August 1, 2014
by admin

Social Media Roundup – July 2014

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Another busy month in the social media world. We have two aerial shots of Castell Coch, one from the helicopter police earlier this month and another from 1947. And as a bonus, some aerial footage of the castle commissioned by Cadw. But we start with a popular Facebook update.

Aerial photo from the helicopter police.

Excavation at Castell Coch

The Holiday Inn opened a few days ago. We haven’t had chance to have a look but we found this photo that looks like the new front desk.

The summer holidays are in full swing and we’ve been playing Lego!

Cadw commissioned this aerial footage of Castell Coch.

Chris Langley has produced some more digital art featuring the castle.

Is anyone running the Cardiff half marathon?

Castell Coch from 1947

And finally…

July 31, 2014
by admin

Two Years On: Looking Back

2nd birthday cake

The beginning of August marks the 2nd anniversary of This is a recap of what we’ve been up to.


Developments have really dominated this year, beginning in August with the proposal to build houses next to the village hall. We reported on the proposal and published the draft plan.

Land next to village hall

In October, plans to undertake a village survey were revealed. The survey was completed in November and results were published at a special event in March.

In February, we reported that there are several LDP ‘Alternative Sites’ proposed for Tongwynlais. This was first many people knew of these sites and residents got the chance to give their feedback at a public consultation. The LDP is due to be submitted to the Welsh Government for examination this month.

The Site

We’ve experimented with site sponsorship this year. We launched our plan for Community Adverts in November and we’re pleased that several local companies have kindly supported us. The money we raise will be given to local groups for the benefit of the village.


We unveiled a new way for you to send us your stories in April. My Tongwynlais is a dedicated section of the site where you can create an account and share your stories.

You told us what you’d like us to write about via a short survey. If you have any more ideas or feedback, please get in touch.


One of our personal highlights this year was the film night at Castell Coch. We watched “The Bride of Frankenstein” in the courtyard of Castell Coch and had an amazing time.

Film Nights at Castell Coch

Local residents organised a fantastic event called “Knowing you – Knowing Ton” to celebrate the village and build on its great community.


Wales Blog Awards logo

The year ended on a high when we were shortlisted for “Best Community Blog” at the Wales Blog Awards. Although we didn’t win, the event hopefully raised the profile of the village.

The Future

We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the news happening in the village, putting together some more interesting features on the history of the village and much more.

Tell us what you’ve enjoyed and what you’d like to see over on Facebook or Twitter.

Picture – sbszine

July 20, 2014
by admin

Details of the New A470 Link Road on Coryton

Coryton A470 link road

Traffic Wales have kindly sent us some more details and a map of the current works on Coryton roundabout.

As you can see in the image above, there will be a new link road connecting the westbound offslip of the M4 to the northbound A470. Traffic Wales told us, “this will remove approximately 60% of the traffic, which currently leaves the westbound offslip and travels around the gyratory to join the A470 north of Coryton interchange.”

Yellow box markings will be added at both ends of the new road and the current traffic signal system will also be “upgraded and reconfigured to suit the new traffic flows.”

Traffic Wales will post further updates on their website.

July 16, 2014
by admin

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Tongwynlais

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1. Castell Coch had the first commercial vineyard in Great Britain.

Castell Coch wine label
Source – BBC

2. Merthyr Road used to be called North Road.

Source – Dic Mortimer’s Blog
Picture – Crazy High

3. Castell Coch has been featured in many films and TV programmes, including several episodes of “Doctor Who” and 90s TV show, “The Worst Witch”.

Source – Doctor Who locations

4. The “Iron Bridge” is made of steel. The original was swept away in 1877.

Iron Bridge
Source – Dic Mortimer’s Blog
Picture – Stuart Herbert

5. Tongwynlais railway station was only in service for 20 years.

Tongwynlais railway station
Source – Dic Mortimer’s Blog | Wikipedia

6. Coryton’s triple-decker gyratory is the largest roundabout in the UK, with a circumference of 1 mile and an area of 12 hectares (30 acres).

Coryton roundabout
Source – Dic Mortimer’s Blog

7. The Tongwynlais Temperance Silver Band was formed in 1888.

Old photo of Tongwynlais Band
Source – Tongwynlais Band

8. The last remaining example of a cast iron boat weighing machine was originally used in Tongwynlais.

Source – Dic Mortimer’s Blog

9. Jay Pepper from Welsh glam metal band Tigertailz is from Tongwynlais. The band wrote a track called “Tongwynlais Fly”.

Source – Wikipedia | Amazon | BBC | Official website

10. In 2010, 51 visitors were trapped inside Castell Coch for over 3 hours when a cherry picker caused the drawbridge to collapse.

Castell Coch
Source – BBC

Do you know any Tongwynlais trivia? Get in touch and let us know.

July 14, 2014
by admin

New BBC drama Wolf Hall filming in Tongwynlais

Filming location sign

Wolf Hall is a new BBC drama based on Hilary Mantel’s novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”. The six-part series stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn.

The majority of filming is taking place in the West Country but the film crew were setting up in Castell Coch and Fforest Fawr this morning. I noticed the location sign in the village and then spotted a minibus full of medieval extras driving up Castle Road. I went up to Fforest Fawr and the production was under way on the sculpture trail.

Production sign

The series will be broadcast next year.

July 8, 2014
by admin

Disruption on Coryton Interchange to continue until August 2014

Coryton Roundabout

The work on Coryton roundabout is expected to continue until August 2014, according to the Traffic Wales website.

The website also states that, “The second weekend closure will take place on Friday 18th July 2014 until Monday 21st July 2014 and day-time lane 1 closures will be left in place.”

15-03-14 B A470 Coryton

09-06-14 B A470 Coryton

17-06-14 A A470 Coryton

Pictures courtesy of Mike Rossiter.

July 2, 2014
by admin

Merthyr Road Planning Application Update and Village Survey Results

Land next to village hall

Merthyr Road Planning Application

The planning application for up to 5 dwellings on the land next to the village hall is likely go to committee on the 16th of July.

A group of residents has submitted a funding proposal with the intention of purchasing the land if the application isn’t successful. If you’d like to attend the group’s meetings or to be kept up to date, you can contact them at

Village Survey Results

The village survey results and analysis have been published. You can view them below or on Scribd.

Thanks to Ellie for all her help in processing the data.

July 1, 2014
by admin

Social Media Roundup – June 2014

Castell Coch

We start off June with the new bollards on Pantgwynlais.

Castell Coch was featured on the Bing homepage.

Tongwynlais Primary took part in the Fairwater World Cup tournament.

Castell Coch had an unexpected musical visitor.

Fairytale wedding at Castell Coch.

The signs for the new Holiday Inn have gone up.

They’ve also put up a banner to recruit staff.

Art inspired by Fforest Fawr.

Tongwynlais Primary School Fayre.

Hey Jo! kicked off festival week.

We took this photo of Castell Coch on a lovely clear morning.

June 30, 2014
by admin

Help a Local Couple’s Dream Come True

Natasha and Gareth

Natasha Currie and Gareth Davies have entered the South Wales Echo’s competition to win a dream wedding worth £15,000.

The couple, who live on Merthyr Road, are asking people to help make their dream come true by collecting tokens from the Echo.

Competition poster

Natasha and Gareth have lived in Tongwynlais for 4 years and Gareth’s family are from the village. They’ve been together for 5 years and have 2 young boys.

The couple entered the competition because they’d love to get married but can’t afford to yet. The prize, in association with St David’s Hotel & Spa, includes the venue, wedding breakfast, dress, cake, flowers and photography. You can read about the competition on WalesOnline.

Natasha and Gareth would really appreciate any help you can give, just 1 token could make the difference!