PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages


Cardiff’s rich culture has a diverse range of influences, from the Romans and Normans of antiquity to the industrial revolution and the coal industry – which transformed Cardiff from a small town into a thriving, international city.

Origins of the Name

Talking of the origin of “Caerdydd” — “Caer” means “fort” or “castle,” but although “Dydd” means “Day” in modern Welsh, it is unclear what was meant in this context. Some believe that “Dydd ” or “Diff” was a corruption of “Taff”, the river on which Cardiff Castle stands, in which case “Cardiff” would mean “the fort on the river Taff” (in Welsh the T mutates to D).

Medieval Cardiff
The medieval castle dates from the 11th century, when the Normans conquered Glamorgan. It was begun by William the Conqueror on his return from St Davids in Pembrokeshire, in 1081. The castle was originally built in wood. In the 12th century, Robert Consol, Duke of Gloucester, rebuilt it in stone.
The medieval town started as a relatively small enclosure marked out by Working Street and Womanby (Hummanbye) Streets’ both names are linked to Old Norse. In the second stage of its development, Cardiff expanded south. The town was then enclosed and defended to the east by a bank and ditch and eventually a stone gate. To the west, the town was protected by the meandering river Taff.

Modern Cardiff
Much of the rest of the castle and walls date back to the 19th century when the third Marquess of Bute employed William Burges to restore, refurbish and rebuild it.
In 1794, the ironmasters of Merthyr Tydfil opened the Glamorganshire Canal, which linked Merthyr Tydfil with Cardiff for the transport of iron and then later used to transport the huge amounts of coal for export following the opening of the West Bute Dock in 1839 by the 2nd Marquess of Bute. That's how Cardiff become the biggest coal exporting port in the world, resulting in Edward VII granting Cardiff city status in 1905. 
After going into decline in the 70’s and 80’s Cardiff’s docks and city centre have now been regenerated. 

Cardiff Bay is now a thriving waterside development with many things to do and see there. Restaurants, shops and cultural spots like Pierhead Building and Millenium Centre play a big part in the Bay's attractions.

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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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