Lisvane (Welsh: Llys-faen) is an affluent community in the north of
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of
the city centre.
Lisvane is generally considered to be one of the
wealthiest residential areas of Wales, with an average house price
£410,000 as of 2011, with many properties worth in excess of
Lisvane has 3,319 residents, and comprises
approximately 1,700 dwellings, a local village shop, a primary school,
a community cabin library, a park, a nursery, a parish church, a
public house, a war memorial, a Scout hall and community or village
1.1 Early history
1.2 The Tŷ Mawr
Lisvane and the Cold War
2.1 Community Council
2.3 Welsh Assembly
3.1 Geological structure
3.2 M4 motorway
3.3 The Graig
8 Religious sites
9 Sports and recreation
10 Public services and village facilities
11 Notable people with
12 See also
14 External links
Welsh language name Llys-faen means 'Stone Court' (llys – court
and faen/maen – stone). There have been several alternative
spellings in the English language over the centuries such as:
Lysvayen, Lucyvene, Llisuine, Lyssefayn, Lysfayn, Lucyvine, Lucyvenye,
Lucyveny, Leysvayen, Les Ffayne, Lliffeni. The village probably
settled on the present name from around 1630.
Each early Welsh kingdom was divided into lesser administrative units,
Cantrefs, which were further subdivided into Cymydau (commotes). In
each commote the royal taxation house was a large building made almost
certainly of stone because it had to be permanent, weather proof and
thief proof. The commote of Cibbwr/Kibbor was on land between Cefn Onn
ridge and the coast and most historians agree that Llys-faen was its
administrative centre, however
Roath has also staked a claim. There is
now no indication of the actual whereabouts of the Llys Faen or Stone
Court, although various theories have been advanced.
The earthworks at Graig Llwyn is held to be the oldest artificial
feature in Lisvane, proposed by several archaeologists to be the
remains of an
Iron Age stronghold. No definite date or purpose can yet
be confirmed for this earthwork.
At the start of the 13th century the parish lands of
Lisvane had been divided into Norman manors that were expected to
provide food for the castle garrisoned at Cardiff. The southern facing
slopes of the ridge above
Lisvane with their rich agricultural land
soon became the grain growing area for the supplies which were
Roath Mill for processing.
There is a persisting local oral legend that the Cromwell family once
lived briefly in the Black Griffin Inn, and also that Oliver Cromwell
stayed there prior to the
Battle of St Fagans in May 1648. There is no
evidence to support this, though Cromwell must have lodged somewhere,
but it is more likely that the Inn's only Cromwellian association is
with soldiers of Cromwell's Model army. Cromwell was, however, of
Welsh ancestry (his real name was Williams) and his great-grandfather
came from this area.
The Tŷ Mawr
The farmhouse, on the Graig slope overlooking the village, was
included in the estate of the Lewis family. In 1900 part of the estate
was let to
Lisvane Golf Club, who established a 9-hole course there
but two years later, the club moved to Radyr, taking the clubhouse
with them. From just after the Second World War, the fox hounds of the
Lisvane Hunt were kennelled at Tŷ Mawr until it became a public
house in the 1960s.
Lisvane Hunt had several homes over the years with
the hunts most latterly setting off from Llan Farm on Graig Llwyn
Road. The village hunt disbanded around 1997 on the death of the then
There is a local tradition that for a period during the 1800s,
Rudry Road, was also a pub or beer house, possibly called
the Red Cow, although no documentary proof has been found.
Unlike the Norman parish church of St Denys that has stood for over
seven hundred years, the first
Baptist Chapel in
Lisvane was built in
1789 on Chapel Road, now renamed
Rudry Road, and only stood for less
than thirty years until it had to be rebuilt during 1818. Less than
forty years later the foundations of the second church were becoming
unsafe and a third chapel was constructed, but by 1910 further
renovations and repairs were necessary as it had become dilapidated.
Just a hundred years later the
Methodist congregation no longer
supports a separate chapel building and now holds its weekly services
in the Memorial Hall.
Lisvane and the Cold War
A few yards away from the Ordnance Survey's triangulation point on the
Graig stands Lisvane's only
Cold War nuclear bunker. During World War
Royal Observer Corps
Royal Observer Corps (ROC) observation post stood on the Graig
with its clear views over the village and the city of Cardiff. The
volunteer ROC observers spotted many German
approaching across the channel and activated the air raid warnings in
Cardiff area. In early 1966 a protected nuclear fallout shelter
(or bunker) was completed on the site for the ROC (OS Grid Ref: ST
1898 8508), who by the 1960s had switched from above ground aircraft
spotting to underground operations with instruments to detect nuclear
explosions and warn the public of approaching radioactive fallout in
the event of nuclear war.
The only time post members had been mobilised and volunteers spent
nearly ten days underground was during the
Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis as the
government prepared the country for potential outbreak of war. The
Lisvane nuclear bunker was abandoned by the ROC in 1991 when the Corps
itself was disbanded with the end of the
Cold War and as a result of
recommendations in the governments
Options for Change review of UK
Lisvane nuclear bunker still exists but it was purchased
by a mobile phone communications company who built a radio mast inside
the fenced compound and sited some of their equipment in the
Lisvane electoral ward in Cardiff
The village has an elected community council with ten elected members.
It is represented by Conservatives on the city council.
The ward of
Lisvane elects a single councillor to
currently[when?] this is David Walker (Conservative). Before 1999,
Lisvane was, with
Old St Mellons
Old St Mellons and Pontprennau, part of the ward of
Lisvane and Old St Mellons, which elected a single councillor to
Cardiff Council. In 1995,
Lisvane and Old St. Mellons was the only
Cardiff to elect a Conservative councillor. By 1999, the
Pontprennau led to the establishment of a separate ward of
Pontprennau and Old St. Mellons, which elects two councillors, and
Lisvane became a ward on its own.
The ward is bounded by those of
Caerphilly county borough to the
Pontprennau & Old St. Mellons to the east; Pentwyn to the
Cyncoed to the south; and
Rhiwbina to the
Grade II listed buildings (Carn Ingli (left) and Cerrig Llwyd (right))
Welsh Assembly representative for
Cardiff North is
Welsh Labour AM
The electoral ward of
Lisvane falls within the parliamentary
Cardiff North, which has been represented since 2017
Anna McMorrin (Labour).
Part of Parc Cefn Onn Country Park, Lisvane
The surrounding soils are mostly a strong, brown, dry earth, well
adapted for arable farming and the growing of grains of all kinds that
contributed to the area being a mostly farming community until the
modern era. Soils were further enriched over the millennia by alluvial
deposits from the meandering River Taff and other smaller tributaries.
The substratum under the whole area is a limestone and lime shale that
was likely laid down under a warm ocean at some stage in the distant
past and subsequently ground down by glaciers during the last Ice Age
around 18,000 years ago.
The neighbouring suburbs are
Llanishen to the south, Thornhill to the
west and Lisvane's effective northern border is the M4 motorway. The
M4 corridor around
Cardiff was announced in 1971 as a replacement for
a northern link road that had been on the statutes since 1947 but
never built. The northern '
Lisvane route' for the M4 was eventually
chosen after a number of public enquiries and objections from village
residents. The new motorway was completed and opened in July 1980.
The Graig is situated north of Lisvane. It borders on Caerphilly.
There is also a quarry near the Graig which is now abandoned. The
Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk
Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Walk runs along the top of the Graig, and has
some very good walks and mountain biking routes. Particular favourites
for locals include routes to the east to
Rudry and the Maenllwyd Inn,
and to the west to
Caerphilly mountain, The Travellers Rest, and
further on to Tongwynlais,
Castell Coch and the Taff Trail.
United Kingdom Census 2011 demographically showed that the total
Lisvane was 3,707. The average age was 44.6 years old
and 69% of the adult population were married.
Of the 3,707 total, children under the age of 19 accounted for 864 and
people over the age of sixty five totalled 866.
1,515 were in full-time employment, and 188 of those worked
exclusively from home. Of those that travelled to their place of
employment 1,090 drove by private car, 74 travelled by train and 43 by
bus, 34 walked, 9 cycled and 77 travelled as passengers in other
The white population accounted for 92.6% of the residents and of the
remainder 4.2% were Asian, 0.5% Chinese, 1.5% were of mixed race and
0.2% were Black.
There are little in the way of major employers in the village. The
area still has a predominantly farming economy. Some local employment
is provided by the service industries of the shops and public houses.
The general affluence in the village is mainly drawn from employment
in the commerce and industry centre of the capital city. An increasing
number of employees are working from home via high speed internet
links and telephone.
Following improvements in the road and rail infrastructure some
Lisvane residents commute daily to work in Bristol and London.
Cefn Onn Country Park
The war memorial
St Denys Church
Graig Llwyn earthworks
The Graig Mountain
Lisvane (CAC) Tennis Club
Corpus Christi High School is the only secondary school located within
Lisvane, just on its boundary with the ward of Cyncoed. However,
school age residents fall into the catchment area for
School in the ward of Llanishen, which is more accessible.
Llysfaen Primary School serves the local population of 4–11-year
St. Denys Church
Lisvane has two active churches that meet for a range of weekly
services in the village:
Originally built in the 12th century and remodelled several times
since, St Denys' Church is an
Anglican church which holds both
traditional liturgical and modern services. The congregation meets in
the Listed Church Building, which is notable for the imposing and
unusual tower with a pitched roof but lacking the normal Norman
castellations, located just opposite the Black Griffin pub in the
centre of the village.
Baptist church meets in the Memorial Hall on Heol-y-Delyn
Howell Harris, one of the most famous pioneer
ministers, preached regularly during meetings held at several private
Lisvane between 1766 and 1769, just before his death.
Sports and recreation
Cricket club was formed in 1979. The club is now based at
Llwynarthen in nearby St Mellons. They run 5 adult sides, with the 1st
XI playing in the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire
Cricket League Division
2, as well as running youth sides from Under 9 to Under 15.
Lisvane Panthers Junior Football Club fields sides in the under 8 Mini
league, the Juniors at 11 – under16 and an over 16 youth team.
Lisvane Panthers Football Club, home ground
Cardiff University pitches
in Llanrumney, entered the Lazarou League in 2011. The team won three
league and cup doubles (Division 4 in 2012, Division 3 in 2013,
Division 2 in 2014) as well as reaching consecutive Lazarou Cup finals
in 2013 and 2014.
Lisvane (CAC) Tennis Club
Lisvane (CAC) Tennis Club is located just north of
Thornhill railway station and is the tennis section of the Cardiff
The nearest rugby union team is in nearby Llanishen.
Public services and village facilities
Lisvane and Thornhill station
The area is served by
Lisvane and Thornhill railway station
Lisvane and Thornhill railway station with
services northbound to Rhymney and southbound to
Cardiff Central via
Cardiff Queen Street.
Cardiff Bus operates services 27 (Thornhill/Birchgrove/Heath/Cathays),
28 (Llanishen/Roath),) and 86 (Llanishen/Heath/Gabalfa/Cathays) from
Cardiff central bus station through the area.
There are two pubs in Lisvane; the Ty Mawr and the Black Griffin,
named after the Tredegar House Morgan family's arms that featured a
gryphon, sable, segreant, and only recently returned to its
traditional name having been called simply The Griffin for many years.
There is a third pub called The Old Cottage just across the railway
line that divides Thornhill and Lisvane.
A kilometre from the centre of the village is Parc Cefn Onn or Cefn
Country Park an extensive mixed species arboretum, with lakes and
woodland walks. The park was laid out around ninety years ago and
planted by the railway manager who lived in a large estate near Cefn
Onn Halt, at the time Lisvane's tiny "request only" and underused
railway station, which closed in 1985 when it was replaced by the
current modern railway station closer to the village. Cefn Onn Halt
stood a hundred metres away from the railway tunnel that vanishes
Llanishen Golf Club and
Notable people with
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Dave Edmunds, musician and record producer, lived in the village in
the 1970s and early 1980s.
Wynne Evans, (opera singer), lives in Lllanishen.
Rhys Griffiths, footballer, former resident of Lisvane.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, footballer, lived in
Lisvane during his time
Cardiff City FC during 2007/08.
Alun Hoddinott, composer, lived in
Lisvane until his death in 2008.
Julian Hodge (1904–2004), founder of the Bank of
Wales and the
Jane Hodge Foundation. Owned a mansion in Lisvane; however, later
Bernard Knight CBE, Professor of Forensic Pathology and historical
crime writer, lives in Lisvane.
Joe Jacobson, footballer, former resident of Lisvane.
Gwilym Jones, Member of Parliament and Under Secretary of State for
Wales, 1992–1997, lives in Lisvane.
Andrew Moore, rugby union player, lives in Lisvane.
Robert Rogers, Baron Lisvane, Clerk of the House of Commons, 2011-14.
John Tabatabai, poker player, previously lived in Lisvane.
Nigel Walker, athlete rugby union player, now Head of Internal
Communications at BBC Wales, lives in Lisvane.
Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor of Applied Mathematics and
Astronomy, lives in Lisvane.
Mark Williams, snooker player, lived in
Lisvane in the early 2000s.
Lisvane Community Council Website
^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
^ "Lisvane's home values". Zoopla. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
^ Office for National Statistics : Neighbourhood
Statistics : Census 2001 : Cardiff
^ History of St Denys
^ St Denys Church Website
Baptist Church Website Archived 11 March 2008 at the Wayback
Cricket Club Website
Lisvane Panthers Junior Football Club Website
www.geograph.co.uk : photos of
Lisvane and surrounding area
Friends of Parc Cefn Onn
City of Cardiff
Culture and recreation
Economy and industry
Landmarks and visitor attractions
Radyr and Morganstown
Principal areas of Wales
Communities of Cardiff
Radyr and Morganstown
Old St Mellons
Politics and Government in Cardiff
Creigiau & St Fagans
Pontprennau & Old St Mellons
Radyr & Morganstown
Whitchurch & Tongwynlais
National Assembly for Wales
Constituencies and AMs
Cardiff Central (Jenny Rathbone
Cardiff North (Julie Morgan
Cardiff West (Mark Drakeford
Cardiff South and Penarth (Vaughan Gething
Wales Central (Gareth Bennett -
Andrew RT Davies
Andrew RT Davies -
Neil McEvoy -
Devolved Administration in Wales
Institutions and Venues
National Assembly for
Crown Building (
House of Commons
Constituencies and MPs
Cardiff Central (Jo Stevens
Cardiff North (Anna McMorrin
Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan
Cardiff South and Penarth (Stephen Doughty
Constituencies and MEPs
Wales (Jill Evans
Police and crime commissioner
Wales (Alun Michael
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