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.
W.J. Lewis, The Gateway to Wales, a History of Cardigan, 1990