Rhiwbina electoral ward in Cardiff
Rhiwbina shown within Cardiff
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Cardiff North|
|Welsh Assembly||Cardiff North|
Rhiwbina (Welsh: Rhiwbeina) is a northern suburb of Cardiff, capital of Wales. Formerly a small hamlet within the parish of Whitchurch, Rhiwbina was developed throughout the twentieth century, and is now a separate ward. It retains aspects of its former character, however, and is given a Welsh village appearance by Beulah United Reformed Church (originally Capel Beulah) at the village crossroads.
Modern Rhiwbina, which includes the Garden Village, Wenallt Hill, Rhiwbina Hill, and the Llanishen Fach and Pantmawr developments, is bordered by the suburbs of Whitchurch (Yr Eglwys Newydd) to the west, Llanishen to the east, and Birchgrove (Llwynbedw) to the south. To the north is the border with Caerphilly. The area is served by Rhiwbina railway station on the Coryton Line.
Amenities and history
There are three schools within the ward – Rhiwbeina Primary School, Llanishen Fach Primary and Greenhill School. Llanishen Fach is the only school in Cardiff which sends its Year 6 pupils to two main secondary schools, Whitchurch High, and Llanishen High. Despite local campaigning since the 1960s, Rhiwbina currently has no Welsh-medium school. As a result, some local children travel to Ysgol y Wern and Ysgol Melin Griffith to receive their education.
The area has a large number of churches and chapels including All Saints (Church in Wales), Beulah (URC), Bethesda (Independent), Rhiwbina Baptist Church, Bethany (Baptist), Bethel (Methodist) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
Near the summit of the Wenallt, to the north of Rhiwbina, are the remains of an oval encampment probably dating from the Iron Age, the earliest evidence of settlement in the area. At the base of the hill is a Norman motte called the Twmpath.
The last native Welsh Prince of Morgannwg (Glamorgan), Iestyn ap Gwrgant, may have been killed in a battle north of Rhiwbina towards the end of the 11th century, near the present-day Butchers Arms public house. The stream nearby is still called Rhyd Waedlyd, which means 'Bloody Ford'. Rhydwaedlyd was the title given to housing developments to Rhiwbina's east in the latter half of the 20th century. This area has since come to be considered part of Rhiwbina itself and the name 'Rhydwaedlyd' has fallen out of use entirely.
Until the 20th century the area remained rural, with few houses. The railway station opened in 1911, and the following year development began of a new garden suburb, based on a masterplan by Sir Raymond Unwin, one of the leading architects of the Garden city movement. The first 34 houses were built in 1913 and more were built from 1919 to 1923, occupying an area between Pen-y-dre and Lon Isa which became known as Rhiwbina Garden Village. It was designated as a Conservation Area in 1976.
A focal point in Rhiwbina in the early twentieth century was the "Rhiwbina Tea Gardens". Owned by the Smart family, this developed into a landmark local business, becoming "Rhiwbina Motor Garages" in response to the rise of the motor car, and the area's first video rental outlet in the early 1980s. The business was closed on the retirement of Cliff Smart in 1989 and the site is now occupied by the development of Clos Yr Ardd. This translates as Garden Close, in memory of the Tea Gardens, but there is little greenery left.
Rhiwbina village centre is small compared to nearby Whitchurch and Birchgrove, but has in recent years undergone a revival, and is now a popular shopping destination for gifts and art.
To the north of Rhiwbina is a parade of shops on Heol Llanishen Fach, built in the 1960s to serve an extensive area of new housing. Also to the north of Rhiwbina village is the Deri Stores, a family run shop on the corner of Wenallt Road and Rhiwbina Hill which used to be a post office, and before that a cafe. Another parade of shops was built further north at Pantmawr, but has since been demolished and replaced by houses.
Rhiwbina has been the home of many noted Welsh artists including the authors Jack Jones and Kate Roberts, musician Howard Jones, dramatist Tom Richards and the actress Rachel Thomas, who worked together.
Since 1997 the 'Deri' community quarterly newsletter has been published by the Rhiwbina Civic Society. Rhiwbina also has a quarterly magazine launched on 15 November 2007, called Rhiwbina Living. A similar publication, "Wenallt", was published between 1972 and 1980 but failed due to a lack of local advertising.
The Welsh language
The number of Rhiwbina residents over the age of three who speak Welsh increased slightly from 1,409 (12.8%) in the 2001 UK Census to 1,433 (12.9%) in the 2011 UK Census. Beulah United Reformed Church was originally a Welsh-speaking congregationalist chapel, but the services turned to English in 1898. Bethel Methodist Church continues to hold Welsh-language services.
The electoral ward of Rhiwbina falls within the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff North. It is bounded by the wards of Lisvane and Llanishen to the east; Heath to the southeast; and Whitchurch & Tongwynlais to the west.
- Cardiff Council: The ward returns three councillors to Cardiff Council. In the 2012 Council elections, Rhiwbina returned three independents, Jayne Cowan, Adrian Robson and Eleanor Sanders.
- Welsh Assembly: Part of the Cardiff North constituency within the Welsh Assembly, it is represented by Julie Morgan AM (Welsh Labour). She took the seat from the Conservatives in the 2011 elections, overturning a majority of 4,843 and creating a Labour majority of 1,782 votes.
- Westminster: Part of the Cardiff North constituency within the Parliament, it is represented by Jonathan Evans MP (Conservative), who has held the seat since 2010.
There are three railway stations located within Rhiwbina. The principal station is Rhiwbina railway station, located behind the library in the heart of the village. The other two stations are Birchgrove railway station, located in the east of the ward, and Whitchurch railway station, Cardiff in the west. These two stations were built (as their names suggest) to service other adjacent areas, but the expansion of Rhiwbina and its clear demarcation from Whitchutch has meant that all three stations are now located within the boundaries of the ward. All of the stations are on the Cardiff Central to Coryton Line, and were built by the Cardiff Railway Company. Presently, services continue through west Cardiff to Radyr.
Cardiff Bus services 21 (Central Station - Gabalfa - Birchgrove - Whitchurch - Coryton - Rhiwbina) and 23 (Central Station - Gabalfa - Birchgrove - Rhiwbina - Coryton - Whitchurch) frequently run through the area. Veolia Transport Cymru also ran service 22 (Heath Hospital – Rhiwbina) but this route ceased running in 2013.
Sport and leisure
Rhiwbina Recreational Club forms the centre of activities within the community, and is home to both male and female Bowls teams, a Chess Club, Tennis and Squash Clubs and the Highfields Amateur Radio Club.
Rhiwbina RFC, the local rugby union club operates sides from Under 7 to Under 16, plus a youth and three senior teams. The First XV was promoted to Division 4 East after an unbeaten League run in Season 2006/07. The club operates from the Rhiwbina Recreational Club, but has plans to build a new clubhouse in nearby Caedelyn Park.
Rhiwbina Squash Club has six men's teams playing in the Premier, South Wales and South Glamorgan Leagues. The club also has a Junior and Ladies section. Rhiwbina Squash Club were the 2011 South Wales Premier League Champions.
- Andrew Davies, (born 1936), author and screenwriter, was born in Rhiwbina.
- Gerald Davies, Welsh rugby player in the 70s, lived in Wenallt Road, Rhiwbina.
- Andy Fairweather Low, (born 1948), pop musician, lived in Beulah Road, Rhiwbina.
- Howard Jones, (born 1955), pop musician, lived in Rhiwbina until the age of 13.
- Jack Jones, (1884–1970), novelist, lived in Rhiwbina in the 1920s.
- Rhodri Morgan lived in the Rhiwbina Garden Village
- Evan Roberts lived on Beulah Road many years after the revival
- Kate Roberts, (1891–1985), novelist, lived in Rhiwbina for several years until 1931.
- Keith Rowlands, (born 1936), rugby player, lived in Rhiwbina in retirement and was president of Rhiwbina RFC.
- Stan Stennett, (1925-2013), entertainer, lived in Rhiwbina.
- Sam Warburton, Captain of Welsh rugby team in 2011, before leaving home Sam lived with his parents in Rhiwbina Hill, Rhiwbina.
- Alan Wilkins, (born 1953), cricketer and sports commentator, was born and grew up in Rhiwbina.
- "Wenallt". coflein. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Rhiwbina Twmpath". railwaybridge.co.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Rhyd Waedlyd". coflein. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Rhiwbina Garden Village". Cardiff City Council. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- 'Welsh Language Commissioner: 2011 Census results by Community.
- Beulah United Reformed Church History, retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Andrew Davies". BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Andy Fairweather Low". walesonline. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Howard Jones". famouswelsh.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "Jack Jones". writersplaques.org. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Kate Roberts". myglyw.org.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Stan Stennett". welshicons.org.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Why I love Rhiwbina" by Alan Wilkins, Living Magazines Cardiff, 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
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