Photo of The Cornwall pub Cardiff

This proposed listing forms part of the draft Cardiff buildings of local historic or architectural interest list - Public Houses, Hotels and Clubs (current and former)

Building reference

11 The Cornwall




92 Cornwall St, CF11 6SQ

Download site boundary plan.




Cornwall Street was first developed in 1888. Designs for the building (as the ‘Saltmead Hotel, Allerton Street’) were first produced by the eminent architect JP Jones in that same year, with attempts to licence the premises commencing in 1889.

According to Annual Licensing Sessions of 6th September 1893, the Saltmead Hotel had been “newly built for £2,000” and featured “Basement floor, three cellars and one larder; ground floor, bar (30ft. by 13ft. 3in.), parlour, smoke-room, two kitchens, yard, w.c., and urinal, three entrances; first floor three bedrooms, two sitting-rooms, bath-room, w.c.; second floor, four bedrooms.”

Plans were presented by “Mr Henry Budgen, of the firm J.P. Jones, Richards and Budgen, Architects.”

Evidence given to the (unsuccessful) licencing hearing indicated that 786 houses had been constructed in the area since 1885, providing an estimated population of 4,716 and “a great many houses were in the course of erection.” Indeed, Joseph Hardy of Hereford Street bemoaned the fact that, on Saturday nights in the crowded Neville Hotel down the road, “there was no time and not enough room” to fill jars with beer “for the Sunday consumption.” It was further suggested that the pub was needed to combat illegal drinking dens; the “shebeens” in the area.

Eventually, the pub was given a licence in September 1894 as the ‘Cornwall House Hotel’, despite the objections of a local vicar, the Cardiff and District Temperance Federation, and the landlord of The Neville, just down the road. Though a petition of 400 local supporters was discounted by the magistrates, it was finally given the go ahead.

By 1901, the pub was run by a Devon-born man, Joseph Martin, 32. Also living at the pub at this time was an Irish housekeeper, a widow, and two barmaids (who also spoke Welsh) from Maesteg and Taibach. Alongside family accommodation to the first floor, there were four bedrooms upstairs – three for the use of travellers.

The licence had transferred the following year and in 1902 the pub also dropped the “House” from the title and just became known as The Cornwall Hotel.

The pub in 1902 had two bars, a dining room and “jug and bottle” compartments. Plans [unknown] also show there was also a separate women’s snug – where part of the front bar is now – and originally a garden at the back. In 1911, it was run by James White, 50, his second wife Laura and his 22-year-old daughter, all originally from Bath. They had four servants living in helping to run the place.

The Cornwall apparently saw its separate bar and lounge knocked together during a refurbishment in 1999.



Principal portion of the building is prominently located upon the corner of Cornwall Street and Hereford Street, Grangetown. It is square in plan with, faceted corner to the junction. A lower, two-storey perpendicular range extends north-west, set back from Hereford Street. Modern flat roof extensions fill the remainder of the plot, including the space between the rear range and the road.

The principal building is composed of pressed red-brick laid in Flemish bond, with flat cut-brick arches above modern casement windows (timber to ground floor, uPVC to first).

The ground floor elevations are white painted, with a pair of moulded stone stringcourses above, defining plain brick bands which accommodate modern signage.

The principal entrance is set within the faceted southern corner of the building, which has a breakfront to both principal elevations. Here, double doors, with three-panel bolection moulding and boarded rectangular fanlight over (featuring a large lantern). There is a plain-tiled hipped canopy over, supported by curved and fluted timber brackets on stone corbels.

The roof has wide, convex moulded eaves and a slate covering. There is a small gable over the faceted corner and two substantial chimney stacks to the north-west and north-east.


A nicely composed Victorian public House on a prominent corner plot, likely designed by the preeminent Cardiff architect J.P. Jones (or one of his associates).

Landmark Status.

Aesthetic and Historical (including Historical Association) Value.

Some 128 years of service imparts considerable Communal Value.


Glamorgan Archives

Archival Evidence

Glamorgan Archives


Hotel, Saltmead Hotel, Allerton Street

1888 – Architect: J P Jones – Developer: Hancock & Co Ltd

3 plans, no elevations


Hotel, Cornwall Road

1889 – Architect: S Jones – Developer: D J Davies

2 plans, no elevations


Hotel, Cornwall Road

1890 – Architect: Unknown – Developer: J E Turner

1 Plan, No elevations


Drainage to Hotel, Saltmead Hotel, Cornwall Street

1891 – Architect: W D Blessley – Developer: Castle Brewery Co.

1 plan, no elevations


14 Aug 1891

Notice by Samuel Marks for removal of licence from the Rock and Fountain to the Saltmead Hotel, Hereford Street, Saltmead, Canton.


16 Aug 1891

Notice given to the Overseers of the Poor for Canton by Samuel Dyer Churchill for removal of the licence held by Thomas Williams at the Rock and Fountain to the Saltmead Hotel, Cornwall Street and Hereford Street, Saltmead.


1894 – Alterations to property, Cornwall House, Hereford Street

Architect: J P Jones, Richards & Budgen – Developer: S A Brain & Co Ltd


Store room, Cornwall Hotel, Cornwall Street

1907 – Architect: R & S Williams – Developer: S A Brain & Co Ltd

1 Plan, no elevations


Alterations and additions to hotel, Cornwall Hotel, Cornwall Street

1930 – Architect: I Jones & P Thomas – Developer: S A Brain & Co Ltd

3 Plans, no elevations


Cornwall Hotel, Saltmead Road

1930 – Possible Plans


Cornwall Hotel


Photograph, 1991; Newspaper cutting, 1999; History of name, 1982


Public Houses 2

List, 1884; Article on Grangetown pubs; Article “My Cardiff” on Sunday closing Act, 1998; Directory of Welsh Breweries; Cornwall Pub; The Prince of Ales


Properties in Grangetown, Cardiff.


Sale of ground rents.

(Robert W. Griffiths and E.W.M. Corbett).

Inc. Cornwall Street (all on what was previously known as the Saltmead), Grangetown, Cardiff.

Part file wrapper (for 15 Jul 1890 sale).

Correspondence 21 Apr 1887-10 Jul 1890.

  1. Particulars and conditions of sale for auction with plans/key plan coloured others now 7 and 8 Jul 1887 marked ‘D.T. Alexander Esq., with details added in ink and pencil.


[see also sale book 8 (ref. DSA/ 8/8) f.133-140 for the 1887 sale and sale book 10 (ref DSA/8/10) f.48 for the 1892 sale]

Additional images


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