by  • June 9, 2013 • Cardigan, Ceredigion, House, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type • 2 Comments


    The house may have been built before 1825 for Patrick Brown, merchant & banker, a burgess of Cardigan since 20th April 1812. The architect was probably Daniel Evans, or possibly his father, David Evans. It was originally named ‘Tintern Cottage’. In 1825-47 Patrick Brown lived here. Patrick Brown owned shares in the following Cardigan ships: “Commerce”, 59 tons (1825-37); “Prince Regent”, 69 tons (1825); ‘Hope’, 129 tons (1825); ‘Lion’, 35 tons (1825-37); ‘Wellington’, 65 tons (1825-37); ‘Heart of Oak’, 137 tons (1825-45); “Ardent”, 63 tons, (1825-39); ‘Neptune’, 49 tons, (1827-36); ‘Friends’, 97 tons (1828-36); ‘Hope’, 22 tons, (1829-37); ‘Hero’, 61 tons (1830-36); “Emerald”, 49 tons, (1836); “Mary”, 55 tons, (1836-39); “Fame”, 78 tons (1836); “Aran”, 34 tons (1836); “Shannon”, 99 tons (1836); “Vulcan”, 85 tons (1836); “Gleaner”, 84 tons (1836); “Erin”, 106 tons, (1837); “Betsey”, 104 tons, (1837-43); “Expedition”, 37 tons, (1837); “Confidence”, 106 tons (1837); and “Harmony”, 70 tons (1838).

    Imperial House in November 1998 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Imperial House in November 1998 (c) Glen K Johnson

    In February 1832 Mrs. Patrick Brown died. In 1834 the building was marked on J. Wood’s map, together with the attached property, as belonging to Patrick Brown. Patrick Brown, the manager of the Cardigan branch of the ‘Brecon Old Bank‘, joined Cardigan Borough Council in 1835 and appears on the roll of burgesses from 1836-42. In 1839 he became the Mayor of Cardigan. In 1841 Patrick Brown, 55, lived here with Mary Brown, 20, probably his daughter; and servants Elizabeth Davies, 45, and Anne Jones, 25. In 1841-44 Patrick Brown, merchant, ran his business from Arthur’s Quay. Patrick Brown died in 1847 aged 63. On 8th October 1847 the following appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:

    “…We regret we have to announce the demise of Mr. Patrick Brown, which event took place on Tuesday last. He had filled the various offices in the corporation with credit and satisfaction. He served the office of mayor of Cardigan in the memorable election of 1841, when the poll-books were missed, and was examined before a committee of the House of Commons, on the subject. In consequence of his death the situations of clerk of the taxes and to the board of guardians will be vacant…”

    In 1853-55 Thomas Davies lived here. On 7th March 1853 a draft marriage settlement of the Parkypratt estate, St. Dogmaels, was drawn up between Thomas Davies of Tintern Cottage and Bridge House, Bridge Street, and Jane Lloyd of Glanafon, Prendergast. In 1853 Thomas Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Levern’, 166 tons. On 24th May 1854 Thomas Lloyd Davies was christened at St. Mary’s Church, the son of Thomas & Jane Davies – Thomas Davies was then the Mayor of Cardigan. In 1854 Thomas Davies owned the Cardigan ship ‘Maria’, 24 tons. On 3rd July 1855 Eliza Jane Davies, daughter of Thomas & Jane Davies, was christened at St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan. In 1855 Thomas Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Anne Mary’, 30 tons. On 11th July 1856 “Tintern Cottage” was advertised to let. On 4th February 1864 John Frederick Mitchell of Tintern Cottage was buried at St. Mary’s Church having died aged 7 months.

    By 13th July 1870-83 William Picton Evans, solicitor, and his family occupied Tintern Cottage. On 5th January 1871 Cecil Elizabeth Evans, daughter of William Picton Evans and his wife Margaretta Elizabeth Evans, was christened at St. Mary’s Church. In 1871 the following persons lived here: William Picton Evans, 33, solicitor (b. Haverfordwest); Margaretta Elizabeth Evans, 24, his wife (nee’ Jenkins, daughter of Richard David Jenkins of the Priory); Cecil Elizabeth Evans, 4 months, their daughter (all b. Cardigan); Ann Nash, 21, servant (b. Llandygwydd); Sarah Webb, 29, servant (b. Pembs.); and Eliza Lewis, 17, servant (b. Llandygwydd). On 31st October 1872 Richard William Picton Evans was christened at St. Mary’s Church – the son of William Picton Evans & Margaretta Elizabeth Evans. In 1873 William Picton Evans owned shares in the Cardigan ship ‘Heatherbell’, 56 tons. On 30th March 1874 Edith Margaretta Evans, daughter of William Picton Evans and his wife, Margaretta Elizabeth Evans, was christened at St. Mary’s Church. On 21st November 1875 a son was born to Mr. & Mrs. William Picton Evans and was christened Lawrence Picton Evans two days later at St. Mary’s Church.  Another son was born to the same couple here on 30th November 1877. The infant died on 10th February 1878. In May 1878 William Picton Evans was a shareholder in ‘The Cardigan Mercantile Company’. In 1880 William Picton Evans was described as a J. P., solicitor and ship-owner. In 1881 the following persons lived here: William Picton Evans, 43, solicitor; Margaretta Elizabeth Evans, 34, his wife; Cecil Elizabeth Evans, 10, their daughter; Richard William Picton Evans, 8, son; Edith Margaretta Evans, 7, daughter; Lawrence Picton Evans, 5, son; Maria Evans, 41, sister, visitor; Ellen Stephens, 22, schoolteacher; Sarah Webb, 41, domestic nurse; Margaret Thomas, 30, cook; Ellen Jones, 27, housemaid; Elizabeth Lewis, 16, under-housemaid; and David James, 17, groom. By May 1883 William Picton Evans had moved to No. 2 Belmont, Pendre.

    Tintern Cottage was advertised to let on 31st August 1883. In 1884-91 Daniel Davies lived here. On 13th July 1884 a son, Reynold Davies, was born here to Jessie Davies, the wife of Daniel Davies, merchant. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Daniel Davies, 36, merchant/commercial traveller; Jessie Davies, 35, his wife; Nellie Davies, 9, their daughter; Gladys Davies, 8, daughter; Reynold Davies, 6, son; Henrietta Lewis, 24, servant; and Elizabeth Evans, 16, servant (all b. Cardigan and English/Welsh bilingual). On 22nd April 1892 Mrs. Hannah Davies was about to open a Private School for Young Ladies here. On 17th September 1892 William Richard Eveleigh, 23, sailor, of Tintern Cottage, married Margaret Lewis of the ‘Lamb Inn‘, Finch Square. In 1893-95 Evan Davies lived here. On 4th December 1893 Lillie Maud Davies, daughter of Evan Davies of Tintern Cottage, died aged 16. On 30th December 1894 Hugh Howell Davies, son of Evan Davies, died aged 8. On 27th January 1895 a son was born here to the wife of rural postman Evan Davies. Tintern Cottage was advertised for sale on 16th August 1895. On 26th September 1898 the following item appeared in the ‘Evening Express‘:

    “…DOUBLE ACCIDENT IN CARDIGAN CHURCHYARD. ONE LAD KILLED AND ANOTHER INJURED. Alfred Davies, aged ten, Arthur Davies, aged twelve, sons of Mr. William Davies, manager for Mr. T. M. Daniel, of the Tivy Cycle Works, who resides at Tintern Cottage, met with serious accidents in Cardigan Churchyard on Friday morning. They had climbed a tree in search of horse chestnuts, when the branch on which was the younger lad gave way, and he fell on a tombstone. During his descent he collided with his brother, who also fell to the ground. Alfred sustained a fracture of the skull, and was otherwise so seriously injured that he died early on Saturday morning. Arthur had his arm broken, and received a number of scratches…”

    On 7th June 1902 William Davies of Tintern Cottage died aged 42. On 27th March 1903 Tintern Cottage was advertised for sale.

    On 26th October 1906 it was suggested that the building could be used as the venue for the Imperial (Conservative) Club. By 22nd March 1907 they had acquired it and suggested that neighbouring Short Row should change its’ name to Imperial Terrace! In 1910-12 Robert Fearnley lived here. In 1914 Benjamin Evans was the Secretary of the Conservative Club. On 5th March 1918 Willie Davies, son of Mr. & Mrs. W. Davies of the Imperial Club, died aged 11 of injuries sustained when he was knocked down by a bus. Imperial House was advertised for sale on 21st February 1919. The club was still located here in 1923-29. On 18th May 1923 a daughter was born here to Mr. & Mrs. Jeffs. In October 1926 tenders were being sought for redecoration of the Imperial Club. On 29th October 1926 it was announced that the old stables here were to be demolished. In March 1927 the ‘Territorials Club’ opened here. In February 1929 tenders were sought for replacing the chimney stacks.

    In July 1970 planning permission was being sought for converting the building into flats. In 1982 there were plans to turn the ground floor into a restaurant, though these were withdrawn in January 1983. The building was ‘listed’ in 1992. In 1997 Phil Evans, builder, successfully applied for planning permission to divide the property into five flats. The alterations, begun in 1998, retained, though enclosed, the staircase, but removed most other internal features.


    The house was described in 1992 by CADW:

    …Earlier C19 villa, now flats, in squared blue lias stone with slate roof and large black brick end wall stacks. Two storey 3-window south elevation to Church Street with large timber bracketed cornice, 3 first floor 12-pane sashes with slightly cambered rendered heads and 3 ground floor arched-headed sashes with radiating glazing bars, the stone frames recessed, with rendered arched heads. Slate sills. Two basement cambered-headed windows with iron grilles. Large C20 dormer. East side wall has slate course across gable, attic window, first floor 12-pane sash and 6-panel door, all in centre, with long pointed arched stair light to right, small paned with intersecting glazing bars. Door has traceried overlight and is set in timber tent porch with altered wooden posts to outer angles.

    Rear wall has 3 windows above and below and large 6-panel door with traceried overlight and hood on brackets. Two basement windows.

    INTERIOR – Open-well stair with stick balusters at east end, 2 flights and landing…”

    ADDITIONAL (2007) – 1998 Renovations removed C20 dormer, and staircase was boarded in.


    Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Registers

    Cambrian Journal 18/02/1832

    Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834

    NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B

    Census Returns 1841; 1871; 1881; 1891

    Pigot’s Directory 1841; 1844

    NLW Eaton Evans & Williams MSs 2947; 5597

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1870; 1872; 1875; 1877-78; 1880; 1883-84; 1892-93; 1895-96

    1902-03; 1906-07; 1918-19; 1923; 1926-27; 1929; 1950; 1970

    Parish Records of St. Mary’s, Cardigan

    O. S. Map 1887 etc.

    List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910

    Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1914; 1926

    All About Cardigan, Cardigan Chamber of Commerce 1923

    The Gateway to Wales, W J Lewis 1990

    Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, CADW 1992.

    © Glen K Johnson 09/06/2013.



    1. alison hemsley
      May 21, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I’m trying to find out about the property adjacent to Imperial House,now called Ty’r Santes Fair,Church Street, Cardigan. It strikes me as being at odds to the other half of the pairing and would like to try sorting out why.I’m new to historical research and hope that you may be able to give me some pointers about where to start my investigation. I enjoy reading your articles in the Tivyside and have found this whole site fascinating.

      • glen
        May 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

        Hi Alison. I’m afraid I haven’t written up any notes on Ty’r Santes Fair yet, although I think the present building dates from about 1800. Some of the modern changes have slightly marred it, but it is still a very handsome old building. When I get around to writing it up I will post it on the site. If you wanted to do your own research, I’d recommend starting with the Census Returns. If I can be of more help, please contact me again. Regards, Glen

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