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Visiting Swansea, Wales, and its Guildhall and Brangwyn Hall: Neo-Classicism and Art Deco monumentality

Updated on April 9, 2012
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Brangwyn Hall, Swansea
Brangwyn Hall, Swansea | Source
Guildhall, Swansea
Guildhall, Swansea | Source
Map location of Swansea, Wales
Map location of Swansea, Wales | Source

A civic and cultural centre of permanence

This imposing civic building is currently the headquarters of the City and County of Swansea (Welsh: Abertawe ), in Glamorgan (Welsh: Morgannwg ), Wales (Welsh: Cymru ). The building incorporates the Brangwyn Hall (Welsh: Neuadd y Brangwyn ), a musical concert venue also used for ceremonies by the Swansea University (Welsh: Prifysgol Abertawe ) and Swansea Metropolitan University (Prifysgol Fetropolitan Abertawe ).

Some history and features

It was built between 1930 and 1934. The building's architect was Sir Percy Thomas (1883-1969) and the style in simplified Neo-Classicism is complemented by a 48 metre high Art Deco tower. The exterior is executed in white Portland stone. An effect of the presence of this building material is that it easily catches the light and causes the Guildhall, with its tall tower, to be an especially conspicuous landmark.

The concert hall contains murals by the artist Sir Frank Brangwyn, originally commissioned for the British House of Lords, but subsequently these were re-appraised and given a permanent home here in Swansea. Some Canadians may recall that Sir Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) was also responsible for a mural in the Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg.

Also worth seeing

Swansea Castle and Oystermouth Castle are historic structures in the Swansea area dating from Medieval times. Singleton Abbey, in Singleton Park, is a noteworthy building belonging to Swansea University.


How to get there: Continental Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is 286 kilometres from Swansea. There are also rail (from London Paddington railroad station) and bus links to Swansea. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check for up to date information with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


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