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Grand Pavilion

A Grade II Listed Building in Porthcawl, Bridgend

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Latitude: 51.4766 / 51°28'35"N

Longitude: -3.7058 / 3°42'21"W

OS Eastings: 281628

OS Northings: 176677

OS Grid: SS816766

Mapcode National: GBR H7.L6KL

Mapcode Global: VH5HN.Q47V

Entry Name: Grand Pavilion

Listing Date: 17 February 1998

Last Amended: 17 February 1998

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19364

Building Class: Recreational

Location: On the seafront a little W of the town centre.

County: Bridgend

Town: Porthcawl

Community: Porthcawl

Community: Porthcawl

Built-Up Area: Porthcawl

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Built 1931-2 by E J E Moore with L G Mouchel as consultant engineers for the concrete dome, an important example of ferrous-concrete (Ferrocrete) work. Sponsored by Russell Mabley, elected Porthcawl's chief citizen 1931. Original plans held by Porthcawl Museum. Cost c £25,000. Formerly surrounded by Winter Gardens. Became centre for live entertainment and also conferences of South Wales miners. Lower promenade opposite, an addition to Brogden's Esplanade of 1877, opened 1935. Front open until 1995.


Rendered, the dome of ferrous concrete. Plan of an octagonal central dome with entrance bays flanked by two loggia wings. Silver coloured dome tiered at base and divided into sections by flat ribs is surmounted by a weathervane; octagonal walls have wide segmental arched Diocletian windows on upper floor, double to sides; attached rear service wing with blind panels and a triglyph-derived motif. Added wings at sides and some alterations to windows. Attached at front is clock tower with two angled clock faces rising from a square plinth with relief lettering in moulded panels and date and an orb finial. Symmetrical main frontage is one storey high, the central section topped by a balustraded parapet ending in chunky moulded end piers on a moulded cornice; central below is a curved entrance bay flanked by pairs of tapered Tuscan columns on a plinth; matching curved concrete steps with terrazzo floor incorporating Porthcawl anchor motif lead to recessed replaced doorway with 30's style lettering in overlight. On either side of entrance are bays with deeply channelled render and heavy keystone over full length window with replaced glazing flanked by a second pair of columns. On either side are slightly recessed wide round headed arches, again deeply channelled with keystone and impost, leading to side entrances and stairs to lower level. Breaking forward on each side are the loggia wings comprising 5 pairs of columns, steps to replaced full length windows surmounted by entablature with triglyph derived frieze and plain parapet. The end bays on each side form an elaborate archway leading to former Winter Gardens comprising pairs of columns on a plinth supporting an entablature on each side of a central recessed archway of 2 orders with a deep stepped flat topped pediment, all with heavy channelling of voussoirs and masonry joints.


Interior although substantially refurbished retains much of its original plan. Central hall has a tent-like roof, balcony with moulded front, stage with some decorative plaster mouldings to surround and wall, sprung floor.

Reasons for Listing

Included as an important seafront building retaining much of its original character and reflecting Porthcawl's development as a major South Wales sea-side resort after the closure of the docks in 1906; also for its importance in its use of ferrous concrete.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Public Conveniences
    In the centre of the main shopping street.
  • II The Old Police Station
    In the town centre on the main shopping street.
  • II Church of All Saints
    Centrally within the town of Porthcawl, just NW of the main shopping thoroughfare of St John's Street and on a corner site amidst the seaside housing development of the late C19 and early C20. Surrou
  • II Jennings Warehouse
    Situated on the west quay of the harbour just North of the Breakwater and S of the surviving harbour basin.
  • II The Look-out Tower
    At the extreme E end of the Promenade adjacent to the Breakwater on the very edge of the sea wall.
  • II Walls of the Outer Basin and West Pier/Quay
    On the landward side of the Breakwater, to the E of Porthcawl town.
  • II The Old Customs House
    At the W end of the Breakwater near the corner of the Harbour and between Jennings Warehouse and the sea wall.
  • II The Breakwater
    The outer arm of Porthcawl Harbour adjoining the E end of The Esplanade.

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