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Report - Cardiff Coal Exchange and associated bank visited 2009


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Cardiff Coal Exchange, and associated bank

This was meant to be explored with Pob, but he never answers his phone. I think it might be the first report on this building. I've written the history myself mainly, as Wikepedia is quite short.

This is a great place, and huge. Well worth a look, however be very careful. Not just wet and damp floors, but many floors either weak or missing.

The brief history of the place
Designed by the late Edwin Seward who also designed the Cardiff Royal Infirmary - another very good explore.

The building was completed after 3 years in 1886. Labelled the Coal Exchange, operations housed inside this magnificent building were very similar to that of a stock exchange, but instead of valuing shares it was the market price of coal that was decided. This coal came from throughout the Welsh Valleys and was shipped from the famous Cardiff Docks to around the World.

Most people in Cardiff are aware of the building as it was well documented that the world’s first One Million Pound deal was struck within its wall.

Like most amazing buildings in Cardiff Bay, its original intended use has not been continued. Luckily, this building was demolished after the regeneration of the Bay was started, and the building was preserved in the 80's and 90's and used for local offices for charities and government initiatives. A mosh pit was installed in the great hall itself and the venue became well known on the live music circuit.

And then doom.... planning permission granted for conversion to flats. Surprise! So, the last occupiers left the building has been empty for maybe 3 years. Clearly judging by these pictures some parts of the building have been empty for a Looooonnnnnnnnngggggggggg time. However, the slump in the housing market has delayed these plans and there is now talk of the venue once again hosting some music festivals. I drove past yesterday and there was a new sign advertising flexible workspace for rent.

Firstly sorry for the quality photos, I saw an opportunity and went for it, but all I had on me was a point and shoot camera. Hence the use of flash at some points.

On with the tour… broken into 3 parts
1) The great hall and associated rooms,
2) Upstairs and offices,
3) The Bank.

1) The great hall and associated rooms


The great clock

Clock in the entrance hall, indicating high tide. Which was the cute off point for that days deals and exchanges.

A side room with fire place.

Looking back into the hall

The great hall was surrounded by fire places. Check out the level of dust... Its beena while since this place in use.

The bar area... todays menu


Some fine detail

stripped cellar

and something a little more serious

The only music kit in the venue....

2) Upstairs and offices,

A room full of those charity wrist bands....

Loads of rooms like this.

Govenment bodies and organisations have no taste in wall colours...

See what I mean about the floors. This was the better side of the building!

Miles of Corridor

3) The Bank.

The lobby... Marble floors, wooden counters, sinks hidden in antique style desks...


And down a flight of stairs into darkness...

I'm not ashamed to say I was a big worried! I've been some weird places, but a bank vault underground, big study doors... the dark. I was extremely carefull, made sure none of the doors would shut etc.

A mixture of old banking safes

VS new banking technology



Thanks for looking, and I really hope this building has a good future ahead of it and remains in the public domain.

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