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Latitude: 52.9233 / 52°55'24"N
Longitude: -4.1307 / 4°7'50"W
OS Eastings: 256856
OS Northings: 338340
OS Grid: SH568383
Mapcode National: GBR 5P.MYXY
Mapcode Global: WH55L.JS68
Entry Name: Ty Toronto
Listing Date: 30 March 1951
Last Amended: 26 September 2005
Source ID: 4415
Building Class: Commercial
Location: On the W side of Cornhill.
Built-Up Area: Porthmadog
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Cornhill is the group of buildings around the original Porthmadog harbour (Cornhill Wharf), which was built 1821-4. It became the commercial centre of the port and in 1833 Samuel Lewis noted that 'many good houses have been built, and a considerable trade is now carried on'. Buildings in Cornhill included houses, shops, bank, offices and workshops. In 1886 there were sail makers, 2 block and spar makers, 2 public houses, 4 grocers, butcher, ironmonger and a shipsmith. In addition, the Bwlch-y-Slate Quarry Co, Carnarvonshire & Merionethshire Steamship Co, Workmen's Benefit Building Society, Davies Brothers Slate Merchants, Parry & Co and Prichard Brothers ship brokers all had offices in Cornhill.
Ty Toronto was built in 1836 and is shown on the 1842 Tithe map and 1871 Tremadog estate plan. The lower storey was originally the North & South Wales Bank, then Casson's Bank from 1847, until it was taken over by William and Richard Prichard, ship owners and brokers, in 1865. The upper storeys were a sail loft (Jones & Jones and Richards & Jones are both listed as Cornhill sailmakers in 1871) and, from at least 1844, housed William Griffiths' Navigation School. The building was converted to apartments in the late C20.
A 3-bay commercial and industrial building of 4 storeys and attic, of large blocks of dressed slate-stone laid in regular courses, slate roof and end stacks with slate caps. The central bay is brought forward under a gable with bracketed eaves. In the lower storey the wall is roughcast, and has windows replaced in original openings. It has a shallow recessed small-pane bow window in the central bay, 2 windows in the L-hand bay (of which the R-hand was originally a doorway) and half-glazed door with overlight and a window in the R-hand bay. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th storeys have 2-light windows in the outer bays and former loading doors converted to windows in the central bay. Beneath the apex of the central bay is the infilled former aperture for a pulley block. Two wide flat roof dormers added in the later C20 have 3-light windows.
The rubble-stone L gable end incorporates large slate-stone blocks and is laid in rough courses. It has replacement windows in the centre, and on the L side has a doorway under a canopy and a 2-light window above it. The R gable end, also of rubble stone, faces Grisiau Mawr and has a glazed door at 2nd-storey level, and replacement windows in the 3rd and 4th storeys. The rear has 3 raked half dormers and a 3-light roof dormer to the L similar to the front.
Listed for its special architectural interest as an important harbour-side building housing a succession of financial institutions and a sail loft, notable for its distinctive use of local stone and retaining definite C19 regional character after conversion, and for its contribution to the historical integrity of Porthmadog harbour.
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