Grangetown essentials

Facilities & Services: hospital, police & schools

Nearest Hospital

University Hospital Llandough

Location: Penlan Road , Penarth , CF64 2XX
7 min via Penarth Rd

Heath Hospital

Location: Heath Park , Cardiff , CF14 4XW
The nearest A&E is also the nearest 24-hour hospital, at the University Hospital of Wales, also called 'the Heath' 13 min via North Rd

Local Police Station

Cardiff Bay Police Station

Location: James Street , Cardiff , CF10 5EW
4 min via Corporation Rd

Cardiff Central Police Station

Location: King Edward VII Ave , Cathay’s Park , Cardiff , CF10 3NN
9 min via Clare Rd

Schools

Grangetown Nursery School

Location: Avondale Road , Cardiff , CF11 7DT
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 3 min

Grangetown Primary School

Location: Bromsgrove Street , Cardiff , CF11 7XS
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 4 min

St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Location: Lucknow St , Cardiff , CF11 6NA
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 1 min

Ninian Park Primary School

Location: Virgil Street , (Leckwith/Canton area) , Cardiff , CF118TF
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 5 min

St. Paul's Church in Wales Primary School

Location: Oakley Place , Grangetown , Cardiff , CF11 7EU
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 4 min

Fitzalan High School

Location: Lawrenny Avenue , (Canton & Leckwith) , Cardiff , CF11 8XB
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 5 min

Cantonian High School

Location: Fairwater Road , Fairwater , Cardiff , CF5 3JR
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 11 min

Ysgol Gymraeg Treganna - Welsh language primary school

Location: Radnor Road , Cardiff , CF5 1RB
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 6 min

Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch

Location: Lawrenny Avenue , Leckwith , Cardiff , CF11 8BR
From the middle of Penarth Road: Drive Time: 5 min

Getting around Grangetown

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Aquabus

Aquabus provides an hourly waterbus service travelling from Mermaid Quay to Cardiff Castle via Penarth.

Bus

Cardiff Bus operates the following services in the Grangetown area: Cardiff Bus Routes 1 & 2 Cardiff Bus Route 8 Cardiff Bus Route 9 Cardiff Bus Route 9A Cardiff Bus Route 9B Cardiff Bus Routes 92 & 93

Rail - Grangetown railway station

Grangetown railway station, on the Vale of Glamorgan commuter line between Cardiff, Barry and Bridgend, is an unmanned station and does not have indoor waiting areas. There are ramps for disable access, and step access is from the road below the station.

Major Road links

The A4160 linking Cardiff and Penarth runs through Grangetown (and is famous for its many car dealerships). J33 of the M4, connecting Swansea to London, can be accessed by the A4232.

What's on in Grangetown

IKEA Wales

Location: Ferry Rd , Cardiff , CF11 0JR
Yes, Grangetown is home to the one and only Welsh IKEA. Supplying fixtures, fittings and flat-pack furniture since 2003, the site sees millions of visitors a year. We’re particular fans of their meatballs and lingonberry sauce - yum.

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Grangetown Library

Location: Havelock Place , Grangetown , Cardiff , CF11 6PA
Located on Havelock Place, Grangetown Library runs English- and Welsh-language children’s reading groups, as well as stocking a large number of books and films in the Asian languages spoken by the local community.

The Channel View Centre

Location: Jim Driscoll Way , Grangetown , Cardiff , CF11 7HB
The International Sports village is round the corner, but if you’re looking for somewhere closer or different, you may want to see what the Channel View Centre has to offer. The Channel View Centre depends on the Cardiff Council, which means fairs are more than decent, that’s a nice incentive to get moving! The Centre offers badmington courts, a fitness suite, a dance studio, a climbing wall, among other things. There are loads of things on the programme, from aerobics to yoga. If you want to try TRX or the famous kettleballs in Cardiff Bay, you can also do it there!

Cardiff International Pool

Location: Olympian Drive , Cardiff , CF11 0JS
Located on Olympian Drive, the state-of-the-art complex includes a ten-lane competition pool, a leisure pool, flume rides, waterslides and a gym. For relaxation, there’s a sauna and a steam room in the spa - and if you’re feeling confident in the Cardiff weather, there’s also an optimistic sun-terrace!

Cardiff Ice Arena

Location: Empire Way , Cardiff , CF11 0SP
Part of the 'Planet Ice' group of arenas and home to the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, the arena runs skating sessions for children of all ages and offers birthday parties and disco sessions.

Eat in Grangetown

Inma’s deli

Location: 152 Penarth Rd , Cardiff , CF11 6NJ
For the best baguettes in Grangetown

Yangs

Location: 189 Penarth Road , Cardiff , CF11 6FR
For quality Chinese food

The Cornwall pub

Location: Cornwall Street , Cardiff , CF11 6SR
It has a great atmosphere, especially on match days. Currently ranked the fifth most popular pub on the Cardiff Pubs website, the Cornwall shares a sporting appeal, but with a naval twist. Named after the HMS Cornwall, it has been featured in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide.

Merola’s

Location: 181 Clare Road , Cardiff , CF11 6QS
Merola's is a Grangetown institution - always a warm welcome and great Italian food.

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The Neville

Location: 52 Clare Road , Grangetown , Cardiff , CF11 6RS
Proud to be “a City fans’ pub”, the Neville was recently refurbished to include a large mural tribute to CardiffCity on one wall. Built in 1889, the modern finish and locality to Cardiff’s stadiums mean that the pub is known for its sport-loving, young clientele - and the occasional live music night.

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The Grange

Location: 134 Penarth Road , Grangetown , Cardiff , CF11 6NJ
If you like the sound of a pub with its own football team, the Grange might just be for you. The Grange Celts’ successes are displayed in their trophy cabinet. With a free carpark and a lawn garden at the rear, what’s not to like? Keep out of the cellars, though - they’re said to be haunted by a previous landlord’s ghost!

Grangetown here we come

Grangetown offers a great location, affordable housing, and that rare thing – a sense of community. Words by Christian Amodeo.

Grangetown Green

When speaking to Grangetownians, there’s often a clear sense of pride in their community Bustling, cosmopolitan, perhaps a little dog-eared, Grangetown is the epitome of inner city Cardiff.

“When I think of Grangetown, the words ‘diversity’, ‘up-and-coming’ and ‘home’ spring to mind,” says Mary Unwin, a mortgage advisor who has lived in Grangetown with her partner and their daughter for the past ten years.

“I chose to live in ‘G-Town’ because the homes are mostly lovely Victorian terraced houses with period features that would go for loads more money were they in Pontcanna or Roath. Plus it’s only a ten-minute walk to town or the Bay, and we’ve got nice parks and a leisure centre. I’m also proud to say that local legend Ninjah lives on my road.”

Chrysti Read, a CPS Homes property advisor, confirms this. “The standard of housing in Grangetown very good,” she says. “There are four schools and four fantastic parks in Grangetown, making it very family-friendly. That said, it’s not just young families finding the attraction of the traditional Victorian buildings and lower prices attractive – there has been a notable uptake of Welsh-speaking professionals to the area, both in rentals and first-time buyers.”

Greener Grangetown

Green spaces may not immediately spring to mind when you think of Grangetown, but it certainly has some lovely parks – there’s formal Grange Gardens with fitness equipment and what was Cardiff’s first bandstand, Sevenoaks Park and its amazing graffiti wall, new yet wild Grangemoor Park, and, of course, The Marle.

It’s going to get even greener too. Greener Grangetown, the first scheme of its kind in the UK, will “transform the urban landscape” says Cardiff Council, which is working with Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales on this £2 million project to better manage the area’s rainwater.

Rather than pump rainwater into the sea six miles away, the scheme will catch, clean and divert rainwater into the River Taff by introducing ways to limit runoff: more trees, grass channels, planters and ‘rain gardens’ will soften Grangetown’s hard edges. Till the end of 2015, at least, this scheme remains in the pipeline.

Grangetown Taff River

A bit of a reputation

Grangetown may sometimes be blighted, but it’s more often unjustly slighted. “Unfortunately, Grangetown has a bit of reputation that can put some people off before they see the fantastic properties,” says Chrysti Read. “Along Corporation Road, Taff Embankment and the neighbouring roads, there are rows and rows of beautiful Victorian houses situated along the river. And just look at the apartments in Jim Driscoll Way – they have stunning water views.”

Locals too are miffed by its rep. “I do get annoyed when the name is trashed,” says Steve Duffy, a journalist and active member Grangetown Community Action and the area’s historical society. “Grangetown is a defined community. There are people whose families have been living here for four generations. There’s always been a mix of old and new.”

A local voluntary group, Grangetown Community Action, arranges projects to improve the area, organises the annual Grangetown Festival, and runs a newspaper and website (grangetown.wales).

“It’s safer to walk the streets here than it was perhaps 100 years ago,” says Steve. “Sure, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but there’s a heart and a certain soul to it. I’ve been here more than 20 years – that makes me almost a local now.”

The only house for miles

The first locals, way back in the early 13th century when this area to the southwest of Cardiff was all green space, were penitent drunken monks. According to the story, they had been banished from Margam Abbey near Port Talbot for drinking and gambling, and as punishment sent to establish a grange to farm.

The farmstead, known then as More Grange, still exists today – you may have spotted the incongruous whitewashed ancient stonewalls of the Grade II listed house tucked away off Clive Street on its adopted Stockland Street.

After the Cistercian monks came a series of tenant farmers, with the last being the Morgans. Thomas Morgan began farming here in the mid 1830s, before his third daughter Ann took over what was by now a 120-acre dairy farm. In time, her nephew came to own it, and sold it to the current owners in 2000. Amazingly, Ann’s daughter Doris still lived at Grange Farm in 1987. “Everyone would come to the house – it was the only one for miles,” she told the South Wales Echo.

Grangetown

Sporting Grangetown

Even by the start of the 20th century, this would have been hard to imagine. Grangetown became a Cardiff suburb in 1875 and, to quench the thirst for manpower of Cardiff’s docks and industries, rapidly grew into the network of tightly-knit streets we know today.

Its population was hardworking, hard living and, with increased leisure time, sports mad. In 2007, Grange Albion Baseball Club, the longest running and most successful in Wales, celebrated its centenary. It was just one of many of Grangetown’s sporting clubs.

Old and new Cardiff

Sara Robinson is the managing director of PR firm Brighter Comms. She moved to Grangetown before her son was born in 2007. “Grangetown offers some lovely, solid old properties at affordable prices,” she says. “There’s a great Welsh medium primary school called Ysgol Pwll Coch that my son now goes to. I love that it still feels like ‘old Cardiff’ and has a real sense of community.”

Sara’s elderly neighbour has lived in the same house her whole life. “Her dad was a fire warden during the war,” says Sara. “I’m always amazed that these events are within living memory, and it’s pretty humbling hearing my neighbour relive the war years.” (See Grangetown’s Darkest Day below)

For older residents, change isn’t always welcome. Labour councillor Lynda Thorne has lived in the district for 45 years, moving here shortly after marrying Ken, a Grangetown native. As a councillor she hears the concerns of many residents.

“Grangetown is a welcoming and really friendly place, but like most places it has been changing over the past 15 years,” says Lynda. “Forty percent of houses in Grangetown are rentals, which makes for quite a transient population. For long-term residents it can sometimes add to a sense of instability, but I do think the community spirit remains.”

That community is more culturally diverse than ever. Today, more than 70 nationalities work, rest – and worship – here. Among Grangetown’s numerous religious buildings is the beautiful Shree Swaminarayan Temple on Merches Place, complete with palatial decoration and solar panels. (A large Hindu community came to the area from Kutch in the early 1960s.)

Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Grangetown

“We’ve got more places of worship than we have pubs and clubs now, and that wasn’t the case once,” says Lynda Thorne who helps to run Neighborhood Partnership, encouraging Grangetown’s religious leaders to meet and find common ground.

Lynda’s not wrong: all but two Grangetown pubs have called time for good – they’re something of an endangered species. Just The Cornwall, which opened in 1894, and the even older Grange remain. It’s even sadder when you consider that ten survived into the 21st century. The Plymouth on the corner of Clive Street and Holmesdale Street, thought to be Grangetown's oldest pub, was razed in 2008.

For some residents, social clubs still provide continuity. “Some have gone, but those that remain are places we go on a weekend night for some entertainment, bingo, and a bit of a dance,” says Lynda. “It’s somewhere to be with friends, and where people feel safe. This for me always was, and still is, a Grangetown thing.”

The future’s bright

“We’ve lost a few pubs and a few local shops, but gained an Ikea,” says Steve Duffy. “We have two retail parks on the edge of the area, as well as some chains moving into the high street. It’s a struggle for identity and it would be great if Grangetown’s independent shops can hit back a little.”

To help, currently underway is an extensive three-phase redevelopment of the district’s commercial heart, where Clare Road, Penarth Road, Corporation Road and Paget Street meet to make it more ‘appealing and accessible’.

Funded by £1million from Welsh Government and implemented by Cardiff Council, the scheme involves improvements to parking and shop fronts, a more pedestrian-friendly junction layout, and the conversion of an extended Grangetown library into a community Hub. This will provide support for unemployed people to help them find work.

Unemployment and a lack of facilities for young people are both issues affecting Grangetown, but here, too, people are trying to help. “I'm involved in a project with Cardiff University that is awarding funding to local projects designed to make Grangetown a better place to live, and some of the early project ideas are really exciting,” says Sara Robinson. “The steering group includes young people from the community, and I think it's crucial they have a voice when it comes to shaping the services of the future.”

Labour city councillor, Ashley Govier, agrees. “Grangetown, for me, is a place of incredible potential – the future is bright and we are in a position to benefit from the growth in the city centre and learn from past mistakes,” he says.

Further good news comes in the form of ambitious plans to turn the old Pendyris Street tram depot into an arts and business hub. If it comes to fruition, this will bring jobs to the area and help people see Grangetown in a new light, not to mention be that rare Cardiff thing: the saving of an old building rather than sending in the demolition team. Grangetown, it seems, is on the right track.

Grangetown’s darkest day

The night of 2–3 January 1941 is the darkest in Grangetown’s history. A German air-raid involving 100 planes began early in the evening and lasted ten hours. Grangetown bore the brunt. Thirty-two people were killed in just one direct hit – on the cellar of Hollyman Brothers Bakery, on the corner of Corporation Road and Stockland Road. It wiped out the Hollyman family. Cardiff’s death toll that night was 165, nearly half of the total killed in air raids throughout the war.

The Grangetown Whale

The myth goes that a washed up whale was taken on tour as an exhibit, until it became too fragrant and ended up being buried on The Marle. Peter Meazey wrote the lyrics to what became the famous Frank Hennessy song in the Conway pub, the day after the 1979 flooding. Yet he has said his song wasn’t inspired by this story. What we do know for certain is that Ninian Park Primary School has adopted the whale on its crest.

Welcome to Clivetown

Grangetown was nearly called ‘Clivetown’ after MP Robert Clive. However, his widow, the Baroness Harriet Windsor-Clive, daughter of the landowner the Earl of Plymouth, thought Grangetown preferable and her husband more worthy of its principal street.

Situated just a stone’s throw from Grangetown is our James Street, Cardiff Bay branch. If you’re interested in buying, selling or renting a house in the area or those surrounding, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love you to pop in and speak to us. Our experienced, knowledgeable staff are on-hand to help.

CPS Homes last edited this page on 05/09/2015. All details listed were correct at the time of publishing. Reviewed every six months.