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

Coordinates: 51°31′44″N 3°11′20″W / 51.529°N 3.189°W / 51.529; -3.189

Station Road, Llanishen

Llanishen (Welsh Llanisien llan church + Isien Saint Isan) is a district and community in the north of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. The Cardiff community population taken at the 2011 census was 17,417.[1] Llanishen is the former home of the 'Tax Offices', the tallest buildings in north Cardiff and a landmark for miles around. The office complex overlooks the 'Crystal and Fishguard estates', the Parc Tŷ Glas industrial estate, Llanishen village, leafy suburban roads and parks that constitute the district. Llanishen is also home to a Leisure Centre and the former 60-acre (24 ha) Llanishen Reservoir – a local beauty spot that is connected to a green corridor which bisects the city from the rising hills in the north to Cardiff Bay in the south.


Originally wooded farm land, in A.D. 535 two monks came eastwards from the small religious settlement of Llandaff, aiming to establish new settlements, or "llans", in the land below Caerphilly mountain. With fresh water from the Nant Fawr stream, one of the monks Isan founded his llan on the site of the modern day Oval Park.

In 1089 in the Battle of the Heath, the Normans fought the Welsh Celts north of the settlement. The victorious Normans expanded Llanishen, starting work on a church to the north which was completed in the 12th century.

Although Oliver Cromwell had ties with Llanishen and the neighbouring village of Llysfaen, the village remained undisturbed until 1871, when the Rhymney Railway was given permission to break the stranglehold of the Taff Vale Railway into Cardiff Docks. Building a line from Caerphilly to Crockherbtown Junction just north of Cardiff Queen Street, its 1.5 miles (2.4 km) tunnel to the north resulted in a number of accidental deaths, many of whom are buried in St Isans church.

The railway and the development of Llanishen railway station allowed wealthy Cardiff business people to commute from the village to the centre of city easily, resulting in the expansion of the villages population by 20,000 between 1851 and 1871. In 1887, the two new reservoirs of Llanishen were built to allow distribution of water collected in the Brecon Beacons to the city. In 1922, after expansion north by the city and south by the village, Llanishen became a suburb of Cardiff. Llanishen Golf Club was established in 1905.[2]

Development of the village since has been through redevelopment of the former farming and military land into commercial usage and housing development.

Thornhill was part of the Llanishen civil parish until November 2016 when a new community of Thornhill was created north of the Linear Park.[3][4]

Commerce and Industry[edit]

Parc Tŷ Glas Industrial Estate[edit]

HM Government buildings, Phase 2 (left) and Gleider House – Phase 1 (right) and Ty Rhodfa in the foreground

Parc Tŷ Glas is home to the offices of the television station S4C and of the National Eisteddfod of Wales. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) formerly occupied Ty Glas, an 18-storey tower block (Phase 2), the 11-storey Gleider House (Phase 1), Ty Rhodfa (formerly the Valuation Office Agency)[5] employing more than 2,700 staff on site in 2007[6] and ground floor offices for an enquiry centre or IREC. In 2020 the tax office vacated the site and moved to the Central Square in the city centre.[7]

The HM Government buildings are due to be demolished and replaced by up to 250 houses (Use Class C3), up to 70 retirement apartments (Use Class C3), a care home (Use Class C2), employment units (Use Class B1a, B1b, B1c) and a doctors surgery/nursery/dentist (Use Class D1).[8][9]

In 2003, Cardiff Lifestyle Shopping Park of six stores was built; the current occupants are Marks and Spencer Simply Food, Boots, HomeSense, Starbucks, DW sports/MiFit and Pets at Home.

ROF Cardiff[edit]

The First World War, like in many locations, brought death to the young men of the village, but the Second World War brought greater effect. With the development of ROF Bridgend, a Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Cardiff was opened in 1940 to take the explosives from Bridgend and produce tank, anti-tank and field guns.[10] Air defences against paratroopers were placed in nearby fields, but this was strengthened in 1941 when the Royal Air Force established both a RAF Regiment base and a glider training facility. In 1943 the United States Army began using the facilities to hold troops and undertake local training, including basic flight in Tiger Cubs. The Americans left in June 1944 as the Allies prepared for D-Day. In 1987 ROF Cardiff became an Atomic Weapons Establishment.[11] It closed down in February 1997.[10]

ROF Cardiff since closure has become the site of major housing development: George Wimpey called theirs 'Parklands', Barratt built 'Ty Glas Square' and Leadbitter built 'Llys Enfys', with Bellway and Persimmon/Charles Church creating even more housing between the AWE site and the HMRC building. The site will also host a new public open space, the final element to be constructed (2010), to include children's play area, sports pitch and community garden. Part of the George Wimpey development has been named 'Watkins Square' and the Barratt development 'Tasker Square' – after Wales' famous Victoria Cross winner Sir Tasker Watkins, who died during 2007.

Other offices[edit]

The Orchards complex

The Orchards complex, formerly the site of the National Coal Board's regional office,[5] housed the offices of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales,[12] and the Welsh office of the Camelot Group, operators of the UK National Lottery.[13] In 2018, the Orchards were demolished and McCarthy and Stone built an Independent Living complex called Llys Faith.

Shopping and Leisure[edit]

Llanishen Village[edit]

Llanishen Village is a small local shopping centre offering a range of shops and services to the surrounding community.

Llanishen Library is a full-time branch library.

Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs[edit]

Two non-functional reservoirs (the smaller Lisvane Reservoir is adjoined to Llanishen Reservoir). Llanishen Reservoir forms the end of a Victorian water supply system stretching from the Brecon Beacons to Cardiff and has recently had its CADW listing confirmed. It had been under threat from an American-led commercial development for domestic housing, where the proposed houses would be built around a reduced lake. But the CADW designation plus the Site of Special Scientific Interest for grassland fungi on the embankments of the former reservoir, will make it very difficult for a developer to gain building permission. Locals are campaigning to make the area a registered village green.[14][15]

Cardiff Sailing Centre[edit]

Cardiff Sailing Centre (Llanishen Sailing Centre)[16] is a sailing school teaching sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.[17][18]

Llanishen Leisure Centre[edit]

Llanishen Leisure Centre

Llanishen Leisure Centre[19] is situated in Llanishen and is the largest in the city. It has a pool with a wave machine, Squash courts, multi-activity Sports Hall, an improved Gym & Fitness suite & Pool side Cafeteria. It is built in a very similar layout to the Pentwyn leisure centre.

Llanishen Skate Park[edit]

In the large 'Gleider Field' alongside the leisure centre, there is a public skatepark. The skate park facilities include two quarter-pipes, a jump box, two flat banks, a driveway, a spine, a rail, a wallride and a halfpipe.[20]

Llanishen is home to RampWorld Cardiff, which is Wales' largest indoor Skatepark and operates as a non-profit making charity to provide indoor extreme sports training facilities. GoAir Trampoline Park is also located on the Ty Glas Business Park in Llanishen.

Llanishen Rugby Club[edit]

A new 3G playing and training ground for Llanishen RFC, located off Heol Hir, was built in 2018 as part of a new partnership with Llanishen High School. The Club House is off Ty Glas Avenue nearby. The club's former training ground and pitch was located off Usk Road and was sold to a housing developer to fund the new 3G pitch facilities [21]

Public Houses[edit]

Llanishen's pubs include The Church Inn, believed to be the oldest surviving pub in Cardiff, and the Wolf's Castle.


Llanishen Methodist Church

Primary schools[edit]

  • Christ the King R.C. Primary School
  • Coed Glas[22]
  • Ysgol y Wern
  • The Court Special School

Secondary schools[edit]


The district is served by two railway stations: Llanishen railway station (on the Cardiff Central to Rhymney Line) in the east and Ty Glas railway station (on the Cardiff Central to Coryton) in the west.

Three bus routes serve Llanishen:

  • 27 Thornhill from Central Station – operated by Cardiff Bus
  • 28 from Station Road (Thornhill) or (Roath Park-Cathays-Central Stn) – operated by Cardiff Bus
  • 86 (Lisvane) – operated by Stagecoach Wales

Government and politics[edit]

Llanishen electoral ward in Cardiff

Electoral ward[edit]

Llanishen is part of an electoral ward with Thornhill, and is also a community of the City of Cardiff. There is no community council for the area.

The electoral ward of Llanishen falls within the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff North. It covers some or all of the geographical areas of Llanishen and Thornhill. It is bounded by the wards of Lisvane to the northwest; Cyncoed to the southeast; Heath to the south; and Rhiwbina to the west.


Notable people[edit]

The 16th-century Welsh bard Meurig Dafydd was born in Llanishen. The film director Richard Marquand (Jagged Edge, Return of the Jedi) was born in Llanishen. His father was Labour MP Hilary Marquand.[23] Footballer Joe Jacobson was born and raised in Llanishen.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/localarea?compare=W04000852[bare URL]
  2. ^ "Llanishen Golf Club". Golf Today. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. ^ Ruth Mosalski (23 March 2015) "No longer will housebuyers be able to mock estate agents... Pontcanna is set to be one of four city 'areas' given official status", Wales Online. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  4. ^ The City and County of Cardiff (Communities) Order – 2016 No. 1155 (W. 277) (PDF). Welsh Statutory Instruments. 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Llanishen - A changing suburb in North Cardiff". Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  6. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 14 Jan 2008 (pt 0019)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ March 2021, Emily Withers·19 (19 March 2021). "Public asked for views on Llanishen's former HMRC site". The Cardiffian. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  8. ^ Deacon, Thomas (16 March 2021). "Huge plans to knock down tax offices and build hundreds of homes". WalesOnline. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Tax Office Site, Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff". tyglasconsultation.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  10. ^ a b "CARDIFF ROYAL ORDNANCE FACTORY, LLANISHEN, CARDIFF". coflein.gov.uk. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and Atomic Weapons Establishment: Administration of the Aldermaston Site: Files and Reports". nationalarchives.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 14 May 2016. In 1987, AWRE was combined with ROF Burghfield and ROF Cardiff to form the AWE
  12. ^ "Staff directory and contact details". HEFCW.ac.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  13. ^ "How To Contact Camelot". Lottery.merseyworld.com. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Home Page | Reservoir Action Group". Llanishenrag.com. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  15. ^ "WalesOnline: News, sport, weather and events from across Wales". Icwales.icnetwork.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Llanishen Sailing Centre is now Cardiff Sailing Centre". Llanishensc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Marlow Ropes joy for up-and-coming Evans | News | News & Events". Rya.org.uk. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Cardiff school children get OnBoard | News | News & Events". rya.org.uk. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Llanishen Leisure Centre". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  20. ^ "Llanishen Skate Park". Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  21. ^ "About Us". Llanishenrfc.co.uk. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Coed Glas Primary School". Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Richard Marquand - Réalisateur - (1937 - 1987)". Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2007.

External links[edit]

(NW) Thornhill Lisvane
Rhiwbina Llanishen Cyncoed
Birchgrove Heath (SE)