62 Charles Street, Cardiff

Because properties in Charles Street appear to have been renumbered at least twice, it is not easy to trace, with certainty, the history of number 62.  However, the building probably dates from the middle of the 19th century.  A comparison of census and directory details suggests that, between about 1880 and the early 1900s, it was number 52, and might also have been named Llancarvan House.

D1093-1-3 p5

The house, as originally built, was probably plainer in its external appearance, since it was only in 1884 that building approval was sought to add the bay windows and porch.  That application was submitted by Thomas Windsor Jacobs, an Alderman of Cardiff, who went on to serve as Mayor in 1887-88.  Records show that he still lived at 52 Charles Street well into the 1890s.

Following Alderman Jacobs’ departure, the property was acquired by the Cardiff Board of Guardians who, until their demise in 1930, housed the Poor Law Union Dispensary there, and also the Superintendent Registrar’s office.  Subsequent occupants have included wholesalers of various products, solicitors, and a charity.

David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

Sources consulted:

  • Mary Traynor Collection (ref.: D1093/1/3)
  • Cardiff Borough Records, plans for additions to house, 52 Charles Street, 1884 (ref,: BC/S/1/4454.1)
  • Cardiff Borough Records, plans for new Registrars Office, Llancarfan House, Charles Street, 1897 (ref.: BC/S/1/12408)
  • Various Cardiff Directories
  • 1851 – 1911 Censuses
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Wesleyan Methodist Church, Charles Street, Cardiff

Wesleyan Methodist Central Hall stood at the corner of Charles Street and Bridge Street, Cardiff.  The foundation stone was laid on 16 July 1849 by Alderman David Lewis, Mayor of Cardiff, who was also a church member.  Designed by James Wilson of Bath, its Gothic style was, at the time, unusual for a nonconformist building in Wales.  The chapel opened on 25 September 1850.

On 12 April 1895, the building was destroyed by a fire which broke out shortly after the end of that day’s Good Friday devotions.  Just over three months later, on 24 July, building plans were approved for a new church designed by Jones, Richards and Budgen of Cardiff, and reconstruction went ahead, largely on the same footprint as the original building.

D1093-2-21 to 44 029 Wesleyan Charles Street levelled

The chapel continued to serve Cardiff’s Methodists during the first four decades of the twentieth century.  The last marriage to be registered there was on 5 June 1937 and it seems likely that the chapel closed shortly afterwards.  Local directories suggest that the building was used, in the late 1940s, by the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Women’s Department).  During the 1950s, it housed the Supplies Department of the Welsh Regional Hospital Board and also a Clothing Depot for the Women’s Voluntary Service.  By the 1960s, though, it appears to have been unoccupied.  Later, it was used for a time by Welsh National Opera before demolition in the mid-1980s.

The site is now occupied by a modern building which serves as the Cardiff Jobcentre.

David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

Sources consulted: