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The Former Assembly Rooms

A Grade II* Listed Building in Tenby, Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6728 / 51°40'22"N

Longitude: -4.6965 / 4°41'47"W

OS Eastings: 213642

OS Northings: 200561

OS Grid: SN136005

Mapcode National: GBR GF.7R4R

Mapcode Global: VH2PS.J6ZY

Entry Name: The Former Assembly Rooms

Listing Date: 19 March 1951

Last Amended: 28 March 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 6223

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Situated in a prominent position between the harbour and the sea at the N end of Pier Hill.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Tenby

Community: Tenby (Dinbych-y-pysgod)

Community: Tenby

Built-Up Area: Tenby

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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Tenby

History

Assembly Rooms of 1809-10 built by Sir William Paxton to designs by S P Cockerell at the same time as the salt-water baths (Laston House), and now converted to flats. Newspaper accounts record mostly the building of the baths from 1806 to 1809, but an account of 1809 mentions a 'handsome room for assembling' which may be this building. The advertisement for letting in 1824 after Paxton's death mentions a billiard-room and offices with the baths but not an assembly room, and a sale advertisement of 1835 mentions a billiard-room with a bowed end facing the sea, presumably therefore in this building. The complex was renovated in 1837-9 for Captain Wells, and the assembly room was refitted with a domed ceiling in 1849. The rooms were in use for assemblies and balls until the 1850s when superseded by the assembly room behind the Royal Gatehouse Hotel. Sold as a private house in the later C19. Illustrated in 1817 view of Tenby.
As currently divided, the top floor is part of No 2 Laston House, Castle Square, the first floor is called The Cabin and the ground floor right is Lower Deck, including also the vaulted basement of the former Albion Hotel, Castle Square.

Exterior

Former assembly rooms, now 3 flats, the assembly room on the upper floor over two low storeys. White-painted roughcast with slate hipped recessed roof. Full-height large rounded bay at NW end overlooking pier. Stepped rebated angle between main block and bow. Corbelled embattled limestone parapet all around with paired embattled bridged chimneys over bow. Top floor has large arched sash windows with Gothic glazing bars, 2 widely spaced, in SW elevation to Pier Hill, 3 in curved NW end and 3 in NE elevation to the sea spaced 2 to left, probably original and one shorter with different glazing to right, probably inserted. First floor has small horizontally sliding sashes with small panes, 3 to SW with a C20 stable door (to The Cabin) between first and second, accessible by an external timber stair, 2 in curved bay, and one to left on NE side, which also has 2 small windows to right. Ground floor to Pier Hill has a broad vehicular entry to Caldey Island stores, a casement window in 3rd bay partly masked by stuccoed steps up to timber stairs, and, to right of steps, a C20 window replacing a casement pair in fourth bay and half-glazed door (to Lower Deck) to extreme right.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as a rare example of a late Georgian assembly room, designed by a leading architect of the period.

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