Caesar's Arms is the name of a hostelry and restaurant in the village of Creigiau, Pentyrch parish. Here is the relevant recorded information:
Caesar's Arms 2007
Name Occupant Date
Caesar Arms inn [William Collins] 1914
Caesar Arms (Tavern) [John Collins] 1901
Caeser Arms [John Thomas] 1891,
Cesar Arms [Martha Israel] 1881
Caesar Arms [Martha Israel] 1871
Ceasser Arms [Thomas Simon] 1861
Nant y Kessall [Thomas Hopkin (sic), farmer] 1851
Nantykessar [Thomas Hopkins, farmer] 1841
Nant y cesall 1833
Nant y Cessar 1796
nant y kessar 1570
The earliest names, nant y kessar, Nant y Cessar etc. are the names of a stream that flows near the village of Creigiau, in the parish of Pentyrch (pronounced pen-tirch rather than the recently usurped and maligned pen-turk). nant y kessar and Nant y Cessar etc. are scribal efforts at recording the Gwentian dialect form of the Welsh collective noun cesair ‘hailstones'.
Other streams named in similar fashion to reflect low water temperature include Nant yr Eira (snow), Odnant (snow), Nant Iaen (ice), Oernant (cold) along with Afon Genllysg (hailstones).
Nant y cesall is an example of the interchange of final -r and -l of some Welsh words e.g. corner > cornel, dresser > dresel, razor > rasel, mesur > mesul etc.
Nant-y-cesair stream gave its name to a smallholding located on its banks as indicated by the occupation of Thomas Hopkin(s), the occupant of the 1841 and 1851 census returns.
By 1861 however, the name and nature of the building had changed from the smallholding known as Nant y Cessar to a public house known as the Ceasser Arms. The final element of the stream-name had been retained as the first element of the inn name. The 1881 form of Cesar Arms is interesting and a key to the change of meaning.
As well as being the Gwentian dialect form of cesair, cesar is also the Welsh spelling for the Latin personal name Caesar as evidenced in the oft recited section of Mark 12, v. 17. ‘Rhoddwch yr eiddo Cesar i Cesar, a'r eiddo Duw i Dduw.' (‘render unto Caesar', etc.) It was only natural therefore to expect a change in the perceived meaning of the inn name over the years, along with the change in the language of the locality from being predominantly Welsh to predominantly English speaking.
It was well into the 20th century before an apostrophe s was added to Caesar to make the transition complete.
Today the Caesar's Arms sign depicts the face of a Roman ruler. Perhaps it would not be out of place if the image was sheltering from a wintry shower with a caption written underneath stating ‘Hail Ceasar!'
Caesar's Arms is from Cesar Arms which was derived from the earlier Nantycesair 'the hailstones stream'.
Roath, Welsh Y Rhath, (Rahat, Raath 13th c.) is likely to be linked to Irish ráth (earthwork, fortification), and probably refers to a fortification in the area. The old manor house there was surrounded by a ditch that was probably part of the early fortification. It seems that Roath Court Funeral Home on Newport Road, is located close to the site of the old manor house.