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Latitude: 51.7784 / 51°46'42"N
Longitude: -4.1701 / 4°10'12"W
OS Eastings: 250384
OS Northings: 211082
OS Grid: SN503110
Mapcode National: GBR DN.Z08K
Mapcode Global: VH3LY.NKSK
Entry Name: Memorial Hall
Listing Date: 5 February 1999
Last Amended: 5 February 1999
Source ID: 21294
Building Class: Institutional
Location: On the north side of Coalbrook Road, Pontyberem village, immediately opposite to the church.
Locality: Pontyberem Village
Built-Up Area: Pontyberem
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
There was a public hall on the rear part of the site before the construction of the present building. The front part of the present building was built by Edwin Richards of Bryndeyrn, Pontyates, in front of the old public hall, and was opened officially by Sir Alfred Cope on the 16th of July 1927 (though dated 1926). The auditorium then constructed on the site of the old hall was opened in 1934. The identity of the architect has not been ascertained. It is said, according to local tradition, that the interiors were by a Cardiff designer.
The two buildings originally functioned separately, with side entrances to the auditorium foyer, but are now fully integrated. The war-memorial in the front lobby has been moved to a side position. A plaque in the entrance records the renovation of the building in 1994.
The building consists of two parts, a smaller front block parallel to the street and a long block extending to the rear. The front block is symmetrically designed in a simplified Classical style with leanings to Art-Deco. Slightly advancing centrepiece in stone and the rest of the front and the sides in render. The centrepiece has a rusticated lower storey with a double doorway beneath a segmental canopy on brackets; small narrow windows each side; above is a tall round-headed window onto a balcony, with paired Tuscan pilasters on a prominent string course and an entablature consisting of an architrave and a decorative parapet. The latter displays the words 'memorial institute' below a winged roundel with the date 1926. The roof is of artificial slate, hipped at each end, with its bracketted eaves at the level of the architrave. At each side of the centrepiece is a pair of windows, set close together, with the upstairs and downstairs windows linked by decorative panels and with panels beneath extending to the ground. The window frames are mainly replaced. In the return elevations at the sides of the front block there are two storeys of fenestration, also with replaced frames.
The auditorium block at the rear has plain rendered side elevations, apart from the wider portion abutting the front building; in each side of the latter there are small high level windows and a taller stairs window with decoratively arranged standard steel glazing bars, probably original detail. At the sides, adjacent to the front building, are the original foyer entrances. Artificial slate roof.
An auditorium for 800 persons, with a suite of rooms at front, the front entrance of the latter now serving the whole building. The interior detailing has been well preserved, and recent alterations are in consistent style. The front entrance lobby has a central decorative ceiling roundel with bay-leaf garland ornament; outer rectangle with Greek Key ornament. Staircase at left; relocated war-memorial at right. Floor paved with small slate flags. Double glazed doors to interior. A passage, incorporating recently added disabled-access ramps with railings in welded steel imitating the original wrought-iron railings of the auditorium stairs, leads to the auditorium foyer. Side entrance doors, fine original central ticket-kiosk in oak. Ceiling with eight-pointed star motifs. Symmetrical double doors to main interior of auditorium, symmetrical staircases and doors to the gallery. These doors and the exit doors of the auditorium have similar detailing, the upper parts glazed with herringbone bars.
The auditorium has a gallery at the rear only. Curved ceiling slightly facetted, with a bold eight-pointed central motif with eight ribs terminating in stylised acanthus leaves; central circular grille with octagonal surround. Guilloche ceiling surround. Curved gallery front decorated with motifs incorporating the letter V. Strip hardwood floor with its rear section (beneath the gallery) raked. Stage at front; large proscenium with reeded surround. Front corner exit doors with decorative motif over, incorporating musical instruments; false organ pipes above.
Listed as an early-C20 village public hall with particularly fine Art-Deco auditorium.
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