A MAP of Cardiff’s “lost” LGBTQ history has been produced to mark Pride Month. 

It was compiled by Pride Cymru which appealed for people to share their memories of places and organisations that have contributed to the city’s gay and lesbian scene. 

Historian Dr Daryl Leeworthy, who researched the map as part of a team with others from Pride Cymru, said parts of the city that are still home to LGBTQ spaces today feature on the map such as Charles Street and Churchill Way which are still home to gay clubs and have been friendly space since the 1960s and 1970s. 

“My favourite outcome of the project is the illustration of continuity. Look at the map and look at Cardiff today and similar parts of the city are home to LGBTQ+ spaces, that is quite powerful,” said Dr Leeworthy who in 2019 authored a book, A Little Gay History of Wales

Other venues recorded on the map, and even areas of the city, have been lost to redevelopment and the map serves as a reminder of some marganalised parts of society. 

The listing for the Glendower Pub, demolished in the Cardiff Bay redevelopment to make way for what is now known as Callaghan Square, on the southern side of the central railway station, states it was a “Gay-friendly sex worker pub”. 

The pub survived until the 1990s but its listing notes its contribution to the LGBTQ community around the period when gay sex was decriminlaised in 1967, stating: “In the years before and immediately after the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts, The Glendower was a known meeting place for gay men, sex workers, and others on the fringes of society.” 

The Bristol Hotel, on Penarth Road, was run in the late 70s by Christine Williams and hosted LGBT nights and organisations.

Chrstine told the project she put on gay nights at the suggestion of a customer, who worked in another bar: "They suggested I opened it up as a gay bar, as there was a great need for a friendly place to go before everybody headed off clubbing. The local darts team weren’t impressed, but I didn’t care. I hired a DJ, tidied up the cocktail bar, and on Mondays let the main bar out to LGBT people, free of charge of course."

Other entries are more discreet, such as the former Alvely B&B, on Plasturton Avenue in residential Pontcanna, of which the map notes: “In May 1978 it made the pages of Gay News’ holiday listings as a B&B with a “mainly male” clientele.” 


Pride Cymru had produced its first map of lost LGBT venues in 2018 and this year’s revised map, which has been produced with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (Cymru), includes many of the organisations created by and for the community in the 20th century. 

As well as pubs and clubs the map lists spaces such as the long since closed One o Eight community bookshop in Salisbury Road, Cathays which it says, in the 1970s, was “one of the few places in Cardiff where you could pick up a copy of Gay News and other works of queer and alternative literature”. 

The interactive map features a pinpoint on every venue listed which can be clicked on and a brief history pops up with some offering a chance to click and read on for further information. 

The map can be found by clicking here

As well as the map there are further efforts to record LGBTQ history as the St Fagans National Museum of History is actively collecting Wales’ LGBTQ+ history, building up the national collection to be fully representative of all the LGBTQ+ community across Wales. They welcome objects, documents, and photographs that represent both LGBTQ+ history and current LGBTQ+ lived experiences. 

Those behind the map say they welcome further information that can be submitted by email to hello@pridecymru.com or through its Lost LGBT Cardiff Facebook page. 

They also say they are aware the histories of marganalised communities have been historically erased and recognise there are many places yet to be recorded, particularly those used by LGBT+ people of colour and trans people in Cardiff. 

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