St Mellons


St Mellons

infobox UK place
country = Wales
welsh_name= Llaneirwg
constituency_welsh_assembly=
map_type=
official_name= St Mellons
unitary_wales= Cardiff
lieutenancy_wales= South Glamorgan
constituency_westminster= Cardiff South & Penarth
post_town= CARDIFF
postcode_district = CF3
postcode_area= CF
dial_code= 029
os_grid_reference= ST235815
population= 2,279 (Old St Mellons)
St Mellons ( _cy. Llaneirwg) is a district and suburb of the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, Wales.

History

St Mellons began as a small commercial centre in the historic county of Monmouthshire, relying heavily on rural agriculture, farming and travel. Owner's of coach houses or coaching inns would cater for travellers using Newport Road, the old Roman Road between Cardiff and London.

St Mellons became part of the city of Cardiff district of South Glamorgan under the Local Government Act 1972 on April 1, 1974.

Origins of the name

The English name St Mellons is believed to be derived from the 6th century Saint Melaine who became Bishop of Rennes in Brittany, rather than the more legendary 4th century Mellonius, Bishop of Rouen. One of these Bishops are known to have been born and raised in the area where the estate now exists, though stories of the two have become hopelessly confused in many biographies over the years Read more about Melaine and Mellonius] leaving historians unsure as to which is which.

The Welsh translation of St Mellons is "Llaneirwg" which is made up of "Llan", the Welsh word for "Church", and "Eurwg", the name of a mythical King of Gwent. Eurwg is said to have lived on the hill at St Mellons during the Romano-British era, he and his people were converted to Christianity and baptised in the nearby Rhymney River. Eurwg's church was erected near the site of the former church of 1360 and the area has since been known as "Llaneirwg", literally "Church of Eirwg/Eurwg" [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/cardiff_heolmaeseirwg/pages/sylvia_atherton.shtml BBC | Heol Maes Eirwg] ] .

When people refer to St Mellons, they are often not talking about the historic St Mellons, but the considerably larger and more modern housing estate which has been built to the south and east. The historic area is now referred to as 'Old St Mellons' ( _cy. Pentre Llaneirwg), while the newer estate has retained the name 'St Mellons'. Many buildings in Old St Mellons date back to the 19th Century while the vast majority of buildings in St Mellons were built in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.

The Area

St Mellons falls under two separate electoral wards. Old St Mellons combines with neighbouring Pontprennau while St Mellons joins with Trowbridge. The 2001 Census put Pontprennau & Old St. Mellons's population at 8,031 while Trowbridge was 14,801, the 4th most populated ward in Cardiff [http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/objview.asp?object_ID=3333 2001 Census, Ranked Tables] ] . The combined population of the four districts is 22,832, 7% of Cardiff's total population.

Both of these figures, however, should change significantly by the time of the 2011 Census due to large scale infill development along the mainline railway and in Pontprennau. Plans are also afoot to regenerate the older council-owned estates in the district in line with the recent trend of constructing three-storey "town" houses.

Facilities

There are two major retail complexes, one features a Tesco superstore and petrol station, public houses, chemist, hairdressers, Coral betting shop, dentist, fish & chips shop and a newsagent. The other features an Indian Restaurant, doctor's surgery and two empty supermarket units which used to belong to Hyper Value and Kwik Save until both companies went into liquidation in 2006 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6076194.stm BBC | Hyper Value closing 9 stores] ] and 2007 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6702119.stm BBC | Kwik Save to close 79 shops] ] . Further to the east, near the A48(M) Junction, there is the 3 star St Mellons Hotel and Country Club, the St Mellons Golf Club, a public house, garden centre and furniture showroom.

In Old St Mellons there is a Texaco petrol station, newsagent, hairdressers and a Post Office which faces closure by 2009 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7200819.stm BBC | Post Office to close 29 branches] ] . There are also four public houses situated in close proximity along Newport Road, the Bluebell Inn, The Star Inn, The White Hart and The Fox and Hounds, widely believed to be one of the oldest pubs in Cardiff. These establishments were able to gain extra business on weekends by exploiting the (Wales) Sunday Closing act of 1881. The act prohibited the sale of alcohol in Welsh establishments on the sabbath, but St Mellons was in the ancient county of Monmouthshire The ambiguous "Welsh / English" status of the Historic County of Monmouthshire has long been disputed, read more on this related wikipedia page] where the act did not take effect until 1921 [http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ObjView.asp?Object_ID=9708 Old St Mellons Conservation area] ] .

There are a number of sports and leisure facilities dotted around the district, including floodlit outdoor courts, playing fields and children's play parks as well as a bowls club, community centres, job centre and a library. There is also Hendre Lake park; a park and man-made lake situated near the mainline railway popular with local fishermen.

Education

St Mellons has 4 state schools: St Bishop Childs Church in Wales, Meadowlane Primary school, Oakfield Primary and Willowbrook Primary. It also has a private school known as St Johns College, consistently the best performing school in Wales based on results [http://www.stjohnscollegecardiff.macwebsitebuilder.com/releases/release/2256076/14007.htm Top School in Wales 2007] ] . The building and surrounding fields were part of the Ty-to-Maen convalescent house, which only closed in the 1970s. The surrounding land was sold off for housing in the late 1990s following the death of the house's former owner William Nicholls, who now has a street on the estate named after him.

There are no higher learning institutions in the suburb, however a large plot of wasteland behind the now redundant Hyper Value and Kwik Save supermarket building has long been earmarked as a location for a possible new facility. The land remains vacant today, despite large scale housing estates surrounding it making it a target for a number of housebuilding companies.

Business Park

The St Mellons Business Park is a collection of large scale business parks located on low-lying land east of St Mellons considered to be Cardiff's green belt. It has a vast number of factories and office units which have been (or are still) occupied by such companies as Gilesports, TBI, and Lloyds TSB.

Conservation Area

Old St Mellons has been deemed an area of special architectural or historical interest and lies in a conservation area which Cardiff County Council first adopted in 1977. The area was reassessed and updated in July 2007 to cover a smaller land area. A number of Grade II listed buildings lie inside the boundary of the conservation area including the Bluebell and White Hart public houses, St Johns College, the two churches and the Kingdom Hall for Jehovah's Witnesses. The Fox and Hounds is considered an important landmark but is only covered by a local listing.

Coastal Defences

Much of the newer estates were built on the Wentloog Levels, area's of low-lying farmland which regularly became flooded until they were reclaimed from the sea during Roman times. A system of drainage reens and sluice gates together with a seawall which runs from the River Usk in the east to the Rhymney River in the west protect the area from the risk of coastal flooding as the land is still only a few metres above sea level.

Wildlife

Despite large scale development, a lot of wildlife can still be seen especially to the eastern fringe: Foxes, rabbits, grey squirrels, Buzzards, Herons, Moorhens, Swans, Mallards, Green Woodpeckers and many other birds are a common sight.

Transport

Cardiff Bus services 30, 44 and 45 serve the area. Services run frequently between the area and Cardiff Central Station.

There is no local train station, despite Hendre Lake park being adjacent to the Freight Terminal Port, situated along the main line between Cardiff and Newport. The nearest main line station is Cardiff Central.

Main roads have a 30mph speed limit, except for a section of Newport Road which is 40mph. There are no permanent speed cameras and very few speed bumps, pedestrian crossings or traffic lights. A number of road-related deaths in recent years has led to residents campaigning that these traffic calming measures be implemented before more lives are lost [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6922233.stm BBC | 24-hour demo after toddler death] ] .

The area is located next to Junction 29a of the A48 (M)/Eastern Avenue Junction, where the A48 continues eastbound through Coedkernew and the A48(M) rejoins the M4.

Proposed M4 relief road

Plans are in place to utilise the area's motorway links by creating a new dual carriageway. The St Mellons / Wentloog Link road would become part of the Cardiff Ring Road, crossing the railway line to serve the existing freight terminal and industrial land built on the Wentloog Levels [http://www.keepingcardiffmoving.co.uk/content/public/content/default.asp?ID=27 Keep Cardiff Moving] ] .

The plans, however, are not without objection from local residents who fear their health, safety and the value of their homes will all be affected. The road is set be built in low lying marsh land, which campaigners also believe to be a site of Specific Scientific Interest.

Famous residents

Jeff Baker is a comedian who lived on a St. Mellons housing estate for 20 years, has appeared on BBC 2. Jeff is the creator of crackerasscomedy.com, a website dedicated to the encouragement of new stand up talent and is the director of the annual Welsh Comedy Festival where he shared the stage with names such as Rhod Gilbert and Howard Marks. Also from St Mellons, Welsh Hip Hop DJ and Turntablist DJ Keltech, who made an international name for himself with his famous internet videos, TV appearances, music releases and numerous gigs around the world.

ee also

*Cefn Mably

References

External links

* [http://www.oldstmellons.co.uk Old St Mellons community council]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2755033 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of St Mellons and surrounding area]
* [http://www.brynderwensurgery.co.uk/ Brynderwen Surgery]


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