There were inhabited dwellings on this site (formerly named Bancymoch as it had been the site of the pig market) in 1841. Residents include: Ann Davies, lodging house keeper; William Roberts, earthenware dealer; and William Evans, 35, hawker. Situated on the junction of Bridge Street and Quay Street, the former pig market and fair site, the building was begun in 1884, designed by architect George Morgan of Carmarthen for John James, draper, of Manchester House, No. 41 High Street. John James moved his business here on 29th March 1885 and traded and lived here in 1885-97. In 1885-1955 Henry Davies James lived here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: John James, 50, draper (b. Cardigan); Ellen James, 50, his wife (b. Cardigan); Henry Davies James, 10, their son (b. Cardigan); and Mary Rees, 25, servant (b. Bridell). The family were English/Welsh bilingual, but Mary Rees spoke Welsh only. In June 1894 John James became a Borough Magistrate. On 7th March 1897 John James of New Manchester House died aged 57. On 13th March 1897 the following appeared in the ‘Cardigan Observer‘:
“…DEATH OF MR. JOHN JAMES, NEW MANCHESTER HOUSE. It is with the deepest regret that we have to record the death, which occurred about 4 a. m. on Sunday last, of the above estimable gentleman. Mr James did not possess a robust constitution, and for the last six months he complained of weakness, though able to attend to his business almost to the last, having only kept his bed a few days, and peacefully passed away unexpectedly, at the age of 57 years. Deceased was well-known, a most successful tradesman, and esteemed by all who came in contact with him. When the English cause was started in the town, he, in conjunction with 100 other members of Bethania, left to form the new church at Mount Zion, of which he was a deacon and a tower of strength. In 1894 deceased was made a Justice of the Peace for the borough, the duties of which he preformed most conscientiously. Mr James was a man of genuine sympathies, and many are the kind acts related of him, as he was in the habit of doing good by stealth. Besides a bereaved widow and a son, he leaves a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn their loss. His remains will be interred at Blaenywaun burial ground this afternoon (Friday)…”
In September 1897 David Bowen Davies took over the business formerly run by John James. In 1897-1923 the business premises was occupied by David Bowen Davies, draper. In March 1898 he was clearing out the goods of the late John James. In 1901 Ellen James, 61, widow, lived here with her son Henry Davies James, 20. Both were bilingual and born in Cardigan. Ellen James lived here in 1901-13. On 5th February 1903 David Bowen Davies of New Manchester House married Mrs. Mary Ann Felix, widow of Thomas Felix. On 25th August 1903 draper Johnny Jones, who worked at New Manchester House, married Miss Mary Anne Jones of Stafford House, No. 25 High Street. On 11th April 1913 Ellen James, widow of John James, died aged 74. Henry D. James served in the army during the 1914-18 war. On 7th November 1915 David Bowen Davies died. On 22nd May 1920 Henry Davies James married Harriet Ann Rees of Newcastle Emlyn. In 1921 Henry D. James was the Vice-Chairman of the Cardigan Liberal Club. In February 1923 there was a removal sale here for ‘D. B. Davies & Co.’, who were moving to Old Manchester House, No. 41 High Street. The shop was then advertised to let. In January 1924 there was a clearance sale here.
In June 1926 William Henry Hallam of the ‘Grosvenor Hotel’ opened a
restaurant here. On 4th March 1927 Daisy Llewelyn and Katie Morris announced that they would shortly be opening ‘The Realm’ for business at this address. In 1927-49 this was ‘Llywelyn & Morris’ drapery shop – the ‘Realm’. On 18th May 1928 Harriet Ann James, wife of Henry Davies James, died suddenly, aged 44. In 1938 Miss Katie Morris traded at ‘The Realm’. In 1940-55 Sim Evans & Co., estate agents, also traded here. In 1949-57 Miss Blodwen Emlyn Rees lived here. In April 1949 W. T. Morgan took over management of ‘Llywelyn & Morris’, ‘The Realm, although the two ladies continued to run the business for a time. In 1951-55 Mrs. E. Morgan ‘The Realm’ traded here. In 1955 Henry D. James, Blodwen Emlyn Rees and Phoebe Adey lived here. On 26th June 1955 Henry Davies James died aged 76. He had been secretary of Mount Zion English Baptist Chapel for 35 years. On 16th December 1955 the property was advertised for sale, including ‘The Realm’ on the ground floor.
On 20th January 1956 Cemaes Rural District Council elected to purchase the property for their chambers. The new Cemaes Rural District Council chambers opened on 9th January 1957. On 17th May 1957 Miss Blodwen Emlyn Rees of this address married John Bevan of Old Castle Farm. On 10th February 1960 ‘Glan’s Radio’ began trading here, though relocated after a short time to Priory Street. On 15th July 1960 Mr. & Mrs. W. T. Morgan were trading as ‘The Realm’ from Regent House, Pendre, as their premises here were undergoing extensive repair. On 1st December 1960 ‘The Realm’ was re-opened here by Mr. & Mrs. W. T. Morgan, following renovations. In 1961 estate agent Fred Rees opened an office here which continued to trade here until 1986. In 1960-75 W. T. Morgan’s ‘The Realm’ still traded here.
In 1970-February 1973 ‘Adrienne’s’ Ladies Hairdresser traded here. On 14th November 1975 Mr. & Mrs. W. T. Morgan retired as proprietors of ‘The Realm’. Mr. & Mrs. J. L. Evans took over and the business became ‘Suzanne’s’ ladies’ fashions shop until at least 1986. In November 1976 Roland Lloyd opened a hairdressing salon here. By December 1978 ‘Caban Crefft’ was trading here. In 1976-30th November 1979 hairdresser Roland Lloyd had a salon here. The building became listed in 1992. There was a fire here on September 23rd 1997.
In the late 1990’s the building housed the ‘Tremle Kitchen’ shop and an alternative medicine healing centre on the first floor. In 2003 the property housed ‘Ashmole & Co.’, chartered accountants; Cymdeithas Tai Hafan; C. Jabroo, herbalist and the furniture shop. In September 2003 the proprietor of the ‘Tremle Kitchen’ shop died and the property was advertised for sale. It was leased to Steve & April Greenhalgh in December 2003. In January 2004 the shop became ‘Rivendell’ and the new Cardigan Gallery opened upstairs in March 2004. The name was quickly changed to ‘Gandalf’s Garden’ and traded here in 2005-09. The building was given a facelift in January 2006. Early in 2008 the shop name changed to ‘Charmaine’s Garden’. In January 2009 ‘Flower Pot’, managed by Amanda Thomas, moved here from Pendre and began trading alongside ‘Charmaine’s Garden’. In January 2010 ‘Flower Pot’ moved out. In 2010 the shop became ‘Loyalties’ managed by Elizabeth Greenhalgh and then Steve Greenhalgh and traded in 2010-13.
The building was described by CADW in 1992:
“…1884-5 built for John James, draper, to replace previous Manchester House, High Street. Former draper’s warehouse and house by George Morgan, stucco with hipped slate roofs and red brick end stacks. Rough square plan with canted north west angle, 3-storey with 4-window fronts to Bridge Street and Quay Street. Bridge Street front has left bay of double width to allow for 2-storey canted bay window with tripartite sash above, upper giant pilasters with cornice and deep plain frieze under eaves. Plate glass sashes with painted slate sills and moulded bands between floors, except in left bay where bay window has plain hipped roof. Similar one-window range to canted north west angle. Ground floor has channelled rustication to left angle pier and flanking adjoining bay window, then centre door between pilasters, shop front to right, with matching pilaster to right and similar pilaster framing to shop window in canted angle. Overall entablature with moulded cornice, carried around the bay window. Centre panelled door with overlight. Shop front has plate glass windows with deeply recessed centre door with overlight. Plainer 4-window front to Quay Street.
SHOP INTERIOR has T-plan pitch-pine stair, single flight up to double flight return. Turned balusters…”
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1885; 1893-94; 1896-1906; 1908-09; 1911-15; 1917; 1919-24
1926-28; 1933-35; 1937-38; 1940-41; 1946; 1948-51; 1953-57; 1960; 1962; 1968; 1970-73; 1975-76
1978-79; 1991-92; 1997; 2000; 2004; 2007; 2009
O. S. Map 1887 etc.
Census Returns 1891; 1901
Cardigan Observer 1894
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1895; 1914; 1926
Letter-Heads – D B Davies, New Manchester House 14/12/1901; 25/05/1903
List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910
Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912; 1955
Bill-head 1921 (Cardigan Heritage Centre)
All About Cardigan, Cardigan Chamber of Commerce 1923
Letter-Head – Llywelyn & Morris, Realm 20/10/1932
Bill-Head – Sim Evans & Co. 1939
Telephone Directory – South Wales Area 1940
Treasurer’s Accounts – Cardigan Auxiliary Bible Society 1949
Post Office Telephone Directory 1950; 1955
Blank forms – Fred Rees & Son 1972.
Bill-Head – Cemaes Rural District Council 06/09/1973
Cardigan Civic Festival Programme 1986
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, CADW 1992
Caring For Cardigan 1998
The Phone Book 2003.
Monumental Inscriptions, Blaenwaun Chapel cemetery, St Dogmaels
© Glen K Johnson 02/06/2013.