Famous Welsh boxer Jim Driscoll is buried in Cathays in 1925.
Originally farmland on the outskirts of Cardiff Castle, Cathays is thought to be named, ‘Cat’ a corruption of ‘Cad’, welsh for battle and ‘Hayes’ welsh for opening area. Following Cardiff’s significant expansion during the coal industry, Cathays became a new settlement for workers coming to Cardiff. As the demand was so high, rows of houses were built rapidly, by the 1900’s Cathays was fully urbanised and was noted as an established are from overflow workers from Butetown. The last remaining farms were Allensbank and Wedal farmed which disappeared by 1914. The construction of the railway in 1850 helped connect the area to the docklands and the town centre. Maindy Barracks then opened in 1871 with US army troops stationed in Cardiff during World War I and II. The footpath between Gelligaer Street and New Zealand Road became known as BURMA road (Be Undressed and Ready My Angel) as they came to meet prostitutes. In 1909 Cardiff University relocated from Newport Road to Cathays Park and following this in 1927 the National Museum of Wales opened in the same area. To further expand the area, the largest building in Cathays Park, The Welsh Office opened in 1964.
Following over 100 years of expansion and development, Cathays is now made its firm mark in Cardiff and is home to the majority of University teaching sites, along with the Student Union. The area is also home to Cathays High School. The location of the university sites has controlled the type of residents in the area, which are now mainly students. Many of the properties have been extended and altered to offer multiple occupation suitable for the 30,000 strong student population. The area is popular due to walking distance to city centre as well as the short distance from Gabalfa interchange for access to routes to M4.