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Roath Brook flowing through Roath Park in the snow

Roath (Welsh: Y Rhath) is a district and community to the north-east of the city centre of Cardiff, capital of Wales. The area is mostly covered by the Plasnewydd electoral ward, and stretches from Adamsdown in the south to Roath Park in the north.[1]


Post Office and shops on Albany Road

Roath's main shopping streets are Albany Road, City Road, and Wellfield Road. The area is characterised by its several tree-lined avenues and Victorian era terraced streets. Roath houses a very diverse population including a large number of students, being very close to the main university campuses, a large ethnic minority population and many young professionals. Parts of Roath are among the most affluent districts of Cardiff[2][citation needed], although subdivision of the large Victorian properties is starting to occur in the areas at the south end of the district.

Its close proximity to the city centre, its number of local amenities, churches, shops and restaurants and public houses and the famous Roath Park make it a popular area to live.[3]

The area has several primary schools, including Albany Primary School,[4] Roath Park Primary School[5] and St Peter's R.C. Primary School.[6]

Community facilities include the YMCA Plas community centre[7] and the Mackintosh Sports Club.[8]

Roath is surrounded by other communities in Cardiff as follows:

Heath Cyncoed
Cathays Roath Penylan
City centre Adamsdown


Roath Court

Y Rhath (Rahat, Raath 13th c.) is likely a development of the Brythonic word for ramparts, cognate with the Irish word ráth (earthwork, fortification). The latinised form of this word (Ratae) appears elsewhere in Roman Britain, such as in Ratae Corieltauvorum. This may suggest a pre-existing Iron Age settlement, likely on the site of the old manor house which was surrounded by earthworks and a ditch for centuries.[9]

Alternatively, it could derive from the name given to the Roman settlement in Cardiff, Ratostabius.[10]

Roath Court is a nineteenth-century villa on the site of the medieval manor house of Roath.[11] Since 1952 it has been a funeral home.[12] Its Georgian portico, designed by Robert Adam in 1766 for Bowood House, Wiltshire, was moved there in 1956.[11]

Roath contains the Church of Saint Margaret of Antioch, built in 1870 in Gothic revival style on the site of an earlier Norman chapel. Designed by Llandaff architect John Prichard on a Greek Cross plan, it was financed by the third Marquess of Bute, in spite of his conversion to Catholicism in 1868. Inside is an opulent mausoleum housing tombs of nine members of the Bute family, including the first marquess and his two wives. The tower of St Margaret's was finally completed in 1926.

Roath once had a railway station on the South Wales Main Line, but this closed in 1917.[13][14]

Prior to the 2010s the community was known as Plasnewydd, though was renamed as Roath, being a name that was more widely recognised.[15]

Notable buildings[edit]

Festivals and events[edit]

Starting in 2009, the Made in Roath arts festival took place each October. The event showcased art, music, performance and literature in a variety of venues including peoples' homes.[18] The tenth festival took place in 2018.[19] Made in Roath now exists as a community arts organisation that arranges exhibitions and residencies.[20]

Between 2013 and 2016, local organisers Wayne Courtney and Nathan Wyburn hosted the 'Roath Bake Off'[21] festival in St Andrews United Reformed Church, Roath. In December 2018, they announced that the event would be revived for 2019[22] as part of the campaign to raise funds for the church it was held in.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Roath · Cardiff, UK". Roath · Cardiff, UK. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation". Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Let's move to Roath and Cathays, Cardiff". the Guardian. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Home | Albany Primary School". Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Home | Roath Park Primary School". Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Home | St Peter's R.C. Primary School". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  7. ^ "YMCA Plas". YMCA Cardiff Group. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  8. ^ "Welcome to the Mackintosh Sports Club". Mackintosh Sports Club. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Cardiff and District". Some Place Names in South Wales.
  10. ^ "Roath 150 Years Ago". Roath Local History Society Project Newsletter. Vol. 1, no. 3. December 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  11. ^ a b Newman, John (1995). Glamorgan. The Buildings of Wales. London: Penguin. p. 309.
  12. ^ "James Summers & Son Funeral Directors, Cardiff". Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  13. ^ J. Childs. Roath, Splott and Adamsdown. The History Press 1995.
  14. ^ Quick, M. E. (2002). Railway passenger stations in England, Scotland and Wales – a chronology. Richmond: Railway and Canal Historical Society. p. 364. OCLC 931112387.
  15. ^ "A Roath by any other name would smell just as sweet". Wales Online. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Graham Henry, 'Made in Roath festival returns', South Wales Echo, 14 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  19. ^ "Made in Roath festival celebrates 10 years". The Cardiffian. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  20. ^ "madeinroath – art in the heart of roath". Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  21. ^ 'The Great Roath Bake Off 2013',, 18 February 2013. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  22. ^ 'Roath Bake Off - 2019 announcement', Facebook - Roath Rocks, 13 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  23. ^ "Viscount John Sankey, Lord Chancellor – Roath's top brief". Roath Local History Society. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′28″N 3°09′38″W / 51.49111°N 3.16056°W / 51.49111; -3.16056