Cardiff Pierhead Building, Landmarks Cardiff, City of Cardiff - Wales where to go, what to see and where to stay in Wales


Waterfront Cardiff City_of_Cardiff Wales
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The Cardiff Bay Pierhead building is situated on the waterfront at Cardiff Bay, Cardiff South Wales. The Pierhead is an attractive building made of glazed terracotta bricks, like lego blocks but more attractive. Look closely and you will find hexagonal chimneys, some grand looking gargoyles, and an ornamental clock tower. It was built in 1897 and designed by William Frame as a replacement for the headquarters of the Bute Dock Company that burnt down in 1892. The glazed terracotta bricks lend themselves to the highly decorative French-Gothic style of the building and have contributed toward the Grade 1 listing of this fine structure. The clay-based terracotta was supplied by JC Edwards & Co of Acrefair near Ruabon in Wrexham where once more than 2,000 people were involved in the trade, with Ruabon known as "Terracottapolis". It is a pity that the powers that be could not have given the Grade 1 protection to similar terracotta buildings.(In Colwyn Bay we had a beautiful Chapel in the west end of the town built in the same terracotta brickwork, this was demolished by Anwyl builders to make way for some bland apartments named Capel Cwrt should be named "Knocked Down Capel Cwrt"!). Getting back to the Pierhead became the administrative office for the Port of Cardiff in 1947 and is now the location of an events and visitor attraction. It contains a number of films and exhibits exploring Welsh history as well as spaces to function as venues for public debate and assembly-sponsored events. One exhibition showcases artefacts including the Pennal Letter sent by Prince of Wales Owain Glyndwr to Charles VI of France in 1406. Another features an audio-visual display of Welsh heroes - people who have made significant contributions to Wales' cultural and political identity.
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