The last building to occupy the site was dated 1624, and was probably modified in the 18th Century. In 1830 James Morse, solicitor and Post Master, probably lived here, and kept a Post Office at this address. Letters from London etc. arrived every morning at eight, and were despatched every day at one. Letters from Newcastle-Emlyn arrived every morning at nine, and were despatched every day at one. Letters arrived from and were despatched to Newport and Fishguard (by penny-post) every Monday, Thursday and Saturday morning. The building is shown on John Wood’s 1834 map of Cardigan. In 1835 this was probably the Cardigan branch of ‘Wilkin’s & Co. (Brecon Old Bank)’, operated by Wilkins, Wilkins, Jones, Church & Co. In 1841 Rev. David Phillips, 30, Independent Minister, lived here with his wife Eleanor Phillips, 35, daughter Eliza Phillips, 13, and Mary James, 20, servant. In the 1840’s James Morse may have lived here and sold stamps. At that time, the lean-to here was the premises of Charles Griffiths, watch-maker. The following persons may have lived here in 1851: Jane Jenkins, 61, retired draper; Ann Jenkins, 24, her daughter; Margaret Jenkins, 23, daughter; Eliza Jenkins, 20, daughter; Morgan Jenkins, 19, son; James Jenkins, 17, son; and Catherine Williams, 32, general servant. In 1861 James Smith, 58, solicitor, lived here with his wife Ann Smith, 50. He moved to St. Mary Street before 1868. Miss Anne Evans, 45, lived here in 1871 with her sister Maria Evans, 43, and a servant. On 15th January 1880 Miss Anna Maria Evans of No. 1 died. In 1881 No. 1 was home to Maria Evans, 55, annuitant, and Margaret Richards, 22, general servant. In 1884 Miss Evans still lived here.
In 1889 solicitor William John Williams went into business – possibly here, after serving his articles with Ivor Evans at No. 3 Green Street. In 1891-1926 William John Williams, solicitor, traded here. In 1891 W. J. Williams of No. 1 and Penralltddu, Llantood, stood as a candidate in the Cardigan Municipal Election and was elected. No. 1 was non-residential at that date. On 3rd December 1895 William John Williams, solicitor and agent for Royal Insurance, was married to Mary Ellen Williams, third daughter of Mr. S. Williams of Dyffryn Mills, Velindre. On 9th November 1896 W. J. Williams was elected Mayor of Cardigan. The following appeared in the ‘Cardigan Observer‘ of 14th April 1896:
“…THE NEW MAYOR OF CARDIGAN. Councillor W. J. Williams, the Mayor of Cardigan for the ensuing year, is a solicitor, the only son of Mr Thos. Williams, Pen’ralltddu, Llantood, farmer, and was born on the 18th May, 1864, at Manian Fawr, within the borough. Having received his education at the Cilgerran National School and the Cardigan Grammar School, he was articled in Mr Ivor Evans of the firm of Messrs. Asa and Ivor Evans, solicitors, Cardigan, and admitted a solicitor in 1889. In the same year he commenced practising in Cardigan, where he carries on a very successful business. He first entered the Town Council in 1891, and on his second return headed the poll by a very large majority. He has held the chairmanship of the Llantood School Board for three years, and was returned unopposed as the representative of the district of Eglwyswrw on the Pembrokeshire County Council in 1895, and appointed a member of the Standing Joint Committee for the county and the Tivy Fishery Board. On the 3rd of December last he married Mary Ellen, third daughter of Mr S. Williams, Dyffryn Woollen Mills, Velindre, Llandyssul. Councillor Williams is a Baptist in creed and a Liberal in politics; and, besides, is the youngest gentleman that ever occupied the civic chair of the ancient borough…”
On 30th November 1896 Eleanor E. Williams was born – the daughter of Mayor William John Williams and his wife. On 12th March 1897 a silver cradle was presented to W. J. Williams by the Corporation, to celebrate his new-born daughter. On 11th September 1899 W. J. Williams resigned from Cardigan Borough Council. In 1901 W. J. Williams was a Guardian of the Poor. In 1901 the following persons lived here: William John Williams, 36, solicitor (b. Manian Fawr, St. Dogmaels); Mary E. Williams, 31, his wife (b. Penbryn); Eleanor E. Williams, 4, their daughter (b. Cardigan, Welsh-speaking); and Anne Lewis, 27, domestic servant (b. Penybryn). Except where stated otherwise, all were bilingual.
In 1905-14 Albert Drury Walker manufactured artificial teeth here. In June 1920 No. 1, with attached lean-to shop, was advertised for sale. In 1920-21 W. J. Williams & Sons still had an office here. In 1927 Mrs. Adey Thomas lived here. In 1934 Mrs. Rogers may have lived here. In February 1936 No. 1 was advertised to let. In October 1936 ‘Secure Services Ltd.’ insurance brokers moved here from No. 45 Pendre. In 1936-37 ‘Secure Services Ltd.’, Insurance Brokers, traded here. In March 1941 Mary Edwards lived here. William John Williams died on 14th February 1942, aged 78.
During World War II Brinley Arthur Sharpe and Gwladgwyn John Sharpe of No. 1 were both killed in action. On 12th March 1946 Ernest Victor Sharpe, third son of Mr. & Mrs. Sharpe of No. 1, died aged 23. His two brothers had died in the War. On 12th July 1946 No. 1 was offered for sale, described as having 6 bedrooms – three of which were in the attic.
In 1946 Lewis Matthew Jenkins Davies and his wife, Eunice Elizabeth Davies, moved here and lived here in 1946-58. No. 1 was sold in January 1947. On 5th January 1948 Mr. & Mrs. William Ronald James of No. 1 became landlords of the ‘Eagle Inn’, Castle Street. In the 1950’s D. Rees traded from the lean-to premises on the corner and No. 1 High Street remained a dwelling house. In 1950-55 ‘W. J. Williams & Davies’ Solicitors may still have traded here. In 1955 Thomas Howells, Eunice Elizabeth Davies and Lewis Matthew Jenkins Davies lived here. On 23rd March 1957 Miss Marie E. G. Davies, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Matthew Jenkins Davies, married Peter T. Foley of Derby. On 16th August 1958 Mrs. Eunice Elizabeth Davies died under tragic circumstances. In January 1961 Miss Ivy Davies of No. 1 died aged 50. By 10th March 1961 the 5-bedroom property was advertised for sale including the attached lean-to boot repair shop.
In October 1961 Mrs. Frances Mason opened ‘The Cardigan Book Centre’ here, having previously traded at St. Mary Street. In 1961-72 The Cardigan Book Centre traded here, run by Mrs. Frances Mason. It closed at the end of 1972. The property was demolished in early April 1975 and a small archaeological dig conducted here. The roof timbers included 18th Century scarfed crucks.
Stone-built 2 storey shop with slate gabled roof having truncated stack to S gable end. Asymmetrical High Street facade had three stone steps to 6-panel timber door beneath rectangular overlight. Large shop-window to l above cambered-headed small-paned cellar window. Upper storey had cambered-head 12-pane sash above shop window and tiny 4-pane light above door. S gable end had 2 large 12-pane first floor sashes with cambered heads. Ground floor largely obscured by later lean-to structure.
Information received from Rev. Seamus Cunnane
Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834
Pigot’s Directory 1835
Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901
Slater’s Directory 1868
Post Office Directory 1871
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1880; 1893; 1895-97; 1899-1902; 1905-09; 1912; 1920-21; 1927
1934-37; 1941-42; 1944; 1946-49; 1957-58; 1961; 1965-67; 1969-71
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1884; 1895; 1914; 1920; 1926
Ballot Paper – Cardigan Municipal Election 1891
Cardigan Observer 1896
List of Voters – Cardigan 1900; 1910
Abstract of Accounts – Cardigan Union 02/08/1901
Post Office Telephone Directory 1950, 1955
Electoral Register – Cardigan 1955
© Glen K Johnson 18/08/2013.