Pontcanna (Welsh for pont bridge + Canna) is a district and
community in the city of Cardiff, Wales. It is located a short
distance to the west of the city centre, and its borders are
approximately indicated by Western Avenue, the River Taff, Cowbridge
Llandaff Road and
3 Parks and leisure facilities
Pontcanna is an area of wide tree-lined streets and large houses. It
is a relatively wealthy area with numerous cafes and independent
retailers centred on
Pontcanna Street and Cathedral Road. There is
both a large English-born population (roughly 25%) and a smaller
Welsh-speaking population (roughly 20%). The area was formerly home
to the television studios of TWW, Teledu Cymru, HTV and S4C's
headquarters; the BBC's Broadcasting House is still nearby in
Many of the larger villas (particularly on Cathedral Road) have been
converted into flats, guest houses or business premises. Located on
the edge of
Cardiff city centre,
Pontcanna gives easy access to the
centre for professionals, as well as access via the Gabalfa
Interchange to the A48(M) motorway.
Pontcanna stems from Pont Canna Farm, which in turn was named
after a bridge across the Whitehouse Brook, a one-time tributary of
River Taff which ran between
Llandaff Fields and Riverside. The
bridge is believed to have stood near the junction of what, today, are
Teilo Street and Cathedral Road. The bridge was removed (and the brook
covered up) in 1896.
Saint Canna is said to have been a 6th-century
saint, although there is little early evidence of her existence.
What is nowadays
Pontcanna was almost completely open farmland until
the late nineteenth century. The main route, Cathedral Road, was
previously known as
Pontcanna Lane, running between Plasturton Farm in
the south and
Pontcanna Farm to the north. In 1854 Sophia, widow of
the 2nd Marquess of Bute began to finance the creation of a 41-acre
garden on the site of Plasturton Farm, next to the
River Taff and
Cardiff Bridge. This is now a public amenity known as Sophia
Gardens and was a catalyst for the development of Pontcanna.
Between 1885 and 1900 the large villas along
Cathedral Road were
constructed.:55 Plasturton Avenue and Plasturton Gardens were then
added at the turn of the twentieth century.:64
A large synagogue, designed by Delissa Joseph of London, was
constructed and opened at the south end of
Cathedral Road in
1896-7.:279 After Cardiff's Jewish community had largely moved to
the suburbs, it was closed in 1989.:63 It has been converted into
A chapel belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Wales, designed by
Edgar G.C. Down of Cardiff, was built at the north end of Cathedral
Road in 1903. It has since ceased to be a chapel and has been
subdivided into office accommodation.:278
In 1951 the
Sophia Gardens Pavilion was opened. This was a major
entertainment venue for the city, hosting top stars such as Danny Kaye
and Tommy Steele. In 1982 the roof collapsed after a heavy snow storm
and the Pavilion was closed.:111
Some of the large villas along
Cathedral Road have been replaced by
modern office buildings. For example, No.8
Cathedral Road was rebuilt
in the 1970s to create offices for Alex Gordon & Partners,:282
architects of Transport House (see below).
Transport House, prominently located at the south end of Cathedral
Road, was designed by the Alex Gordon Partnership and opened in 1978.
It is 5 storeys in height, constructed using pre-cast concrete
panels.:281 It is headquarters for the
Wales TUC and other trade
Parks and leisure facilities
Sophia Gardens and
Pontcanna Fields form a large strip of parkland
Pontcanna and the River Taff.
Pontcanna Fields were acquired
Cardiff Council from the 5th Marquis of Bute in 1947. The
parkland includes the
Cardiff City Riding School, football pitches and
Plasturton Gardens is a small public park between Plasturton Avenue
and Plasturton Place.
SWALEC Stadium (home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club) and the
Sport Wales National Centre
Sport Wales National Centre are located on Sophia Close, just north of
Sophia Gardens park.
Pontcanna is part of the
Cardiff electoral ward of Riverside, and in
Cardiff West UK parliamentary constituency.
Pontcanna became a local government community in its own
right, having previously been part of the Riverside community.
However, it doesn't have a community council.
^ The exact boundaries are noted on
Cardiff Council's My Map website.
Cardiff Council, 'Ask Cardiff: Facts and Stats - Riverside (Census
2011 Lower Tier Super Output Areas 04, 05, 06 and 07)'; accessed 17
^ a b The suburbs of Riverside and
^ a b c d e Jones, Bryan "Canton" The Chalfont Publishing Company
^ a b c d Newman, J., The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan University of
Wales Press (1995)
Cardiff Council website '
Pontcanna Fields (including Sophia
Gardens)' Last revised 1 November 2010 (Retrieved 2011-09-25)
^ Ruth Mosalski (23 March 2015) "No longer will housebuyers be able to
mock estate agents...
Pontcanna is set to be one of four city 'areas'
given official status", Wales Online. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
^ The City and County of
Cardiff (Communities) Order – 2016 No. 1155
(W. 277) (PDF). Welsh Statutory Instruments. 2016.
City of Cardiff
Culture and recreation
Economy and industry
Landmarks and visitor attractions
Radyr and Morganstown
Principal areas of Wales
Coordinates: 51°29′26″N 3°12′08″W / 51.49056°N