Skip to main content

Cardiff Connect

Turning back time

30 September 2019

Did you know that when the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire was founded in 1883, it only had 102 full time students? It’s been an incredible journey since – and with the University’s archives now being digitised, we’ve picked out some highlights.

First, a history lesson on the University crest.

When it was founded, the crest featured an angel – and the motto Nerth Gwald Ei Gwybodaeth (‘the strength of a country is its learning’) in both Welsh and Latin.

Nine decades on, the College changed its name to University College Cardiff and tweaked the crest, which now featured the angel atop a shield.

Just over the road, the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST) had developed its own crest. In this case, the angel was replaced by a dragon holding a cog, and a knight’s helmet.

But by 1988, the two institutions had merged and adopted the coat of arms that is in use today.

In homage to our predecessor institutions, both the dragon and the angel appear – whilst the motto “Gwirionedd, Undod a Chytgord” is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and means means “Truth, Unity and Concord”.

All change on campus

But what about the fantastic pictures of the University and its composite institutions down the years? Well, just look at what we found.

Faces from history

But a University isn’t just about buildings – what about the people who worked and lived in them?

This is just a small sample of the historic images we’re lucky to have so well kept – and with the archives soon to appear online, don’t forget to pop over and see what else we’ve unearthed to connect Cardiff’s past to its present.

We have made every effort to get in touch with all the copyright owners of the material in this article but in some cases this has not been possible. If you are or know the copyright owner for any of the images above, please contact the University’s Special Collections and Archives team.