Central Square, Cardiff

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Central Square, 2006

Central Square (Welsh: Sgwâr Canolog) is the large public space in Cardiff, Wales, adjacent to Cardiff Central railway station and including Cardiff bus station.


Until the 1930s an area of terraced housing, churches and shops, named Temperance Town, occupied the current site of Central Square. Following the construction of a new and impressive railway station the Great Western Railway demanded that Cardiff Corporation improve the immediate area. In 1930 the Corporation willingly set plans in motion to remove Temperance Town.[1] The streets were demolished in 1937.[2] A new bus station was opened in 1954. A new office building, Marland House, was constructed to the east of the bus station.[2]

In 1999 a 4m high sculpture, Cadar Idris, was erected in Central Square. However, within 6 months it was reportedly described as a 'dirty disgrace'[3] and (in 2008) attracting undesirables to congregate on it.[4] It was later dismantled and relocated to Cardiff Bay Wetlands.[5]

Central Square was to be one of a few areas in Cardiff designated an alcohol control zone, allowing the police to confiscate alcohol.[4]

In 2010 hotel developer Urban Solutions promised £300,000 towards improvements towards the long term regeneration of Central Square. They also agreed to fund 12 cycle stands and the OYBike hire point outside Central Station.[6]

Future developments[edit]

In 2012 another proposal was unveiled by Cardiff Council to sell-off the existing bus station land for redevelopment and invest some of the money in Central Square, to be renamed 'Capital Square'. An 80 metre long fountain was envisaged by the architecture firm, Stride Treglown, along with a 'Welsh Garden' reflecting the landscape of Wales. The bus station would close in September 2012 and a 10-12 storey office headquarters built on the site. A new bus station would be constructed to the east.[7]

In October 2014 another masterplan was announced, including one million square feet of new office space and a 200 bed hotel. The masterplan was being overseen by UK architecture practice, Foster and Partners, led by Cardiff-born partner Gerard Evenden.[8]


  1. ^ Abandoned Communities... Temperance Town (3), Abandonedcommunities.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  2. ^ a b Abandoned Communities... Temperance Town (5), Abandonedcommunities.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  3. ^ Statue of the week, South Wales Echo, 15 November 2004. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  4. ^ a b Abby Alford Police clamp down on station drunks, South Wales Echo, 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  5. ^ Tim Lewis, Cader Idris sculptor set for bay move, South Wales Echo, 19 March 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  6. ^ Abby Alford Hotel developer pledges £300k to spruce up Cardiff’s Central Square, South Wales Echo, 13 August 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  7. ^ Peter Law, "Exciting Times" for Capital, South Wales Echo, 30 January 2012, pp. 4/5.
  8. ^ Sion Barry, Cardiff's new Central Square development: An exclusive glimpse at the dramatic overhaul planned for the heart of the capital, Western Mail, 30 October 2014, pages 4/5.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′34″N 3°10′43″W / 51.4762°N 3.1787°W / 51.4762; -3.1787