Rhiwbina electoral ward in Cardiff
Rhiwbina shown within Cardiff
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Cardiff North|
|Welsh Assembly||Cardiff North|
Rhiwbina (Welsh: Rhiwbeina or Rhiwbeuno – Rhiw slope + Beuno Saint Beuno) is a northern suburb of Cardiff, capital of Wales. It used to be a separate village: its core is still locally called "the village" and is given a Welsh village appearance by Beulah United Reformed Church (originally Capel Beulah) at the village crossroads.
Rhiwbina 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 steep, wooded Wenallt Hill (Y Wenallt ), part of Cardiff's unofficial "green belt", where Coed-y-Wenallt provides public open space. 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, and consequently suffers from a lack of trade. In recent years many businesses have ceased trading in the area. However some businesses, mainly in the service sector, have managed to buck the trend and establish themselves in the centre.
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 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.
In the Welsh Assembly, Cardiff North is represented by Welsh Labour AM Julie Morgan. 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.
In the 2012 Local Council elections Rhiwbina returned three Independent Councillors, re-electing Jayne Cowan and Adrian Robson as well as electing Eleanor Sanders.
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 west of the ward, and Whitchurch railway station, Cardiff in the east. 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 RFC, the local rugby union club, has the biggest playing membership of any club in Wales and operates sides from Under 7 to Under 16 and a youth and three senior teams. The First XV was recently promoted to Division 4 East after an unbeaten League run in Season 2006/07. The club operates from the Rhiwbina Recreational Club. However plans are afoot to build a new clubhouse in nearby Caedelyn Park.
Rhiwbina Recreational Club is also home to both male and female Bowls teams, a Chess Club, Tennis and Squash Clubs and the Highfields Amateur Radio Club.
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 are the current South Wales Premier League Champions (2011).
- Jack Jones, (1884–1970), novelist, lived in Rhiwbina in the 1920s.
- Kate Roberts, (1891–1985), novelist, lived in Rhiwbina for several years until 1931.
- Stan Stennett, (1925-2013), entertainer, lived in Rhiwbina.
- Andrew Davies, (born 1936), author and screenwriter, was born in Rhiwbina.
- Andy Fairweather Low, (born 1948), pop musician, lived in Beulah Road, Rhiwbina.
- Alan Wilkins, (born 1953), cricketer and sports commentator, was born and grew up in Rhiwbina.
- Howard Jones, (born 1955), pop musician, lived in Rhiwbina until the age of 13.
- Keith Rowlands, (born 1936), rugby player, lived in Rhiwbina in retirement and was president of Rhiwbina RFC.
- Gerald Davies, Welsh rugby player in the 70s, lived in Wenallt Road, Rhiwbina.
- Sam Warburton, Captain of Welsh rugby team in 2011, before leaving home Sam lived with his parents in Rhiwbina Hill, 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.
- "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.
- "Andrew Davies". BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Andy Fairweather Low". walesonline. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Why I love Rhiwbina" by Alan Wilkins, Living Magazines Cardiff, 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "Howard Jones". famouswelsh.com. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
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