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Visiting the Wyndham Arcade, Cardiff, Wales: dating from 1887, by J P Jones

Updated on April 2, 2014
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Wyndham Arcade, Mill Lane entrance, Cardiff, Wales
Wyndham Arcade, Mill Lane entrance, Cardiff, Wales | Source
Map location of Cardiff, Wales
Map location of Cardiff, Wales | Source

Sign of a growing prosperity in the late 19th century

In the 1880s, Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd ), Wales, was a rapidly growing urban centre, noted for its thriving port and coal industry. Buildings dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Downtown area of Cardiff thus give the visitor a sense of its growing confidence and prosperity.

Cardiff is a city with several, notable shopping arcades, some of which date from the 19th century.

Some history and features

One of these earlier arcades is the Wyndham Arcade, with its entrances on Mill Lane and St Mary Street.

Its architect was J P Jones, working with contractors Charles Sheppard and Son. The complex dates from 1887.

The Mill Lane entrance of the Wyndham Arcade is noted for its wide, stone archway, and a frontage executed in a combination of stone- and brickwork. The arching motif is continued in the central three windows above the main archway, while classical-style pediments top further, symmetrically placed, windows.

Above the Mill Lane entrance are the following words, carved into the stonework: WYNDHAM 1887 ARCADE (1).

The symmetricality of the features of the entrance at the Wyndham Arcade's Mill Lane elevation contrast with the sharp angle of the walkway into which the pedestrian enters. The Café Quarter is located nearby.

It is fair to say that in the more than a century of the Arcade's existence the centre of gravity of some of Cardiff's more expensive retail outlets has shifted away from the Wyndham Arcade, which regularly attracts a younger clientele. Thus, the general ambience of the Wyndham Arcade may be said to be typified by a combination of younger people in an older building complex.


(1) It may be recalled that 1887 was the year the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign, when in Canada only 20 years had elapsed since Confederation.

Also worth seeing

In Cardiff itself, significant buildings and visitor attractions include: the Welsh National War Memorial; the Crown Court; Cardiff City Hall; the National Museum of Wales; Cardiff Castle; Llandaff Cathedral; the statue of Aneurin Bevan, Queen Street, the Main Building of Cardiff University, and many others.


How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is approximately 222 kilometres from Cardiff . There are fast railroad links between London and Cardiff. Some facilities mentioned may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent.

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


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