Twentieth Century

1939-1966 In 1950 the library moved into the corn exchange, where it remained until 1994. Demolition of the whole or parts of the complex was regularly proposed after 1945; by Dan Williams, local historian, in 1946, by the Chamber of Trade in 1952, for a ‘parking ground’ and in 1963. That proposal was followed by a plan to build a modern shopping and market complex within the market outer walls, and with a two-storey glass office block on stilts at the upper level, which was well received by the Town Council and local press, but was not proceeded with, possibly because the developers withdrew.

Cardigan Guildhall Plan

Use of the Building – A Civic Centre in Miniature

The text in The Building News (1859) reveals what an extraordinary complex Cardigan was building, this was a civic centre in miniature, far more than the usual hall over a market, which was common at the time.

Cardigan Guildhall Street Plan

On the ground floor was the Free Grammar School (now the Radley Room, a community meeting room and event venue), together with its book collection, the Divinity Library, (now the Kitchen) – the schoolmaster was honorary librarian. The school was accessed by the door still to be seen in College Row, opposite the fishing tackle shop, with ‘Cardigan Grammar School 1858’ etched in the bath stone above. Stone stairs led up into the area that is now the Main Foyer.

The Rooms >>