History in Structure

The Automobile Palace

A Grade II* Listed Building in Llandrindod Wells, Powys

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Latitude: 52.2384 / 52°14'18"N

Longitude: -3.3773 / 3°22'38"W

OS Eastings: 306046

OS Northings: 260916

OS Grid: SO060609

Mapcode National: GBR YP.14X1

Mapcode Global: VH69F.DZXX

Plus Code: 9C4R6JQF+93

Entry Name: The Automobile Palace

Listing Date: 30 September 1985

Last Amended: 30 September 1985

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 9064

Building Class: Commercial

Also known as: The Palace of Sport

ID on this website: 300009064

Location: On corner with Spa Road East and with flank elevation on Princes Avenue.

County: Powys

Community: Llandrindod Wells (Llandrindod)

Community: Llandrindod Wells

Built-Up Area: Llandrindod Wells

Traditional County: Radnorshire

Tagged with: Building

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Llandrindod Wells


Begun in 1906 and initially completed in 1911. It was founded by Mr Tom Norton and formerly known as "The Palace of Sport" and " Tom Norton Limited", becoming "The Automobile Palace Ltd." in 1925. The Architect was R Wellings Thomas (who remodelled Holy Trinity Parish Church); this early example of steel construction cost £11,000. In 1906 Mr Norton started one of Wales' first public bus services and soon after brought aviation to Mid-Wales, becoming involved in early passenger aircraft - hence the lettering on the front "Aircraft". The first Ford Agency for the whole of Wales was in this building as well as, from 1918, the Austin Agency for most of Wales and that of Ferguson Tractors. The building was enlarged first in 1919 to about three times the size with the same design and constructed in reinforced concrete by Hobrough and Co, contractors of Gloucester. The further enlargement to right in 1962 is not of special interest.


2-storey, 9-bay Art-Deco curving front with possibly the earliest use of faience facing in Wales. Flat roof, lions sedant (22 to whole building) with shields to plain parapet with egg and dart moulded cornice (removed to left bays). Paired rusticated pilasters between bays. Twin glazed shop fronts to first floor with arched heads, overall cill band with egg and dart moulding, letter fascia mostly obscured by modern sign. Partly altered ground floor but retaining original doors to showroom with sinuous handrails. 9-bay elevation in same style set into the slope of Princes Avenue with pedimented entrance to "No 2 Garage" at 1st floor level. Original lettering to pediments and ground floor fascia. 2-bay return elevation to Western Promenade.

Art Nouveau ironwork railings to Princes Street side. Said to retain some of the earliest petrol tanks in Wales below forecourt with pumps.

Reasons for Listing

An exceptionally early grid-pattern steel-framed building in Britain (cf. James Salmon's Lion Chambers in Glasgow (1905-6) and the work of Sir J J Burnet) surviving largely unaltered.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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  • II Holy Trinity Parish Church
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  • II War Memorial
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  • II Hotel Commodore
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