Two Thousand Years of History
The history of Cardiff stretches back over 2000 years to Roman times when the Romans first established a fortified settlement on the banks of the River Taff. One thousand years later the Normans came to Cardiff.
The castle, or keep, which can be seen within the modern walls of Cardiff Castle, originates from this time and William the Conquerer came to Cardiff in 1081.
Cardiff remained a small market town for the next few hundred years, but with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it would come into its own.
The city's greatest period of growth began in the 18th century with the development of the coal and iron industries in the South Wales valleys.
In the early 19th century, first a canal and then the Taff Vale Railway linked Cardiff with Merthyr Tydfil and the Rhondda Valleys, at the time the greatest iron and coal centre in the world. Soon, Cardiff would itself achieve worldwide fame as a great coal-exporting ports.
The resultant growth in population and the massive coal wealth that was invested in Cardiff helped it win city status in 1905, just as it became the largest coal exporter in the world,
As the fortunes of Welsh coal waned in the 20th century, Cardiff transformed itself from a port city into the administrative centre of Wales. Cardiff would become the home of the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Office. In 1955, it was made Capital of Wales.