Postcards from Tongwynlais – Part 10


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Welcome to the latest chapter in my series featuring postcards from Tongwynlais. This instalment features a view of the “Castell Coch Cottages”, which used to sit on the hillside beneath the castle and overlook the River Taff.

Postcard of cottages in front of Castell Coch, Tongwynlais

These cottages can be found on the 1885 Ordnance Survey map of Glamorganshire. They were demolished in 1969 to make way for the A470. The cottages were located about 120 metres west of the castle.

It’s quite easy to miss the two gentlemen at the bottom of the image, underneath the text. There aren’t any clues to suggest who they were.

Crop of postcard featuring two men standing in front of some cottages

This card wasn’t posted but I’ve done some research and think I’ve worked out its approximate age. The instruction on the left hand side, “This space may be used for communication Inland and to all Foreign Countries except Japan, Spain and United States.” existed because of international postage rules.

19th Century postcards used the entire back of the card for the postal address and were accepted internationally.

Late 19th century postcard of Jezersko

Messages were written on the front of the postcard next to the image.

The divided back was introduced in 1902 but wasn’t accepted by all countries.

Message on the back of a postcard

All members of the Universal Postage Union finally agreed to the new standard in 1906. The United States Postal Service accepted them in March 1907, so this card must predate that.

The message begins, “I am sorry you could not spend a day with me at Barry Docks…”. I can’t decipher the rest. The recipient looks like Mrs Gladys Griffiths, perhaps.



Jack is the editor of and

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