History of Cardiff

Mother Earth Travel > United Kingdom > Cardiff > History

Habitation of Wales can be traced back to 600 BC with the arrival of the Celts from Europe. But it was the Romans who put Cardiff itself on the map by building a fort here in AD 75.

The Normans took over in the 12th century, building Cardiff Castle on the same site.

Cardiff remained quite a small entity for the next few centuries - like much of the rest of Wales it relied on the coal and iron industries.

The opening of the Taff Vale Railway in 1841 linked Cardiff with Merthyr Tydfil - the largest iron producing area in the world - such that goods could be transported in less than an hour. This revolutionised the exportation of Welsh coal and catapulted Cardiff to the forefront of the industry.

The opening of the East Dock in 1859 reflected Cardiff's flourishing trade status and resulting population expansion to 33,000.

The 20th century saw the building of the City Hall, the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Office, and then in 1955, it was made the official capital of Wales.

Despite the collapse of many of the industries upon which it has traditionally relied, the end of the 20th century has proved to be an exciting period for Wales. In 1999, Cardiff became the home of the independent Welsh Assembly - a body with many powers, made up of Welsh people to govern Welsh people.