Park House. William Burges. 1871-5. Pennant Sandstone walls, with Bath stone dressings and pink granite from Aberdeenshire for the pillars. Park Place, Cardiff, Wales. Photograph and text 2009 by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]

Park House was designed by Burges for John McConnochie, the third Marquess of Bute's chief dock engineer, who later became Mayor of Cardiff (see "Cardiff Council Minutes"). The house's French Gothic style echoes that of the two castles in the area on which Burges worked for Bute, Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch. Deemed "one of the most important 19th century townhouses in Wales," it is said to have "revolutionised Cardiff's domestic architecture" ("Cardiff Centenary Walk"). Certainly, the appearance of fine Victorian villas in the nearby district of Roath was largely attributed at the time to Burges's influence (see Long 52; cf. areas of Oxford and Cambridge near the Gothic and neo-Gothic college buildings in those cities). There are also rows of smaller, nicely detailed Gothic terraces in the area — better quality lower-class housing than is seen elsewhere. Looking further afield, Park House was a forerunner of Burges's own Tower House in London (see "Cardiff City and Bay Circular Walk"). However, the absence of a tower, and the choice of materials, make it look quite different. In what other respects does it look different? Park House is now a clubhouse, complete with Burges Restaurant.

Other Views and Related Material


"Cardiff City and Bay Circular Walk" (BBC Wales website). Viewed 13 September 2009.

"The Cardiff Centenary Walk." Cardiff: Cardiff Council, 2005.

"Cardiff Council Minutes: 1879-81." Cardiff Records, Vol 5. British History Online. Viewed 13 September 2009.

Long, Helen. The Edwardian House: The Middle-Class Home in Britian, 1880-1914. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.

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Last modified 13 September 2009