Formed in 1809, the Waterguard was the sea-based arm of UK revenue enforcement. It fell under Admiralty control until 1822, when it was taken over by the Board of Customs, becoming a division of the Customs and Excise department in 1909. With the 1972 reorganisation of HM Customs and Excise, the Waterguard name officially ceased to exist.
The crenellated building illustrated here is thought to have been erected at Roath Dock in the 1850s, where it served as the local Customs office. It was preserved when the area’s regeneration began in the late-20th century. In 1993, the entire building was jacked up onto a trailer and moved about 100 metres; subsequently it formed the frontage of a new public house, built in 2001 and named The Waterguard. Mary Traynor’s drawing shows the removal underway.
David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer
- Mary Traynor Collection [D1093/2/50]
- Lee, Brian & Butetown History and Arts Centre, Butetown and Cardiff Docks (Images of Wales series)
- http://www.hm-waterguard.org.uk/ (website no longer exists)