background to their research and maybe some pointers as to why their ancestors lived where they did or moved in or out of the area. It includes the dates of foundation of many of the main organisations in Cardiff, the opening of churches & chapels and some of the Cardiff "Institutions" eg David Morgan's & James Howells' shops, Cardiff Shipping Companies, Theatres, Cinemas, Old Inns & Hotels & Industrial Companies. I realise that it is not exhaustive and undoubtedly Cardiff residents will find that things that they might have included are not in my list. If anyone wants anything added I shall be pleased to consider it if they can give me the details. It is my hope that I will, in any case, be able to make additions in time.

This chronology really needs to be seen in the light of the wider Glamorgan, Wales & National scenes and it is intended shortly to provide a similar Chronology of Glamorgan which will include some of the Cardiff events listed here, but also an outline of the development of the South Wales Coalfield in Glamorgan, the development of Ironworking & Copper Smelting and the Industrial unrest of the 19th century surrounding the Rebecca Riots, Methyr Riots & Chartism.

A Wales timeline is already available via the Glamorgan Help pages and I have produced a Chronology of British History which is available on my website.

In order to find a specific event without reading through the whole list please use the "find" facility of your browser. In this way you should be able to find any references to a particular year or subject.


Abt 75 = Roman fort established at Cardiff during the conquest of the Silures of South East Wales as one of the frontier posts linked to the Roman Legionary base at Caerleon, Mon. Followed by the establishment of a Roman civil community.

Abt 300 = The original Roman fortress replaced by a more substantial stone-built fort at Cardiff to meet the menace of Irish raiders

Abt 380s = Romans abandoned Cardiff as part of their recall of troops to the Continent to defend the Empire against the Germanic tribes

Abt 500 = Kingdom of Glywyseg (Glamorgan) established by "Glywys, a descendant of Maxen Wledig/Roman Emperor Maximus"

10th century = Viking raids on Bristol Channel coasts. Establishment of Norse trading posts.

974 = death of Morgan Mwynfawr, King of Glywyseg. Kingdom became known as Morgannwg after King Morgan

1081 = William I of England led an army through South Wales and probably erected temporary defences at Cardiff on the site of the Roman fort.

1091 = Robert FitzHamon, Lord of Gloucester led an army into South Wales and built a new "motte" or mound 40 feet high to serve as the Keep of a new castle at Cardiff. Iestyn ap Gwrgan, last King of Morgannwg defeated.

1091 = Establishment of the Norman Lordship of Cardiff by Robert FitzHamon by right of conquest as a Marcher Lord ie FitzHamon assumed the Kingly rights of Iestyn ap Gwrgan and did not hold Glamorgan as a fief of the English King. FitzHamon granted various fiefs to his knights mainly in the Vale of Glamorgan. (eg Dinas Powis; Wenvoe & Sully; St.Fagans; Cogan; Wrinston & St.Nicholas; Penmark; St.Athan, Talyfan )

1091 = Welsh lords continued to hold the upland areas of Glamorgan, semi- autonomously, as a continuation of the Kingdom of Morgannwg, paying fealty to the Norman Lord of Glamorgan

Abt 1100 = Fonmon Castle built

Abt 1100 = Ogmore Castle built by de Londres family

1107 = Death of Robert FitzHamon (Buried Tewksbury Abbey)

1107 = Mabel FitzHamon inherited Glamorgan

1116 = William de Londres built a church at Ewenny and gave it to St.Peter's Abbey, Gloucester thus commencing Ewenny Priory

1121 = Robert the Consul, Earl of Gloucester, illigitimate son of King Henry I, became Lord of Glamorgan as husband of Mabel FitzHamon

1126 = Robert of Normandy brother of King Henry I imprisoned at Cardiff Castle

1134 = Robert of Normandy died at Cardiff Castle (Buried St.Peter's, Gloucester)

1139 = Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote Histories of the Kings of Britain

1147 = Robert the Consul, Lord of Glamorgan died (Buried St.James', Bristol)

1147 = William of Gloucester (son of Robert the Consul) became Lord of Glamorgan

1147 = Geoffrey of Monmouth became Archdeacon of Llandaff

1147 = Margam Abbey founded

1152 = Geoffrey of Monmouth appointed Bishop of St.Asaph

1155 = Geoffrey of Monmouth died

1158 = Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd attacked Cardiff Castle and carried off William of Gloucester, Lord of Glamorgan & his wife

1169 = Richard de Clare "Strongbow" Lord of Lower Gwent, accompanied by many Glamorgan knights, invaded Ireland

1180 = Coity Castle built

1183 = Kenfig & Cardiff put to flames and Cardiff & Newport Castles damaged by attack by the native Welsh

1183 = William of Gloucester died Lordship of Glamorgan passed to King John who was married to one of the heirs of William

1188 = Archbishop Baldwin preaches the Crusade on Llandaff Green

Abt 1200 = Bishop of Llandaff granted lands to Margam Abbey which eventually became Grange Farm, Grangetown, Cardiff

1205 = Grant of a market and fair at Llandaff by King John

1217 = Gilbert de Clare I became Lord of Glamorgan (nephew of Isabel of Gloucester, heir of William of Gloucester & divorced wife of King John)

1230 = Gilbert de Clare I died

1230 = Richard de Clare became Lord of Glamorgan

1233 = Revolt of Llewelyn the Great, Richard the Marshal and other English Barons

15 Oct 1233 = Richard the Marshal attacked Cardiff Castle

1242 = Black Friars, Cardiff built by the Dominican Monks

1254 = Borough of Cowbridge established by Richard de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan

1262 = Richard de Clare died

1262 = Gilbert de Clare II became Lord of Glamorgan

1266 = Gilbert de Clare II defeated the Welsh ruler of Senghenydd and took over his territory

1268 = Caerphilly Castle built by Gilbert de Clare

1280 = Gilbert de Clare endowed the Grey Friars (Franciscan) Monastery , Cardiff

1282/3 = Welsh independence came to an end

1294 = Rebellion of the Glamorgan Welsh

1294 = Glamorgan Welsh attack Cardiff Castle

1295 = Gilbert de Clare II died

1295 = Gilbert de Clare III became Lord of Glamorgan

1314 = Gilbert de Clare III killed at Battle of Bannockburn

1314 = Hugh le Despenser became Lord of Glamorgan

1315 = Revolt of Llewelyn Bren

1315 = Llewelyn Bren attacked Cardiff Castle

1317 = First Roath Mill built near Cardiff

1318 = Llewelyn Bren executed as a traitor at Cardiff

1321 = Cardiff Castle captured by the Lord of the March

4 March 1323 = Patent issued to the Gild of Cordwainers & Glovers of Cardiff

1324 = First Royal Charter, by King Edward II, to Cardiff Guild of Cordwainers

1327 = Cardiff and Carmarthen declared Staple Ports

1361 = Black Death ravaged Cardiff

1369 = Black Death ravaged Cardiff for a 2nd time

1404 = Owain Glyndwr captured Cardiff Castle

1470 = Sir David Matthew acquired the manor of Llandaff

1473 = St.John's Church tower built (Cardiff)

22 Aug 1485 = Battle of Bosworth Field (Leicestershire) fought between the supporters of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond (Lancastrian) and those of King Richard III Crookback (Yorkist). Many Welsh nobles, gentry and peasantry served in the army of Henry Tudor. Richard slain in battle and the Tudor dynasty established on the English throne.

Abt 1530 = Llanmihangel Place built by James Thomas

Abt 1530 = Llancaiach Fawr (house) built by David Prichard

1531 = Iron ore discovered on the Kings lands at Llantrisant

1536 = Act of Suppression - Dissolution of the Monastaries

1536 = Union of England and Wales (Act of Union)

1539 = St.Mary's Church, Cardiff transferred from Tewksbury Abbey to Gloucester Cathedral

1540 = Charity left by Thomas Howell, a Monmouthshire draper for the founding of a school (Howells School)

1542 = Cardiff became Free Borough

1543 = The manor of Penarth passed to the Dean & Chapter of Bristol

19 Apr 1544 = Sir George Herbert bought the manor of Cogan

10 May 1544 = Edward Ferrers, Lord Clynton bought the manor of Llandough East

1546 = Sir George Herbert bought the Cardiff property of Tewksbury Abbey including the Grey Friars buildings in Cardiff.

1548 = St.Piran's Chapel, Cardiff suppressed

1550 = Iron ore mines at Llantrisant granted to Sir William Herbert

Abt 1550 = haematite ore discovered at Little Garth, near Pentyrch and Draethen near Machen, Mon.

Bef 1551 = Plas Llantrithyd built for John Basset

7 May 1550 = Cardiff granted to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, by King Edward VI

30 Jun 1550 = Six members of Cardiff Guild of Cordwainers occupied St.Piran's Chapel

10 Oct 1551 = William Herbert created Baron Herbert of Cardiff

Mar 1555 = Martyrdom of Rawlins White of Cardiff for his protestant beliefs during the Marian persecutions

1557 = Llanishen & Lisvane Churches sold by Tewkesbury Abbey to Roger Kemeys of Cefn Mably.for 120.

Abt 1559 = Wales incorporated into the English Customs system

1563 = William Morgan of Llantarnam, Mon bought the Manor of Roath Keynsham in Cardiff

1570 = Congress of Bards held in Cardiff Castle under patronage of Sir William Herbert

Abt 1578 = Sir William Herbert built a "sumptuous" house on the Grey Friars site in Cardiff (Herbert House)

1580s = Sir Robert Sidney set up ironworks at Llanharry, Llantrisant, Angleton & Coity

March 1582 = A new, stone Cardiff Bridge built by John Hawkes of Lewes, Sussex

1583 = Gervase Babbington, Bishop of Llandaff, set up a school at Cardiff

1583 = The Van (house), Caerphilly built for Thomas Lewis

1587 = Manor of Plasturton, Cardiff, created

1589 = Patent issued to the Gild of Cordwainers & Glovers of Cadiff (in confirmation of the 1323 patent)

1590s = St.Fagans Castle built by Dr.John Gibbon

Abt 1596 = St.John's Church, Cardiff becomes a separate parish from St.Mary's

Abt 1596 = Sutton (House), Llandow built by Edward Turberville

1597 = Edmund Matthew forging ordnance at Pentyrch Works

1598 = Old Place, Llantwit Major built by Edward Van

Abt 1600 = St.Margaret's Church, Roath became a parish church in its own right, rather than a chapelry of St.Mary's, Cardiff

1600 = Edmund Matthew leased Pentyrch Iron Works to Peter Samyne & Robert Cantrell

1603 = Lease of Pentyrch Iron Works to Peter Samyne alone

Jul 1608 = Charter declared Cardiff a free town

1608 = Office of Steward of Cardiff instituted

1608 = Twelve Capital Burgesses of Cardiff appointed

1609 = Sir Edward Stradling of St.Donats died having started the establishment of Cowbridge Grammar School

Abt 1610 = Sir John Stradling of St.Donats completed the establishment of Cowbridge Grammar School. Walter Stradling (a relative) became Master of the school

1610 = Speed's map of Cardiff produced

1612 = Thomas Button of Worlton, Glam. commissioned by the Crown to explore the North West Passage to China

Abt 1613/4 = Piracy in the Bristol Channel brought under control (temporarily) by the sending of ships of war into the channel. Previously Cardiff had been renowned as a place that harboured pirates and since the 13th century the whole Bristol Channel had been frequented by pirates.

1616 = Old Pentyrch Iron Furnace demolished because Peter Samyne had ignored a notice to stop casting ordnance (which was thought to be finding its way to Spain)

1616 = Sir Edward Lewis of the Van, Caerphilly bought St.Fagans Castle

Abt 1620 - 1660 = Barbary/Moorish pirates active in the Bristol Channel

1625 = Tongwynlais Iron Furnace in operation

1626 = Ruperra Castle built by Sir Thomas Morgan

1634 = William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff & his curate, Walter Cradock reported to Archbishop Laund (Canterbury for "preaching schismatically and dangerously, to the people"

1634 = William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff admonished by the Bishop of Llandaff

1634 = Walter Cradock, Curate of St.Mary's, Cardiff "a bold, ignorant fellow" suspended

1636 - William Erbery, Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff tried before the High Commission Court for his "non-conformity"

1638 - William Erbery resigned his living as Vicar of St.Mary's, Cardiff and became an itinerant preacher and Chaplain to the Parliamentary Forces in London.

1638 = William Wroth established the first Non-Conformist Chapel in Wales at Llanvaches, Mon.

23 October 1642 = Miles Matthew of Llandaff in command of the Life Guards carried the banner of the King at the Battle of Edgehill and assisted him in his escape.

27 July 1645 = King Charles I (following defeated at Battle of Naseby ) came to South Wales to seek refuge and rally support, staying at Ruperra Castle.

29 July 1645 = King Charles II came to Cardiff to seek assistance from Glamorgan, but met with little enthusiasm since it was considered that his cause was lost (despite the fact that most of Glamorgan was loyal to him).

August 1645 = Glamorgan started to pass into Parliamentary hands Cardiff handed over to Prichard of Llancaiach..

1646 = Cardiff Town taken by Royalist forces under Sir Edward Carne and the Castle beseiged.

1646 = Parliamentary forces (under Major-General Laugharne) diverted from siege of Aberystwyth to relieve Cardiff Castle and Parliamentary ship of war sent to Cardiff..

20 February 1646 = Royalist forces from Raglan (under Sir Charles Kemeys) sent to Cardiff to support Carne. Considerable skirmish on the Heath at Cardiff. Followed by rout of the Royalists and the retaking of the town for Parliament.

25 May 1646 = Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire taken by Parliamentary forces (under Col.Ewer) after stout defence by Sir Nicholas Kemeys who was killed and buried at St.John's Church, Cardiff by Rev. Thomas Andrews the vicar.

9 August 1646 - surrender of Raglan Castle to Parliament under honourable terms. Whole of South Wales in Parliamentary hands

1648 = Parliamentary Army in West Wales (under Major-General Laugharne) became disaffected and joined with Glamorgan Royalists to attack Parliamentary forces at Cardiff

8 May 1648 = Battle of St.Fagans fought between St.Fagans and Peterston-super-Ely. Royalist forces defeated with very high casualties. (it is said that there were 65 widows left in the parish of St.Fagans alone and 700 in Glamorgan as a whole as a result of this battle - the river Ely ran with blood !)

1648 = As a result of the Battle of St.Fagans many of the Glamorgan Gentry were condemned to death, 240 Welshmen were transported to Barbadoes and 1000 of the rank and file of the defeated army were sent to fight in Italy.. Some of the Gentry escaped with exilement instead of death.

1650 = school set up in Cardiff under a Commonwealth scheme for the provision of education

1651 = Christopher Love of Cardiff instigates Love's Plot to restore the monarchy

1651 = Christopher Love executed on Tower Hill, London for opposition to Cromwell

1653 = New Mill built for fulling cloth on the Taff in Cardiff

1653 = Cardiff Castle repaired and used for ammunition storage and as a garrison

1655 - Thomas Holmes of Kendal, Westmorland, a Quaker (converted by George Fox), toured South Wales preaching the Quaker Doctrine.

1655 = John ap John, Welsh Quaker "apostle" toured South Wales and was imprisoned at Swansea

1657 = George Fox, Quaker leader, visited Cardiff and preached at the Town Hall

1658 = Dorcas Erbery (daughter of William Erbery) and Tobias Hodges (Quakers) caused a disturbance at St.John's Church, Cardiff and were gaoled.

1660 = Restoration of the Monarchy

1660 = King Charles II called upon the county of Glamorgan to clear the Bristol Channel of pirates.

24 November 1661 = 40 Cardiff Quakers gaoled for attending a Meeting

1662 = Independents & Baptists started a church at Craig-yr-Allt Farmhouse, Caerphilly

1662 = Many clergy ejected from their livings in Glamorgan for dissent

1662 = Revival of Llandaff Cathedral School after Civil War

1667 = Mary Erbery gave land at Cardiff for a Quaker burial ground

Before 1668 = Separate Quaker centre established at Llandaff meeting in the house of William Williams in Canton under the leadership of Francis Gawler of Cardiff and James Adams of Bristol

1668 = George Fox (Quaker leader) visited South Wales for a second time

1672 - Act of Indulgence allows some degree of freedom to Non-conformists but withdrawn 1673

1680 = new iron furnace built at Caerphilly

Abt 1682 = Sir Leoline Jenkins bought Cowbridge Grammar School from the

1685 = Sir Leoline Jenkins died leaving a bequest to Cowbridge Grammar School to fund schoolonig for 10 "poor boys" and 5 "pensioners" and endowing two scholarships and an exhibition at Jesus College, Oxford

1685 = Francis Gawler, (Quaker) feltmaker, of Cardiff imprisoned in Cardiff for protesting against church ceremonial.

1689 = Religious toleration for Non-conformists re-established

Abt 1691 = William Deer, Vicar Choral & Deacon of Llandaff Cathedral & master of the school