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Electoral ward
Cew splott.jpg
Population 13,261 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference ST200767
Principal area
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CARDIFF
Postcode district CF24
Dialling code 029
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
Councillors 3
List of places

Splott (Welsh: Y Sblot) is a district and community in the south of the city of Cardiff, capital of Wales, just east of the city centre. It was built up in the late 19th century on the land of two farms of the same name: Upper Splott and Lower Splott Farms. Splott is characterised by its once vast steelworks and rows of tightly knit terraced houses. The suburb of Splott falls into the Splott electoral ward.

Fanciful suggestions for the origin of the name have included a truncation of "God's Plot", as the land belonged to the Bishop of Llandaff in medieval times, and a derivation of plat, meaning a grassy area of land. The name of the original farms may derive from the Old English splott (speck, blot, patch of land) the source of anglicized place names in the Vale of Glamorgan, Gower, and Pembrokeshire, though a native Welsh derivation seems more likely. It has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[2]

The population of Splott in the United Kingdom Census 2001[3] was 12,074, in 5,101 households of which only 183 are detached homes. Of the 8,221 adults in the area, only 1,000 have the lowest category of qualifications (Level 1 or below).


Splott is a traditional part of the City of Cardiff. Its name refers to the Welsh word for allotments which was the use of the area prior to its conversion to housing. Most of the housing stock is Victorian in origin built during the expansion of the City's iron and steel industry to house workers in these factories.

The early history of Splott is given in the Cardiff Records.[4] This says that "Splott was anciently held by the Bawdrips of Penmark. It consisted mainly of two farms, called the Upper and Lower Splott, situated between Roath Village and the sea."

  • 1440 - the Splott is mentioned as bounding certain lands of Isabel le Despenser, Countess of Worcester and Warwick.
  • 1596 - William Bawdrip of Penmark built a fair house at the Splott and made it his chief residence.
  • 1626 - William Bawdrip of Splott was Member of Parliament for Cardiff. He sold Penmark and Splott to Sir Edward Lewis of the Van.
  • 1638 - Sir Edward Lewis of the Van died.
  • 1740 - the Llandaff Survey of this year mentions a chief rent of four shillings as payable in respect of Splott Farm in Roath.

No residential or industrial development took place in the area, however, until the end of the 19th century. In 1880 the whole area between Cardiff and the Bristol Channel (known as East Moors) was marshland, apart from the farms of Pengam and Splott. Residential development started in the 1880s, constructing streets, houses, shops, taverns and Board Schools; subsequently, Churches were built by various denominations.[5] The streets and housing were laid out by Habershon & Fawckner, architects for the Tredegar Estate.[6] Splott park opened in 1901.[7]

Inevitably there have been many changes in the years since Splott was first developed. Portmanmoor Road is now an industrial estate and its former Victorian era housing was demolished along with adjoining Enid Street, Layard Street, and Menelaus Street which no longer exist.

There is a strong community focus and this is centred on churches, schools, pubs and sporting teams. Roman Catholics remain well catered for through St. Albans and the associated school. This continues to produce rugby teams of all age groups which compete in city leagues. Splott University Settlement was one of the most successful British baseball teams, winning the Welsh League title several times.

Bridgend Street was one of the 17 streets demolished in the early 1970s however to this very day a piece of yesterday is retained virtue of the fact that Bridgend Street Football Club are still successfully in existence. They have emerged through the local leagues and are now proudly flying the flag for Splott in The Welsh Football League playing clubs as far a field as Llanelli and Chepstow Town. The nickname of Bridgend Street is "The Mission" and motto is "Deeds Not Words". The club are famed for their traditional playing colors of red & white stripes and owe a massive debt of gratitude to their oldest serving club member Lollar Marshall for their longevity. Their meeting place and home base is The Fleurs Social Club on Portmanmoor Road which ironically is the only original building left from the demolition.

The Welsh language[edit]

The earliest known example of Welsh-language literature from Splott is a poem by the Elizabethan poet Dafydd Benwyn on the death of William Bawdrip of Splott. It includes the couplet: 'Du yw'r Ysblot dros y blaid, / Diweniaith, da i weiniaid' ('Splott is black for his people, / Without flattery, (he was) good to the weak').[8]

Field names on the early Victorian tithe maps for the parish of Roath suggest that Welsh was widely spoken by the local agricultural community before the growth of urban housing.[9] With the growth of Splott as a suburb of Cardiff English was established as the main language.

The number of Welsh speakers in the area increased when East Moors Steelworks was opened in 1891 with large numbers of workers from the parent plant at Dowlais near Merthyr Tydfil. To meet the religious needs of these Welsh-speaking workers, Welsh-language chapels were opened in the area, including Ainon, Walker Road (1894, Welsh Baptists);[10] Bethlehem, Eyre Stree (1895, Welsh Independents);[11] and Jerusalem, Manon Street/Walker Road (1892, Calvinistic Methodists).[12]

According to the 2011 UK Census the number of Splott residents over three years old who could speak Welsh was 1,077 (8.6%).[13]

Splott has one Welsh-medium primary school, Ysgol Glan Morfa.


Wilson Street, Splott

Popular culture[edit]

Farmville Road, Splott

Splott is featured in the third episode ("Ghost Machine") of the BBC science fiction drama and Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, which is set in Cardiff. It is also mentioned somewhat humorously in other episodes, due to its English pronunciation, which was referred to as "SP-LO-T" but was corrected as "SP-LO". Splott also features in the Torchwood novel Another Life.

Splott and the neighbouring district of Tremorfa are the settings for several works by Welsh playwright Peter Gill.

Because the morning BBC Radio 2 traffic reports are read by the Splott-born Lynn Bowles, many listener contributions to the Terry Wogan and Ken Bruce shows feature (primarily fictitious) anecdotes humorously referring to the district. On 14 December 2009, Wogan was made Lord of Splott live on his radio programme in its final week, by resident and broadcaster Noreen Bray. She invested him on behalf of TAFFS, or Terry's Adoring Fans From Splott.[17]


Splott is an electoral ward and parish of Cardiff, Wales. The electoral ward includes the areas of Pengam Green, Splott and Tremorfa. The ward is bounded by Adamsdown and Penylan to the northwest; Rumney and Trowbridge to the north east; the Severn estuary to the south east and Butetown to the south west.

In the UK Parliament, Splott is part of the constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth. Its most prominent MP was former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan. The current MP is Labour's Stephen Doughty, elected in 2012.

In the Welsh Assembly, Splott is part of the constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth, whose current AM is Labour's Vaughan Gething, elected in 2011. The constituency falls within the electoral region of South Wales Central, whose four current AMs are Conservatives Andrew R. T. Davies and David Melding, Liberal Democrat Eluned Parrott and Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood.

Cardiff districts[edit]

Splott is part of the STAR area of Cardiff (STAR stands for Splott, Tremorfa, Adamsdown and Roath, four inner city suburbs born out of the industrial revolution).[18] The STAR Centre leisure facility is located in Splott, along with Splott Pool. The area is served by Splott Library and Roath Library.

Riverside City centre Adamsdown
Grangetown Butetown Splott
Cardiff Bay Tremorfa

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Parker, Quentin (2010). Welcome to Horneytown, North Carolina, Population: 15: An insider's guide to 201 of the world's weirdest and wildest places. Adams Media. pp. xii. 
  3. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics - Area: Splott Community (Parish)". National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  4. ^ Matthews, John Hobson (1900). Cardiff Records, being Materials for a History of the County Borough from the Earliest Times (Vol 2). Archived from the original on May 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-03. 
  5. ^ Fr. Graham Venn (2006). "History". St. Alban's Parish Cardiff. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-06-04. 
  6. ^ Newman, John (1995), The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan, Penguin Books, p. 311, ISBN 0-14-071056-6 
  7. ^ Tim Lambert (2001-6). "A Short History of Cardiff, Wales". Local and National Histories. Retrieved 2006-06-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Dafydd H. Evans, 'The Life and Work of Dafydd Benwyn' (DPhil Thesis, Pxford University, 1982).
  9. ^ Roath Tithe Map.
  10. ^ G. Sorton Davies, These Forty Years: A History of Ainon Baptist Church, Splott, Cardiff, 1889-1929 (Cardiff, 1929).
  11. ^ J. Austin Jenkins ac R. Edwards James, The History of Nonconformity in Cardiff (Cardiff, 1901), t. 92.
  12. ^ J. Austin Jenkins ac R. Edwards James, The History of Nonconformity in Cardiff (Cardiff, 1901), t. 92
  13. ^ 'Welsh Language Commissioner: 2011 Census results by Community.
  14. ^ BBC Wales south east (2005/6). "Hall of Fame - John Humphrys - journalist and broadcaster". BBC - South East Wales. Retrieved 2006-03-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ BBC Wales south east (2005/6). "Hall of Fame - Shirley Bassey - superstar singer from Cardiff's Tiger Bay". BBC - South East Wales. Retrieved 2006-03-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ Wales Rugby League (2004). "Clive Sullivan [1961-1984]". Wales Rugby League Welsh Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-04-15. 
  17. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/12/12/city-honour-for-sir-terry-wogan-lord-of-splott-91466-25373916/
  18. ^ Jennie Savage. "STAR radio". Archived from the original on 2006-01-13. Retrieved 2006-04-15. 

External links[edit]

Splott today

History of Splott

Coordinates: 51°29′01″N 3°09′13″W / 51.48357°N 3.15349°W / 51.48357; -3.15349