Riverside, Cardiff

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Coordinates: 51°28′44″N 3°11′20″W / 51.479°N 3.189°W / 51.479; -3.189

Riverside electoral ward of Cardiff

Riverside (Welsh: Glan yr Afon) is an inner-city area and community of Cardiff, Wales, next to the River Taff. Riverside is also the name of the electoral ward, which can be split into two parts; Riverside and sub-locality Pontcanna. These two areas have some differences and are roughly divided by Cowbridge Road East, with Pontcanna located to the north.

Public art on Fitzhamon Embankment
Riverside Real Food Market


Riverside, south of Cowbridge Road East, consists mainly of terraced houses and is a focus for much of the city's ethnic minority population, with sizeable communities of Bangladeshis, Sikh and Chinese, particularly around Tudor Street which has a strongly ethnic feel to it.

Riverside has a number of Chinese, Halal, Indian, and West Indian shops selling a range of foods. The Riverside Community Market Association (RCMA)s Riverside Farmers Market began in November 1998 as the Riverside Real Food Market, a weekly Sunday farmers' market on the Fitzhamon Embankment. Other signs of regeneration include the area becoming the focus for Cardiff's rapidly expanding budget accommodation with three backpacking hostels in close proximity to each other.

Pontcanna is an area of wide tree-lined streets and some large houses. It is a gentrified "media Village" with a cafe culture-lifestyle centred on Pontcanna Street and Cathedral Road. It is interesting demographically due to both its large English born population and large Welsh language speaking political and media class.

Within Riverside are a number of parks and public gardens including; Despenser Gardens, Clare Gardens, Sophia Gardens, Plasturton Gardens, Pontcanna Fields and LLandaff Fields. Sophia Gardens, along the bank of the River Taff, is home to a caravan park, the Glamorgan County Cricket Club, and the Sport Wales National Centre. It was also the first home ground of Cardiff City F.C., who in their early years were known as Riverside A.F.C.

Welsh language[edit]

The 2011 census recorded that 13.7% of the population over 3 years old was able to speak Welsh, or 1475 people. This was a small rise on the 2001 census, which was 13.4%.[1]

Among the Welsh language institutions in the area are the Welsh language bookshop 'Caban' on Kings Road and the Mochyn Du (Black Pig) public house in Sophia Gardens, known as a pub that attracts many Welsh speaking customers.

A Welsh language chapel was opened in Severn Road in 1867 [1]. The chapel closed in 1979 and the building is now a mosque..

The coming of the HTV television studios to Pontcanna, which produced Welsh language programmes, was a boost to the language in the area.


The Riverside electoral ward falls into the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff West. It is bounded by the wards of Gabalfa to the north; Cathays to the east; Grangetown to the south; and Canton and Llandaff to the west.

Local Organisations[edit]

The Cardiff & District Branch of The Samaritans is situated on the Riverside end of Cowbridge Road East.[2]

Riverside Market[edit]

Riverside Real Food Market takes place on Fitzhamon Embankment. It began as a Christmas Market in November 1998 in a nearby park.[3] It subsequently moved to the wide pavement next to the River Taff and has stalls from up to thirty retailers every Sunday.[3]

Famous people[edit]


  1. ^ Welsh Language Commissioner: 2011 census: results by community; gwelwyd 24 Ionawr 2015.
  2. ^ Samaritans.org The Cardiff and District Branch of The Samaritans (Retrieved 2011-09-25)
  3. ^ a b Alison Young, "Cardiff’s Riverside Market", South Wales Echo, 8 January 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2013.

External links[edit]