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Latitude: 51.6095 / 51°36'34"N
Longitude: -3.5828 / 3°34'58"W
OS Eastings: 290492
OS Northings: 191258
OS Grid: SS904912
Mapcode National: GBR HD.9TRG
Mapcode Global: VH5GY.VT81
Entry Name: Ffaldau Workmen's Institute and attached Billiard Hall
Listing Date: 30 July 1997
Last Amended: 30 July 1997
Source ID: 18631
Building Class: Recreational
Location: Situated to E and just above the main Valley thoroughfare Oxford Street, the main facade being on Meadow Street, the former main thoroughfare.
Community: Garw Valley (Cwm Garw)
Community: Garw Valley
Built-Up Area: Pontycymer
Traditional County: Glamorgan
Main Institute building erected 1901, builder J Maddock, providing miners with library, reading and meeting rooms and a domino room. Former Medical Aid Society building, fore-runner of NHS, established in 1908 with Llewellyn Jones as secretary was originally to rear and surgeries were held in the basement of the Institute, which also housed the Office. Although designed to improve facilities for miners' health and welfare, the scheme was open to all people of the town on payment of standard contribution, and eventually it owned a car and ambulance to transport members to Cardiff Royal Infirmary where a Garw ward had been established. Ffaldau, originally the name of a hillside farm, gave its name to a colliery sunk on the Earl of Dunraven's land in 1876. It became well known for its technological innovation, such as the use of the Belgian Coke Ovens and the Siemens-Schukert aerial ropeway to remove colliery waste and was one of the first in South Wales to undergo major modernisation in 1947. A Billiard Hall was added in 1906 to the designs of P J Thomas.
A simple chapel- like frontage to main Institute with the lower parallel Billiard Hall wing to left. Institute is rendered and painted, the Billiard Hall is of coursed rock-faced sandstone with ashlar dressings, all painted to match the Institute, with artificial slate roof. Institute gable end facade is of 2 storeys and basement, with a 3 window range of 5 pane casements to the first floor with moulded surrounds and quoins; a moulded cornice above defines the pediment which has a circular ventilator in the apex and eaves quoin mouldings. Ground floor has tall central round arched doorway with moulded capitals, voussoirs, keystone and surround; a recessed (replaced) double door with semi-circular overlight, painted inscription band above, and a pair of 1/1 pane horned sashes on each side. One flight of steps leads to main entrance and another to basement and Billiard Hall entrance, fire escape staircase right; rendered gatepiers and iron railings. Gabled cross wing right has similar mouldings on gable frontage and round headed margin glazed windows on each floor.
Billiard Hall wing has a low, single storey gable end facade at street level with heavy quoins, a louvred keyed oculus in the pediment incorporating small piers which support an elaborate finial in the form of a blind niche in a gable surround flanked by scrolled brackets.
The main building retains its meeting rooms and library, most mouldings to doors, windows and ceilings, double doors, and its main staircase with heavily moulded wooden balustrade to right. The Billiard Hall is still in use, with entry at basement level of main building which incorporates the still intact curved panelled wood and glass entrance booth. The hall has a series of full sized tables with suspended lights, a parquet floor, coffered ceiling to fireplace recess, brown glazed tile fireplace, 10 pane metal framed windows with top opening casements, wide coved main ceiling with roof lights.
Listed especially for the exceptional interest of its mostly unaltered Billiard Hall still in use and for the regional importance and mining connections of the Ffaldau Institute which also retains much of its original appearance. Group value with other buildings on Meadow Street: Tabernacl Chapel, the United Reformed church, and the adjacent former Coop bakery.
Other nearby listed buildings