A gable is visible on this site in an illustration of 1786 by J. Greig, based upon a drawing by F. Grose. In 1830-37 the building was the business premises of John Edwards, sail-maker. In 1834 it appeared on John Wood’s map of Cardigan. In 1834 Thomas Edwards purchased the 33 ton sloop “Comet” (built in 1816, Cardigan) in association with the master, David Griffiths. He was leasing nearby lime-kilns from David Davies, Bridge House, Cardigan, at that time. In 1841-68 Thomas Edwards jnr. was working here as a rope & sail-maker, lime-burner and corn merchant. In 1849 Thomas Edwards purchased the 115 ton snow “Betsy” (built in 1841 in Cardigan), for importing timber from the Baltic. Thomas Edwards became the Mayor of Cardigan on 9th November 1850. Thomas Edwards was still leasing the property from David Davies, Castle Green (Cardigan Castle), in 1852. In 1857 he acquired the 35-ton dandy schooner, “Peggy”, which he owned until 1869.
By 3rd March 1870 Thomas Edwards had relinquished his lease of a wharf, lime-kilns, beach and steam crane from David Griffith Davies. The warehouse and lime-kilns were advertised to let on 10th March 1871. Thomas Edwards, however, was still listed as the proprietor in 1875-77. In 1876 Thomas Edwards was the owner of the 26-ton vessel “David”. Alderman Thomas Edwards, J. P., died on 20th February 1880, aged 69. On 7th June 1889 building plots, kilns, a warehouse and a wharf, were advertised for sale at Bridge End – probably here.
In 1890-95 it was the premises of the Western Counties Agricultural Co-operative Association. In 1895 George Lockett was the Manager. On 15th April 1898 the building, with offices and quay, was advertised for sale. The Western Counties Agricultural Co-operative moved to the Mwldan, Cardigan, on 29th September 1898. It passed to the Cardigan Mercantile Company. According to a contemporary newspaper the Cardigan Mercantile Company took over the building early in August 1952. In October 1952-55 they traded here.
The building became a listed building in 1961. On 2nd February 1968 L. E. Price advertised the property for sale. In 1971 ‘Davies’ Tyre & Battery Service’ was located here. In February 1977 ‘Richard Davies’ Tyres’ was trading here. In latter years, ‘G. T. Tyres’ and ‘Arjay Factors’ have used the property. On 25th August 1999 concerns were raised for the future of the building when it was declared structurally unsafe. The building required some shoring and the removal of tyres that were stored internally. Reinforcement measures were conducted that year.
The building was vacated in 2000. In 2001 planning permission was granted for conversion of the upper floors to flats. In 2003 the new owner, revealed plans to convert the building for office and residential accommodation. In October 2006 work began on major renovations. In July 2007 ‘Fforest Canoes’ began trading here and remained here in 2007-13. Late in 2008 ‘Howie’s’ began trading on the first floor for a time.
The building was described by CADW in 1992:
“…Early to mid C19 warehouse in banded rubble stone with hipped slate roof and timber brackets to eaves. Five storeys, 5-window range of imposing height, the windows all 3-light timber casements with slate sills. Cut blue lias voussoirs to ground floor windows, cambered heads, continuous timber lintels to first and second floors, individual timber lintels to third and fourth floors. Flat eaves with paired brackets. Centre bay has loading doors to each floor, the ground floor with stone voussoirs, the rest under timber lintels, the topmost door half height with gabled hoist projecting from eaves above.
The west end wall has one-window range, ground floor modern enlarged opening with sliding doors, brick heads to similar timber windows to upper floors, timber lintel to top floor. Ground floor SW angle is chamfered. Rear 5-window range, cambered brick heads except top floor which has timber lintels. East end, to Castle Street, has doors each floor, brick heads except to top floor which has timber lintel. Ground floor tall doorway with overlight.
Timber internal construction with wooden posts…”
ADDITIONAL (2001) – Old photographs show former low range to N at NE angle in squared rubble banded with blue lias with hipped roof and tall brick N ridge stack.
Pigot’s Directory 1830; 1837; 1841; 1844
Ledger of David Davies, Bridge House 1830-54
Map of Cardigan, John Wood 1834
Slater’s Directory 1859; 1868
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1870-71; 1889; 1893-94; 1898-99; 1952; 1968; 1971; 1977; 1999-
Worrall’s Directory 1875
Cardigan Observer 1876-77
Letter-Head Illustration – Bridge Warehouse c1875
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1895
Post Office Telephone Directory 1955
Maritime Heritage, J Geraint Jenkins 1982
The Gateway to Wales, W J Lewis 1990
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, Julian Orbach, CADW 1992
The 1993 Guide to Cardigan
Cardigan Annual Show Catalogue 02/08/1995
Cardigan Town Trail 1998
St. Dogmaels Uncovered, Glen K Johnson 2007
© Glen K Johnson 19/06/2013