History of Cardiff's Pubs
It is sometimes said that the history of a town can
be seen in its public houses, and indeed they are
often among the oldest surviving buildings. Cardiff
is no exception, and has a long history of brewing.
As far back as 1340 the burgesses of Cardiff employed
two ale-tasters to ensure the standard of the local
beer was up to scratch.
One of the oldest inn sites in the city is that
occupied by the Owain Glyndwr in Church Street. Called
the Mably Arms in 1731, it has since been known as
the Kemys Tynte Arms, the Tennis Court and the Buccaneer,
before taking its current name in the 1970s.
Cardiff's docks naturally led to a maritime feel
in its taverns, as the owners sought to lure in the
sailors who arrived ashore with money to spend. Suitably
nautical names have included the Jolly Boatman, the
Sailor's Return, Six Bells and Noah's Ark, to name
just a few.
In this fascinating survey, celebrated local historian
Brian Lee brings to life the history of Cardiff's
hostelries. From the fairly salubrious to the downright
dangerous, he plots their changing fortunes as the
city itself has changed over the years.