Fairwater, Cardiff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shopping area on Fairwater Green

Fairwater (Welsh: Y Tyllgoed) is a district and community in the west of Cardiff, capital of Wales. It is located a few miles from Culverhouse Cross which connects Cardiff to the M4 motorway. The population taken at the 2011 census was 12,981.[1]


The original Welsh name Tyllgoed derives from "tyll" meaning "to hole" or "to burrow" and "coed" meaning "woods" or "trees". Tyllgoed is a name common to a number of streams in Wales that burrow through woods and it is likely this name would have originally applied to the stream that still runs through Fairwater today.[2][3]

The similarity of the first element to the Welsh word "tywyll" meaning "dark" led some later writers to derive the name as "dark woods". However, this derivation is now considered a folk etymology, especially given that the name is first recorded under the spellings Tull Coit and Tollcoit in the land of Ystrad Ager, in the 12th century Book of Llandaff. The entry states that the area was given to Llandaff Cathedral during the time of its fourteenth Bishop, Berthguin, in the early 8th century.[4] The English name Fairwater may ultimately derive from the Ecclesiastical Latin in this entry, as the term bella aqua (literally "fair water") is recorded in its marginalia. In later centuries, the area became the benefice of one of Llandaff's prebends, named as the "Prebend of Fairwell", or the "Prebend of Farewell" in the cathedral's own documents. Even today, one of the cathedral's historic canons' stalls is still named "Fairwater".[5][6]


Fairwater Leisure Centre

This leafy district is divided between the mainly privately owned 1930s semi-detached housing developments at the southern end, and more 1950s public housing stock towards the northern end closer to neighbouring Pentrebane. It includes Fairwater Park (known locally as "the Dell"), Fairwater Leisure Centre, a skatepark and numerous playing fields.

Fairwater has two secondary schools. The larger of the two, with over a thousand pupils, is the Welsh-medium Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr. The other is Cantonian High School, which has nearly 700 pupils.

The building in which Plasmawr stands was originally opened in 1959 as Waterhall Secondary Modern School. Pupils at the school included Martyn Woodroffe an Olympic swimming Silver Medalist in 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico. It is on the grounds of old Cantonian lower school, but in recent times has had many new developments built on the site. Peter Lea Primary and Fairwater Primary schools are in the area. Cantonian has produced several Welsh international football (soccer) players. In recent times Ryan Green (once Wales' youngest international), Jermaine Easter and Joe Ledley and, a little further back, John Toshack. Famous former pupils also include the model and Gary Lineker's wife Danielle Bux and director of the film Human Traffic, Justin Kerrigan.

Fairwater Brook was a childhood haunt of Roald Dahl, who lived in Radyr and studied in nearby Llandaff.

Fairwater Park, known locally as "The Dell" is the site of one of Britain's first artificial ski slopes, built in 1969.[7][8]

Fairwater Green is a local area of shops, supposedly named for the area of grass nearby.

Fairwater Library opened in 1960, is a small branch library with a small book collection, public access computers and study space is open five days a week.[9]

Electoral ward[edit]

Fairwater is both an electoral ward, and a community of the City of Cardiff. There is no community council for the area. The electoral ward of Fairwater falls within the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff West. It is bounded by Creigiau & St. Fagans to the west; Llandaff to the east; Canton to the southeast; Ely to the south; and Radyr to the north. Previously represented by the Labour Party it has since May 2008 been represented on Cardiff Council by Plaid Cymru councillors.[10]


Fairwater is well served by public transport with three railway stations - Fairwater in the heart of the area, Danescourt in the north and Waun-Gron Park in the south. All 3 stations are on the Cardiff City Line with services northbound to Radyr and southbound to Cardiff Central via Ninian Park.

Fairwater has bus services provided by Cardiff Bus operating bus service 61 through the area to Pentrebane, while route 64 runs through to Heath Hospital and route 66 serves Keyston Road. Easyway run an infrequest bus service through Fairwater to St Fagans.

The main road running through the east of the area is Western Avenue (A48) linking it to Ely Bridge, Ely, Canton and the city centre to the south and Gabalfa, eastern districts and the M4 J30 Cardiff East to the north. St Fagans Road is a country road leading west out of Fairwater to St. Fagans, Ely, Culverhouse Cross and M4 J33 Cardiff West

Notable people from Fairwater[edit]


  1. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  2. ^ Padel, OJ (2009). "Two Devonshire place-names" (PDF). Journal of the English Place-Name Society (41): 120.
  3. ^ "Cardiff and District". Some place names in south Wales. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  4. ^ The Liber landavensis, Llyfr Teilo or, The ancient register of the cathedral church of Llandaff; from mss. in the libraries of Hengwrt, and of Jesus college, Oxford. Llandaff (Wales): W Rees. 1840. p. 439. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  5. ^ Matthews, John Hobson, ed. (1905). Schedule of place names: A - F', in Cardiff Records: Volume 5. Cardiff. pp. 337–369. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  6. ^ Birch, Walter de Gray (1912). Memorials of the see and cathedral of Llandaff, derived from the Liber landavensis, original documents in the British museum, H. M. record office, the Margam muniments, etc. J. E. Richards, Neath. p. 160. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  7. ^ "About Us". Cardiff Ski. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Britain's top dry ski slopes and indoor snow centres". The Daily Telegraph. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Hubs and Libraries". www.cardiff.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Cardiff Council Election Results 1995-2012" (PDF). The Elections Centre. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  11. ^ Williamson, David (18 April 2018). "Cardiff singers 'disgust' at Windrush generation treatment". WalesOnline. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Local hero Ledley reaps rewards". 8 April 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′24″N 3°14′36″W / 51.49000°N 3.24333°W / 51.49000; -3.24333