As the family’s industrial concerns went into decline, they also suffered the deaths
of Fred in 1917, and his son Claud, just a year later on active service. The house
passed to Eric, who lived there with his mother and sister, Violet.
In 1931, Western Avenue was planned and subsequently, Cardiff Corporation bought
the entire estate under a compulsory purchase order. The family remained in the house
for some time after, before moving away to England.
The Court then had many uses. During World War II it was an ARP HQ, and housed the
Royal Observer Corps and Auxiliary Fire Service. Post-war, there were self-contained
flats and council offices. It fell into disrepair and, despite the excellent restoration
of the dining room in 1995, was closed on health and safety grounds in November 2006.
Fortunately, following a long campaign by the Friends of Insole Court, Insole Estate
Residents Association and the Llandaff Society, it was re-opened in November 2008.
The Insole Court Trust is now leading the Renewal Project for the community to take
over the management from Cardiff Council.
Written with material from:
Insole Court, Llandaff, The Story of a Victorian Mansion
The Edwardian period was the golden age with a large staff running the house and
gardens, which were filled with many rare and unusual trees, shrubs and plants. There
was also a large kitchen garden, orchard, vinery, peach shelter and several hot houses.