These aerial views of Newport paint a fascinating picture of how the city has changed. MARTIN WADE looks at aerial views of Newport’s history.

Tredegar House and St Joseph’s School

This shot from 1982 shows Tredegar House and the former site of St Joseph’s School.

Tredegar House was built between about l664 and l672 by Sir William Morgan. It is a large two-storey square house built around a small courtyard, constructed out of red brick, with a pitched slate roof.

It was acquired by Newport Council in 1974 before the National Trust assumed its management in 2012.

The trust have embarked on a renovation project called lifting the lid which includes repairs to the mansion house roof which is currently leaking that will be completed in late 2017.

The house has been called “one of the outstanding houses of the Restoration period in the whole of Britain”.

Until l951 the house was a private home, still the principal residence of the Morgan family, who lived there from the early 15th century onwards.

The site’s connection with Catholic schooling began in 1951, when the last of the Morgans, John Morgan, sold the house to the Sisters of St Joseph for use as a Catholic girls’ boarding school.

From 1967, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic comprehensive school was established when the school at Tredegar House and two other Catholic Secondary Schools in Newport were merged together.

The building we see here was built between 1972 and 1976. The buildings seen in this picture were demolished before the move to the current site also in Duffryn which was completed in September 2004.

Transporter Bridge

The Transporter Bridge features in many aerial views of Newport and is a constant amid more than a century of change.

A shot looking north-east shows how little development there was east of the River Usk before the Second World War.

Stephenson Street, the light coloured road which carries traffic to the Transporter, cut through fields here, but now is flanked by industrial sites.

Further north, there is the Orb steelworks, but beyond that there are fields still.

Still recognisable is the Waterloo Hotel and the terraces of Pill.

Then they would have been only a couple of decades old.

Another shot looking westwards shows again how little of this area of Newport was developed. Maesglas, the Gaer, Duffryn, all had yet to be conceived.

Belle Vue Park

Another legacy of the Morgan family is the land where the park stands which was given to Newport by Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar in 1891.

In November 1892 Lord Tredegar cut the first sod and construction began with the park being opened on September 8 1894. The final cost of the park was £19,500. It is home to many distinctive blooms such as the Himalayan Magnolia, which produces goblet-shaped pink flowers in early spring.

The Gorsedd Stone Circle was erected in 1896, for the National Eisteddfod, held in Belle Vue Park in 1897. Clearly visible are the bandstand and the pavilion, now home to Parc Pantry.

The railway lines at the bottom of the picture still took trains across Mendalgief Road and into Newport to Dock Street station. The lines also stretched westwards to marshalling yards where Bideford Road now stands.

Docks and railway

Another shot shows the knot of rail lines which girdled Newport in its heyday. Mendalgief Road here forms the boundary of terraced streets, beyond which are endless lines of track, some crammed with coal wagons waiting to unload at the docks or lying empty and waiting to return up the valleys to be filled again with coal.

To the top-left can be seen a scattering of houses on the Gaer, before the large building schemes of later years. Tugs, a dredger and barges can be seen in the portion of Newport Docks visible.

Newport centre

A final shot shows the centre of Newport circa 1930s. To the middle-right, the Monmouthshire canal, which ran from Brecon before joining the Usk at Crindau, can be seen.

Just up from there are the buildings which used to cluster around the Old Green and Newport Castle before the area was levelled in 1970 to create the roundabout we see today.

Towards the bottom-right, Newport’s Lyceum Theatre can be picked out.

When Houdini came to Newport in April 1905, he spent a week performing here.

It was one of Newport’s grandest buildings but as audiences dwindled after the Second World War and pressure grew to redevelop Newport town centre, the theatre was closed and the decision taken to demolish it in 1961.