|Welsh: Yr Eglwys Newydd|
Whitchurch shown within Cardiff
|Population||16,138 (ward 2011)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Cardiff North|
|Welsh Assembly||Cardiff North|
Whitchurch (Welsh Yr Eglwys Newydd eglwys church + newydd new) is a suburb and community in the north of Cardiff, capital of Wales. It is approximately 3 miles north of the centre of the city on the A470 road and A4054 road. Its estimated population as of 2004 was 15,649. It falls within the Whitchurch & Tongwynlais ward.
Whitchurch draws its name from White Church. The first mention of the area was in 1126 when the land was granted to Llandaff Cathedral and a chapel was built where Old Church Road now stands. It remained a dependency of the cathedral until 1845 when it became a separate parish.
After much resistance to the Norman conquest of England, the area succumbed to the Normans in 1266 who created the manor of Whitchurch which included Llandaff North and Rhiwbina, and who built Castell Coch to protect the approach to Cardiff in Tongwynlais. The castle became a ruin by the 16th century, possibly attacked by Owain Glyndŵr.
Until the early 18th century there were no more than around 300 people living in about 50 farms and cottages in Whitchurch, but by the end of the 19th century, this had risen to nearly 5,000.
An education report of 1847 reported that 8% of Whitchurch's children attended school. In 1854, the area's first national school was built, charging 2d a week. Whitchurch High School opened in 1937.
In the 19th century, the Bute family assumed responsibility of Whitchurch Common. Their attempt to produce wine on the slopes below Castell Coch was short-lived, bottling 40 gallons in 1887.
The modern Cardiff Mental Hospital, later Whitchurch Hospital, opened in 1908 accommodating 750 patients and quickly gaining a national reputation for its research.
In 1898 and 1922, parts of Whitchurch were absorbed into Cardiff, becoming amalgamated as a suburb of the City of Cardiff in 1967.
Between 1951 and 1961, the population of the parish rose from 19,827 to 27,325.
Melingriffith Tin Works
Built in 1749, the Melingriffith Tin Plate Works in north Whitchurch, on the bank of the River Taff opposite Radyr, was built on or near the site of an old corn mill that had operated as far back as the late 12th century. Melingriffith was the largest working tin factory in the UK, until the much later construction of the Treforrest Tin Works.
The tin mills were powered exclusively by water drawn from the River Taff down the Melingriffith feeder stream, a water course that doubled as a canal that carried raw iron ore from the Pentyrch Iron Works until around 1815, when the Pentrych tramroad was completed. The tramroad crossed the River Taff over the Iron Bridge. The feeder’s lock was permanently closed in 1871 when it was bridged over, but traces of it still remain.
The tin works closed in 1957, and today the only signs that the works ever existed at all are the mostly dry bed of the original Melingriffith feeder stream that still runs down from the River Taff from just above the Radyr weir, and the recently restored water pump standing opposite Oak Cottage. The works site itself has been completely cleared, and is now a modern housing estate.
The Melingriffith feeder stream made its way to the original Glamorganshire Canal, where they ran in parallel through the tin works and out the other side at Melingriffith Lock. Where they had come together north of the tin works, any overflow from the canal was originally designed to empty into the feeder. This point is now at the southern end of the Glamorganshire Canal Local Nature Reserve and all the water from the canal runs into the feeder before disappearing into a piped water course that passes under the modern housing estate.
At the southern end of the housing estate, the feeder re-emerges at the point where the Melingriffith water pump stands, the pump originally designed to pump water from the feeder into the Canal at Melingriffith Lock. Today, the Glamorganshire Canal has been almost totally overbuilt. Ty Mawr Road has replaced the route of the canal from Melingriffith all the way to Whitchurch.
With the expansion of Cardiff in the 20th century, Whitchurch is no longer a separate village; although residents, old and new, refer commonly to "The Village" in preference to acknowledging its suburban status. The modern suburb contains a number of schools, a shopping centre, Whitchurch Library, Whitchurch Hospital, a psychiatric hospital originally built in the Edwardian era. In addition, adjacent to Whitchurch Hospital is Velindre Hospital, a major cancer hospital in Wales.
The national office of the Presbyterian Church of Wales is located at the Tabernacle Church, Whitchurch.
The Conservative Party in Wales formerly had its headquarters at Penlline Road, Whitchurch. It is now home to local hero and pillar of the community Baron Von Bowkett.
Whitchurch also boasts its very own award-winning community magazine, which was launched in December 2008. 'Whitchurch and Llandaff Living' has a distribution of 6000 copies across Whitchurch, Llandaff North and Llandaff and is published bimonthly.
There are currently three schools located in the suburb of Whitchurch, Cardiff.
Whitchurch High School, the largest comprehensive school in Wales with around 2400 pupils and located on Penlline Road.
Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd, a very successful two form entry Welsh-medium primary school located on Glan-Y-Nant Road. The current Headteacher is Mr Illtyd James and under his leadership the school received a superb Estyn inspection report in 2015 and is categorised as a Green school by Welsh Government. The school's motto is 'Cofia ddysgu byw...'
Whitchurch Primary School located on Erw Las, is the largest primary school in Wales with over 700 pupils from 3–11 years on roll. The school opened its doors in September 2012 following the closure of Eglwys Newydd Primary School and Eglwys Wen Primary School. The school was officially opened by international footballer and former pupil Gareth Bale and its motto is 'Work together, play together, succeed together'. Whitchurch Primary School received a glowing Estyn inspection report in early 2015 and is also placed in the high performing Green support category by Welsh Government.
Whitchurch Golf Club was established in July 1914.
Whitchurch lies between two urban rail line on the Valley Lines network. The Merthyr Line runs through neighbouring Llandaff North stopping at Llandaf railway station, near Whitchurch. Trains run between the Cardiff Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan via Cardiff city centre. Whitchurch (Cardiff) railway station is located on the Coryton Line where trains run between Coryton and Radyr via the city centre.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Schooling in North Cardiff: A brief history". Living Magazines, Cardiff. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- Morgan, Dennis (2003). The Illustrated History of Cardiff's Suburbs. Derby: Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 1-85983-354-3.
- Meligriffith Tin Works
- Whitchurch and Llandaff Living