Cardiff History


The history of Cardiff spans at least 6,000 years. The area around Cardiff has been inhabited by modern humans since the Neolithic Period. The Roman army invaded Great Britain in May 43 CE. The area to the south east of the —between modern day Lincoln and Exeter—was under Roman control by 47 CE. British tribes from beyond this new frontier of the Roman Empire resisted the Roman advance and the Silures, along with Caratacus , attacked the Romans in 47 and 48 CE.

Excavations from inside Cardiff Castle walls suggest Roman legions arrived in the area as early as the 54–68 CE during the reign of the Emperor Nero They then established their first fort.In 850 the Vikings attacked the Welsh coast and used Cardiff as a base and later as a port. In 1091, Robert Fitzhamon began work on the castle keep within the walls of the old Roman fort. Cardiff Castle has been at the heart of the city ever since.

Between 1158 and 1316 Cardiff was attacked on several occasions. In 1404, Owain Glyndwr burned Cardiff and took Cardiff Castle.As the town was still very small, most of the buildings were made of wood and the town was reduced to ashes. However, the town was rebuilt not long after and began to flourish once again.

During the Second English Civil War, St. Fagans just to the west of the town, played host to the Battle of St Fagans. The battle, between a Royalist rebellion and a New Model Army detachment, was a decisive victory for the Parliamentarians and allowed Oliver Cromwell to conquer Wales.