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Queens Buildings and Liberties Bar (No. 8 of 9 buildings)

A Grade II Listed Building in Colwyn Bay, Conwy

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2958 / 53°17'45"N

Longitude: -3.727 / 3°43'37"W

OS Eastings: 284989

OS Northings: 379045

OS Grid: SH849790

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZDB.X7

Mapcode Global: WH655.QFD5

Entry Name: Queens Buildings and Liberties Bar (No. 8 of 9 buildings)

Listing Date: 25 July 1994

Last Amended: 25 July 1994

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 14718

Building Class: Commercial

Location: Forms a continuous terrace on the W side of the street, below the Central Public House.

County: Conwy

Community: Colwyn Bay (Bae Colwyn)

Community: Colwyn Bay

Built-Up Area: Colwyn Bay

Traditional County: Denbighshire

Find accommodation in
Llandrillo-yn-Rhôs

History

The terrace of shops was built c1887 to the designs of Booth, Chadwick and Porter, architects of Colwyn Bay and Manchester, the principal architects to the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company, who were largely responsible for the development of Colwyn Bay as a resort after 1875. The building which is now Liberties Bar, housed a court and the offices of the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company.

Exterior

Belongs to a group of 1-9 Queen's Buildings and Liberties Bar, Station Road, Colwyn Bay.

Red brick with slate roof, blue brick and stone dressings. Each shop is a 2-window range, with single stepped gable. Ground floors largely renewed but some detail from the original shop fronts survives - a number of moulded fascia brackets for example. W H Smith’s has a good example of a Smith’s house style frontage of a type introduced in the 1920’s, with cast iron and glass canopy with stained glass pictorial roundels in the side panels, pictorial tiles to fascia. Cotswold stone stall risers and leaded upper lights in main windows. First floor windows in this building also represent a modification to the original design of the terrace, and are shallow oriel bows. The original design, which survives in the rest of the terrace, has squared oriel windows with scallop tiled lean-to roofs supported on curved brackets to first floor, with brackets, and divided by mullions into 3 lights. Stepped gables divided by outer and central angled corbelled pilasters surmounted by ball finials, and with 2 segmentally arched windows with high set transoms and low reliefs in the tympana.

The lowest building (Liberties Bar) is slightly different in style, and was a later addition to the row, built to incorporate public offices: it has 4-centred arched doorway to left with ogival mullioned overlight, and leaded overlights to inserted window to right, blocked corner door, similar to the main entrance. 3-light mullioned and transomed windows to first and second floors with leaded upper panes, and canted turret as oriel over corner, with 3x2-light mullioned windows, parapet and frieze. Stone panels set into the parapet are inscribed with the names of the Denbighshire County Council, the National and Provincial bank of England Ltd, and the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company, and the date, 1887 (the building itself is dated 1892 over the left hand window in a raised cartouche above the parapet). Turret terminates in spirelet.

Interior

Largely modernised, but the building now occupied by W H Smith’s has a very good example of their house-style introduced in the 1920’s in its interior as well as in its exterior detail: C17-style plaster work to ceilings, including cable moulding, and low relief shields, thistles etc. Further low relief plasterwork in friezes and in wall above the stairs. Mock timber wall to stairs.

Reasons for Listing

An excellent example of the second, and major phase, of Colwyn Bay’s development as a resort and commercial centre; a fine commercial development of its period in which a strong architectural rhythm enables the individual shop premises to be emphasised while retained a strong unifying urban character. W H Smith and Son’s premises are an excellent example of the house style it first introduced in the 1920’s.

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