Houses in Newport Road, Cardiff (Woodfield Place)

Originally known as Woodfield Place, the date stone shows that this terrace was erected in 1860 at the western end of what was then Roath Road.  Subsequently, the properties were incorporated as numbers 10 – 18 in the re-named Newport Road.

Until the 1920s, all five properties seem to have been occupied primarily as private homes.  Clearly, the occupants would be relatively well-off.  In 1892, Dr Herbert Vachell sought building consent to extend his house at number 18, adding a waiting room, consulting room and dispensary.  It is likely that some other residents also practised their professions or ran businesses from home.

By 1926, number 14 was occupied by the Cardiff School of Shorthand (better known in later years as Cleves College); Cleves remained here until the late 1960s, when it moved to 96 Newport Road.  The 1937 Cardiff Directory lists all five houses as business or professional premises, though it remains possible that their owners lived ‘over the shop’.

d1093-2- 014 (Houses in Newport Road)_compressed

d1093-2- 016 (houses in Newport Road)_compressed

Nos 10 -18 Newport Road were demolished in about 1980, along with an adjacent terrace.  The site was subsequently redeveloped with a ‘village’ of office blocks, known as Fitzalan Court.  More recently, these buildings have been adapted to provide accommodation for students.

Notable former residents include John Sloper (1823-1905), who occupied number 10 from at least 1880 into the early part of the 20th century.  A Cardiff councillor and magistrate, he gave his name to Sloper Road, where he was part owner of a tannery located opposite Sevenoaks Park.  Edwin Montgomery Bruce Vaughan (1856-1919) lived in number 14 during the early 20th century.  A local man, born in Frederick Street, who trained as an architect, he designed 45 churches in Glamorgan, the most noteworthy being All Saints, Barry and the former St James the Great in Newport Road – just a short distance from his home.  Bruce Vaughan is also credited as having designed a number of buildings depicted elsewhere in the Mary Traynor Collection.

David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

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