Cardiff East

  Club contact: Andrew Grant

                                     February 2024 – update

An excellent meeting with  a talk by Huw Williams

“Mediaeval Cardiff”

Huw said he was very glad to be with us again and would try not to overlap too much with his previous talk about the relationship between Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff and who should be named as the Capital of Wales.

He reminded us that in the pre-industrial days the land surrounding the Cardiff area was suitable for agriculture whereas north of Cardiff it was mountainous and only much later found to be rich in iron and coal which led to its meteoric development in terms of population and wealth. However, the materials being mined had to be distributed and this is where the port of Cardiff started to attract a lot of people and wealth, eventually overtaking the valleys.

As far a business, professional and money systems were concerned Bristol was the place to go and again this was more convenient from Cardiff.

Wealthy nobility families in the area started with the Herberts followed by the Windsors and eventually the Butes. By 1800 there were 10 major families but only one, the Crawshays, was not from the nobility.

The important items of Water, Land, Population and being the Capital were well addressed by Cardiff with water coming from the Llanishen reservoir in 1878 and later the Brecon Beacons. Along the coast from Cardiff were many small ports and these were able to support the five docks in Cardiff with a wharfage of 11 kilometres built by the Butes. As a port Cardiff started to attract a lot of foreign people with its population doubling every 10 years becoming 14,000 in 1900 and 360,000 today.

In 1840 Cardiff handled 40,000 tonnes of coal rising to 7.5 million in 1890 and to 10.7 million in 1913. The first million pound cheque from France was handled at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff in 1908. This coal was of greater value as Steam Coal and in huge demand by the Royal Navy and Railway systems.

After the First World War requirements have changed and since 1930 the demands have reduced and Barry and Newport have increased in importance as ports.

 Please contact me for any further information at the e-mail address above or on 02920252422.

Although our membership is growing, we still have room for new people and I would be glad to hear from any interested parties. We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the Llanishen Golf Club in Cardiff at 10am for coffee before starting the meeting proper at 10.30am. Lunch is available at the club and the great majority of the members stay for this excellent value meal.

Please note the e-mail address above is not hyperlinked so please enter my address manually.

Andrew Grant (Secretary)