Photo of former The Wells 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

49 Wells Hotel (former)

Date

1880s

Address

77 Craddock Street, CF11 6EW

Download site boundary plan.

Ward

Riverside

History

The Craddock Wells Charity was founded in 1710 when Alderman Craddock Wells donated some houses and land in Canton, the proceeds of which were to be used for educational purposes. The land was built upon in the 1880/1890s. The houses were let on 99-year leases to Great Western Railway workers, who had to pay supplementary rates of £3 per annum which went to the charity and was then used to provide funding for scholarships.

The whole area south of Wyndham Street and north of Eldon Street (now Ninian Park Road) is undeveloped within the OS map of 1886 and it is only in the plan of 1922 (surveyed 1915-16) that the layout becomes clear, and Craddock Street is shown.

The earliest newspaper mention of the Wells Hotel comes in March 1890, when the landlord Mr Shapton proposes construction of a bowling alley. The plan was rejected by the Wells Charity Governors ‘owing to the annoyance caused to neighbours and being pointed out that the plan encroached on the place at the rear of the premises.

A new bowling alley was proposed for the Wells Hotel in 1895, to designs of the Architect C.C. Jones. At this date, the premises was owned by W Hancock & Co Ltd.

The skittle alley was located to the south of the building and was demolished in 2004, around the same time the building was converted to six flats c.2005 – see 04/00630/W

Description

A highly ornate Late-Victorian building in a free Mannerist style with Queen Anne influences. Three storeys, with asymmetric plan, prominently located upon the junction of Craddock Street, Trevithick Street and Smeaton Street. Built in ‘pressed’ red brick with freestone dressings.

The ground floor has rusticated pilasters topped with cushion stops to the full-height diamond colonettes above, linked by blind arches with giant keystones. Windows to the ground floor have moulded depressed arch heads with over-sized voussoirs. One to the west elevation with stone transom and mullion. Stone hood porch to the principal entrance (north elevation) is highly ornate, with oversized fluted brackets topped by swags and ionic capitals, all supporting a scrolled openwork balustrade – which is also integrated into the moulded stone string course which tops the ground floor storey.

Portland limestone and Grey Forest of Dean Sandstone provide alternating banding to the first floor (in the style of Norman Shaw), integrated into the diamond colonnettes which terminate at a moulded cornice above. Stone mullion and transom windows. Depressed and moulded arch heads (with alternating over-sized keystones) to windows with stone swag infill to blind fanlights.

Highly ornate Dutch gables to parapet of third floor with scrolls and pediments. Colonettes terminated with pinnacles alongside.

Pitched and slated roofs.

Reason

A prominently located and richly decorated building. Though original windows have been lost, the building retains high Historical and Aesthetic Aesthetic Value.

Built as a hotel and public house in c.1890. Though closed it continues to hold Communal value.

References

Glamorgan Archives

BC/S/1/10870

Bowling alley, Wells Hotel, Smeaton Street

1895 – Architect: C.C. Jones – Developer: W Hancock & Co Ltd

1 Plan, including Elevations

BC/S/1/34520

Ladies toilet, Wells Hotel, Craddock Street

1943 – Architect: G R H Rogers – Developer: W Hancock & Co Ltd

1 Plan, No Elevations

BC/S/1/37770

Sign, Wells Hotel, Craddock Street

1948 – Architect: G R H Rogers – Developer: W Hancock & Co Ltd

1 Plan, No Elevations

DCONC/6/146a-c

Wells Hotel, Craddock Street

1937-1943

Plans

Additional images

1922 OS map showing the Wells Hotel Cardiff

1915 to 1916, Published 1922. Glamorgan Sheet XLIII

Location

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