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Offices of Associated British Ports Formerly Swansea Harbour Trust

A Grade II* Listed Building in Castle (Castell), Swansea

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Latitude: 51.6187 / 51°37'7"N

Longitude: -3.9369 / 3°56'12"W

OS Eastings: 265999

OS Northings: 192878

OS Grid: SS659928

Mapcode National: GBR WSZ.KP

Mapcode Global: VH4K9.QK1Y

Entry Name: Offices of Associated British Ports Formerly Swansea Harbour Trust

Listing Date: 30 March 1987

Last Amended: 30 March 1987

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 11548

Building Class: Commercial

Location: Prominently sited overlooking Quay Parade (A483) and occupying the whole street block between Somerset Place and Pier Street.

County: Swansea

Community: Castle (Castell)

Community: Castle

Built-Up Area: Swansea

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Dated 1902, opened 1903. Designed by Edwin Seward, architect of Cardiff. English Baroque with some Art Nouveau details.


Symmetrical red brick and Portland stone W facade with emphasised centre and end bays. 2 storeys with attics and basement, 1 4 5 4 1 bays. Slate roofs, hipped to pavilions, tall panelled stacks with moulded and pedimented cornices. Centre gable clasps pedimental niche with seated figure (pouring the seven seas from goblet?); square flanking turrets with swept parapets and tapered polygonal cupolas, corbelled under. Blocking course over modillion cornice and deep frieze broken by open segmental pediments to end bays and steep triangular pediment to centre. Swagged Ionic pilasters on band course at 1st floor, banded pilasters to end bays with free Venetian treatment, long keystones rising into swagged tympana, cartouche corbels. Similar Venetian treatment to recessed centre bay with large side lights, slit windows to turrets on rich foliated corbels with seahorses. Cross windows with lugged architraves, frieze brackets and panelled aprons, some small-pane glazing. Partly banded ground floor with keyblocked thermal windows to left and right, oval bull’s eyes with sinuous volutes flank twin pilastered central doorway with keyblock and voluted frieze. Relief spandrel figures (Navigation and Discovery?), steps up to double ironwork gates and tympanum. Deep arched hood on volute corbels with stumpy columns to splayed doorcase at Pier Street corner.

Similar treatment to flank elevations. Somerset Place entrance bay with square clock tower topped by octagonal cupola, weathervane to dome, 4 seated figures (oceans?) at angles; swagged architraves and pediments over clock faces. Arched hood with oculus to doorcase with blocked Ionic columns 3-window return gable treated as centre of main front. Pedimented piers to fine Art Nouveau railings at both fronts.

Main doorway gives access to longitudinal corridor with triple arcades facing; to left is domed open well staircase hall, fine ironwork handrail, keyblocked arched screens to corridors etc, panelled doorways with pulvinated friezes. Ribbed dome with pre-Raphaelite stained-glass heads to small oculi. Stained-glass to 4-light stair window bears Harbour Trust arms and panels for steam, Electricity, Navigation etc. Trustees’ boardroom at 1st floor rear wing with segmental coffered ceiling, guilloche bands, panelled pilasters, volute capitals, cartouches etc. Original Art Nouveau light fittings.

Reasons for Listing

Group value.

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