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Coal Exchange, Cardiff - May 2015

AndyK!

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The Coal Exchange in Cardiff was constructed as a place where trade negotiations regarding the sale of coal could be conducted. Constructed between 1884 and 1888 by Edwin Seward, the grand building features paired Corinthian columns, an oak balcony, and rich wood panelling in a large trading hall, which was reconstructed in 1911.

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History of Cardiff’s Coal Exchange

Mount Stuart Square in Cardiff was a residential street with a central garden. As the city of Cardiff grew, the area was gradually taken over by businesses where business men would gather and coal merchants would use chalk to mark the prices of coal onto slates outside their premises.

The Coal Exchange was constructed to form a centralised trading place, and became an important role in industrial Cardiff. Coal owners, ship owners and trading agents would meet daily on the floor of the trading hall, and during peak hours there could be as many as 200 men negotiating deals. It was estimated up to 10,000 people would pass through the doors every day!

For a time, the price of the worlds coal was determined at Cardiff’s Coal Exchange, and the worlds first £1 million deal was made there in 1904.

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Cardiff relied heavily on the coal industry and the the Bute Docks eventually began to see a downturn in demand. The Coal Exchange closed in 1958, and coal exports came to an end in 1964.

Coal Exchange, Cardiff - Trading hall in useThe building became Grade II* listed in 1975, and was used sporadically for TV filming until 1988 when it was purchased to be used as a major venue. It was extensively refurbished and from 2001 hosted acts such as the Arctic Monkeys, Van Morrison and the Stereophonics. The refurbishment retained the trading hall, although with the addition of a suspended ceiling hiding away the original glass roof. By 2013 serious safety issues concerning the structure forced the closure of the events venue.

The building is now in varying states of decay – the west wing is still in use as offices by a number of business, whereas the east wing has seen many years of neglect, causing some floors to collapse and some areas have suffered a fire. The non-profit organisation ‘Save the Coal Exchange’ has done an excellent job of preserving the trading hall and main entrance which both remain in a good state of repair.

Visited with @SpiderMonkey 

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The clocks would be set daily to show AM and PM high-water times​

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The huge trading hall was where business would be done​

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Originally the ceiling was open up to the roof with a large glass skylight​

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The original ironwork and skylight still remain above the suspended ceiling​

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Behind the bar were some very nice stained glass windows​

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Much of the building is now suffering a lot of decay​

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Barclays Bank

Some of the building was used by Barclays Bank and the vaults beneath still remain.

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There are many more areas to look around and the vaults had lots of interesting bits to shoot, but we ran out of time before we had to top up the parking meter.

 
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Lenston

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Love those vaults, deff didnt catch them when we had a look around. revisit needed :)

 

The_Raw

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Spectacular Andy (y)  

:comp  

 

hamtagger

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Great stuff that. I can't help thinking that this should have a little stretch in NP? Would be nice for some others to have a look too.. (y)  

 

Maniac

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What a stunning building! :eek:   Lovely set of photos there Andy :)  

 

jones-y-gog

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Great stuff that. I can't help thinking that this should have a little stretch in NP? Would be nice for some others to have a look too.. (y)  


Agreed on this, its a place I'd been wondering about for a while...

That said, a quality report with a nice variety of stuff

 
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