What is Insole Court?

By Daniel Davies and Emily Ledgeway

Insole Court is a Victorian Gothic mansion in Llandaff, Cardiff.

The mansion dates back to 1855 and was built for a businessman named James Harvey Insole.

In the 1930s Cardiff Council bought the entire estate in 1932 for £26,250 under a compulsory purchase order, with the family being allowed to stay on in the house as tenants. The final Insole to live in the house – Eric – moved out in 1938.

Insole Court: the mansion as it would have looked over 150 years ago (Picture: Daniel Davies)

During the Second World War the house was used as a base of operations by the Royal Air Force. The remains of a bunker installed at the time can still be visited, however inside access isn’t allowed due to asbestos.

Following the conclusion of World War II the house became a new home to many people, as the upper floors were turned into flats, before the venue was closed in 2006 on health and safety grounds.

The house, and its surrounding area, reopened in 2008 and is now managed by the Insole Court Trust. Nowadays, the site even has a café for those who wish to visit!

Leave a Reply