1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Penarth

PENARTH, an urban district and seaport in the southern parliamentary division of Glamorganshire, Wales, 166 m. by rail from London, picturesquely situated on rising ground on the south side of the mouth of the Ely opposite Cardiff, from which it is 4 m. distant by rail and 2 m. by steamer. Pop (1901), 14,228. The place derives its name from two Welsh words, “pen,” a head, and “garth,” an enclosure. Penarth was a small and unimportant village until a tidal harbour at the mouth of the Ely was opened in 1859, and a railway, 6 m. long, was made about the same time, connecting the harbour with the Taff Vale railway at Radyr. A dock, authorized in 1857, was opened in 1865, when all three undertakings, which had cost £775,000, were leased in perpetuity to the Taff Vale Railway Company. The monopoly which the Bute Docks at Cardiff had previously enjoyed in shipping coal from the valleys of the Taff and Rhondda was thus terminated. The town is frequented in summer as a bathing-place, and the Rhaetic beds at the head are of special interest to geologists On this head there stood an old church, probably Norman, which served as a landmark for sailors. The remains of an old chantry have been converted into a barn. Besides two Established and one Roman Catholic church, the principal buildings of Penarth are its various Nonconformist chapels, intermediate and technical school (1894), custom house, dock offices, and Turner House with a private art gallery which is thrown open on certain days to the public. Three miles to the west is Dinas Powis Castle. In 1880–1883 gardens were laid out along the cliff, in 1894 a promenade and landing-pier with a length of 630 ft. were constructed, and in 1900 a marine subway open at all times for foot passengers was made under the river Ely. The dock as first constructed comprised 17½ acres, was extended in 1884 at a cost of £250,000, and now covers 23 acres with a basin of 3 acres. It is 2900 ft in length, has a minimum depth of 26 ft, and is furnished with every modern appliance for the export of coal, of which from 20,000 to 30,000 tons can be stored in the sidings near by. The Penarth-Ely tidal harbour has a water area of 55 acres with a minimum depth of 20 ft., and a considerable import trade is carried on here mainly by coasting vessels, but as only one of its sides has wharves (about 3000 ft. along) scarcely more than 5% of the total shipping of the port is done here It has commodious warehouses, also tanks to hold about 6000 tons of oil.