Aerial Photos by Terence Soames


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Terence Soames (Cardiff) Ltd was founded in 1946 and specialised in aerial photography. National Museum Wales have two particularly good images from 1957 and 1973.

Aerial photo of Tongwynlais 1957
Tongwynlais in 1957 © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The company were based at 22 Dumfries Place, Cardiff and they moved to St John’s Chambers, High Street Arcade in 1962. I couldn’t find any information about Terence Soames but I plan to investigate further.

Michael Woodward became the director in 1991 and is credited as the photographer in some later images by the company.

Aerial photo of Tongwynlais 1973
Tongwynlais in 1973 © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Before and After

These photos show the significant changes before and after the demolition of the Walnut Tree Viaduct and construction of the A470.


Aerial photo of Tongwynlais taken in 1957

This close up shows the old Tongwynlais Tunnel and the route of the railway going underneath Merthyr Road. The track was removed in 1952 and eventually demolished in 1971 for the A470.

You can just see the old primary school at the very bottom of the image.

The history of Tongwynlais railway station is sadly quite brief. I shared some fantastic photos in the article below.

  • Tongwynlais Railway Station – Part 1

    Black and white photo of Tongwynlais railway station in 1949

    Tongwynlais railway station was opened in March 1911 but only operated for 20 years. It was closed in July 1931 and converted into a private house. Mrs Hagget and her son Graham lived there until its demolition in 1969. There are several photos of the station in various local history books. Most of these are … more…

    Read more

The houses between the railway bridge and Birch Hill were demolished in 1968 for the construction of the A470. I was sent a photo of “Bridge House” by a reader and this post delves into its history.

  • Memories of Bridge House

    Map of Tongwynlais 1937-61

    Several houses on the north-west end of Merthyr Road were demolished in 1968 for the construction of the A470. A reader has very kindly sent me a photo of one of these houses and some information about their history. There were six terraced houses on the other side of Birth Hill, shown in the image … more…

    Read more

Walnut Tree Viaduct

The Walnut Tree Viaduct spanned the gorge just above the village and must’ve been quite a sight in its prime. I’ve been collecting photos of this iconic structure, which I’m going to cover later this year.

Aerial photo of Tongwynlais taken in 1957


The landscape of the valley changed dramatically in the preceding 16 years. The viaduct was demolished in 1969 and the A470 was constructed shortly after.

The dominant feature is now the roundabout and the new A road. Demolition of the viaduct began in 1969 but the final pillars weren’t removed until 1973. This photo was taken on 21st March 1973 and you can see work still underway.

Aerial photo of Tongwynlais taken in 1973

This photo shows the village in fantastic detail. St Michael’s Close and Castell Coch View haven’t been built yet. Grants Close is just a field and the old primary school building is still there.

Aerial photo of Tongwynlais taken in 1973

Further Reading

The Tongwynlais Historical Society have shared some more aerial photos from the Welsh Government Aerial Photographs Unit.

I posted some aerial photos of Castell Coch from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW).




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