Splott (Welsh: Y Sblot) is a district of the city of Cardiff, Wales, east of the city centre. Fanciful suggestions for the origin of the name include a truncation of "God's Plot", as the land belonged to the Bishop of Llandaff in medieval times and a derivation of "Plat" meaning a grassy area of land. In fact, the name is based on the English noun "splot" ("a plot of land") which is also found in place-names in the Vale of Glamorgan, Gower and Pembrokeshire. Splott is characterised by its once-vast steelworks and rows of tightly knit houses. The suburb of Splott falls into the Splott electoral ward.
The early history of Splott is given in the Cardiff Records. Splott was anciently held by the Bawdrips of Penmark. It consisted mainly of two farms, called the Upper and Lower Splott, situated between Roath Village and the sea.
1440 - the Splott is mentioned as bounding certain lands of Isabel, Countess of Warwick
1596 - William Bawdrippe of Penmark built a fair house at the Splott and made it his chief residence
1626 - William Bawdrip of Splott was Member of Parliament for Cardiff. He sold Penmark and Splott to Sir Edward Lewis of the Van
1638 - Sir Edward Lewis of the Van died
1740 - the Llandaff Survey of this year mentions a chief rent of four shillings as payable in respect of Splott Farm in Roath
No residential or industrial development took place in the area, however, until the end of the 19th century. In 1880 the whole area between Cardiff and the Bristol Channel (known as East Moors) was marshland, apart from the farms of Pengam and Splott. Residential development started in the eighteen eighties, constructing streets, houses, shops, taverns and Board Schools; subsequently, Churches were built by various denominations. Splott park opened in 1901.
Inevitably there have been many changes in the years since Splott was first developed. Portmanmoor Road is now an industrial estate and its former Victorian housing was demolished along with adjoining Enid Street, Layard Street, and Menelaus Street which no longer exist.
- John Humphrys, British Radio and Television presenter was born in Splott on 17th August 1943.
- Shirley Bassey originated from nearby Tiger Bay, but moved to Splott at the age of two and went to Moorland Primary School in Splott.
- Clive Sullivan (Welsh rugby league player) grew up in Splott.
- Kirsten Offer (soprano) lives in Wilson Street, Splott.
- Helen Raynor, writer of the Torchwood episode 'Ghost Machine' lives in Splott.
Splott is featured in the third episode (Ghost Machine) of the BBC science fiction drama and Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, which is set in Cardiff. It is also mentioned somewhat humorously in other episodes, due to its English pronunciation. The Torchwood in-universe website features a section on Splott. It is also features in Torchwood novel Another Life.
Splott and the neighbouring district of Tremorfa are the settings for several works by Welsh playwright Peter Gill.
Since January 2009, the Welsh Icons Project which runs this website is based in Splott.
Splott is part of the STAR area of Cardiff (STAR stands for Splott, Tremorfa, Adamsdown and Roath, four inner city suburbs born out of the industrial revolution).