Guildhall Site 2010

The Site

The site chosen for the new public buildings and markets in 1855 was ‘Free School Bank’, the slope just beyond the site of the medieval North Gate. This was a prominent location at the head of Priory Street, then being cut through.
At the time the site was occupied by the Grammar School of 1804, a house and coach-house of Abraham Morgan, with open ground behind, By November 1856, the architect, R.J.Withers, had plans approved. In July 1857 the necessary Act of Parliament was obtained, at a huge cost of £943, and work could begin.

Laying of the Foundation Stone 8th July 1858

On 8th July 1858 the Mayor, R. D. Jenkins, laid the foundation stone for the new buildings, having accepted tenders for £1,880/5/0d for the front buildings and £2,174/15/0d for the markets. David Jenkins, John Davies and John Thomas of Cilgerran were the builders.

‘The Foundation Stone was laid on 8th July by the Mayor, R.D. Jenkins, amid great rejoicing, including the ringing of the bells at St. Mary’s Church and the firing of three rounds from the Corporation cannon at Netpool by Messrs. Donald and Stephens, army pensioners. A nine gallon cask of porter was distributed among the workmen, the streets were decorated and there was a procession which proceeded first to the new building on Free School Bank, then to the site of the new slaughter house (Mwldan), back through St. Mary’s Lane (Feidrfair) and St. Mary Street to the Cross, through Bridge Street to Bridge End and back to the Shire Hall’
W.J. Lewis, The Gateway to Wales, a History of Cardigan, 1990

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