Cardiff: Capital City of Wales, 1955

Cardiff received its City Charter in 1905.  50 years later, in 1955, it was to become the Capital City of Wales.

Cardiff presented a petition to become capital city, but it was not a forgone conclusion, and neither was it without quite stiff competition.  The strongest competition came from Caernarfon, where Prince Edward, the future King Edward VIII, had been invested Prince of Wales in 1911.


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Cardiff Petition (Lib/c/371)


There were also petitions from St David’s, the oldest cathedral city in Wales and the ecclesiastical seat.  Machynlleth expressed and interest having been the site of Owain Glyndwr’s parliament in 1404.  And Aberystwyth put in a bid claiming a central position and being the location of the National Library of Wales.

The petition from Cardiff had a lengthy attached appendix which detailed the cultural, ecclesiastical, industrial and judicial evidence supporting to claim to the title of Welsh capital and listing the various merits of Cardiff as a city.  It also mentions the future benefits of planned changes to South Wales, such as the new Severn Bridge and the proposed International Airport at Llandow.

The appendices drew on the 1947 population data, showing that over half of the population of Wales was resident in Glamorgan.

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Cardiff Petition Appendices – 1947 population data (Lib/c/371)

It finally came down to three contenders: Aberystwyth, Caernarfon and Cardiff.  A ballot was placed before the Welsh local Authorities and the result was a resounding success for Cardiff.

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