The early history show that this was a manor belonging to Cardiff Castle and supplied farm products to the castle from the mid 1400s to 1926 when the farms were sold off. It has always been, and still is, an agricultural region, based on scattered farms and a small collection of houses on the B4267 to Llandough. Leckwith was always very self-sufficient, Victorian inhabitants being described as farmers, lime burners, dairymen, bridge keepers and so on. It is remarkable that even though very close to urban Cardiff the unspoilt rural nature of the area and its extensive woodlands have not changed for centuries. It is the closest part of the Vale of Glamorgan to Cardiff City giving a unique combination of rural environment and seclusion and easy commuting to both the city centre and the M4 and being in an elevated position there are magnificent views over the Bristol Channel, Cwrt-yr-Ala valley and the hills north of Cardiff.
Leckwith no longer has a parish church (St James), the building having become derelict many years ago and is now converted into two houses. The common, known as the Gower, is situated behind the row of 1950’s houses on the main road facing the Green but this is now much smaller than it was in Victorian times. It is owned and maintained by the Community Council.
The old stone bridge over the river Ely at the bottom of Leckwith Hill remains intact and in continual use. This was built in the 16th century with triangular recesses, three arches and single track width, and is accompanied by the bridge keeper’s house, itself once a farm. The bridge is Grade 11 listed but as far as traffic is concerned has been superseded and largely concealed by the concrete bridge built alongside it in 1935. It is the sole entrance to the small industrial estate along the Ely river so although five centuries old it is still able to withstand heavy vehicles.
The prehistory of the area turns up occasionally. Near the bridge in 1928, at the old pre-barrage tidal reaches of the river Ely, a man with the unlikely name of Jockenhovel O'Connor discovered a hoard of bronze-age armaments from around 600 BC - one rib and pellet socketed axe, one socketed axe fragment, four leatherworking knives, two socketed sickles, two razors and a chariot pole cap, now in the national museum. (Peter Finch Archive)
The sites of most of the old farms in Leckwith remain, White Farm and Yynyston have been developed for private housing, Brynwell, Woodlands and Bullcroft remain as single buildings while Beggan remains a fully working farm with its own Cock Hill vineyard as well as a herd of Welsh Black cattle. Other houses include the Forester’s cottages on the Gower common, built when the Forestry Commission managed much of the local woodland, and a small number of stone built Victorian houses. The ruins of an old long house remain beside the church.