Castle Arcade, Cardiff. Designed by Peter Price for the Cardiff Arcade Company (see "Trade News"). Completed 1887. A Grade II* listed building. "Entrance block in Dutch Renaissance style. Painted front of three storeys plus attic in shaped gable with pinnacles" (listing text).

Left: The east-west wing, with three storeys, balustrade and "The Balcony." Right: The contrasting north-south wing, with only two storeys here, and large projecting wooden oriels.

Cardiff has been described as "the city of Arcades," and, with six preserved and flourishing today, is said to have "the highest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian Shopping arcades in the UK" (Savage). This particular arcade has one entrance right opposite the city's most important piece of architectural heritage — Cardiff Castle — and turns at right-angles in the middle to lead out to the High Street, thus linking two key areas of the city together. At the time, the arcades made a huge contrast with the castle itself, taking their materials and form from the new enterprise of railway station / shed structure. Today, they are pieces of architectural heritage too, though they continue to serve their original purpose and flourish with a mix of often unique specialist shops. This one is full of character, not only making a ninety-degree turn between the two streets, but having either three storeys — a first floor with balustraded walkway and bridges overhanging the ground floor, and another floor bracketed out above that — or two storeys, without a walkway but with elegant oriel windows. John Newman calls it, internally, "one of the most enjoyable" of the Cardiff arcades (216).

Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images 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 or cite it in a print document.]

Related Material


"Castle Arcade, Castle." British Listed Buldings. 21 October 2015.

Newman, John, with contributions by Stephen Hughes and Anthony Ward. Glamorgan (Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and West Glamorgan) (The Buildings of Wales series). London: Penguin / University of Wales Press, 1995.

Savage, Jennie. The Arcades Project. Web. 21 October 2015.

"Trade News." In The Building News and Engineering Journal, Volume 15 (1868). Google Books (free eBook, but hard to read). Web. 21 October 2015.

Created 25 October 2015