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Former Workmen's Hall and Institute

A Grade II Listed Building in Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen (Bedwas, Tretomos a Machen), Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.5909 / 51°35'27"N

Longitude: -3.1909 / 3°11'27"W

OS Eastings: 317597

OS Northings: 188672

OS Grid: ST175886

Mapcode National: GBR HX.BXSG

Mapcode Global: VH6DT.M8ZS

Entry Name: Former Workmen's Hall and Institute

Listing Date: 8 February 1999

Last Amended: 8 February 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21307

Building Class: Institutional

Location: Located in a prominent position on Newport Road, which is now bypassed to the south. Other public buildings, including the library, swimming pool and Bedwas Secondary School are to the W.

County: Caerphilly

Town: Caerphilly

Community: Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen (Bedwas, Tretomos a Machen)

Community: Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen

Locality: Trethomas

Built-Up Area: Caerphilly

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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The foundation stones show that the institute was constructed in 1923.


Large building with symmetrical, classical-style front. Flemish bond brick under slate roofs with dressings of reconstituted pale stone. Three-bay, 3-storey front with 1-bay wings of one-and-a-half storeys. The bays of the main range are marked by 4 full-height Ionic pilasters. Quoin strips to side wings. Flat roof to front with parapets which return to the sides, and dentilled eaves cornice. Moulded string courses to each storey and plinth. The central bay has an open pediment with stepped parapet behind. Venetian window under pediment, whilst the middle storey is canted and contains a large, dressed 3-light window. Doorway to ground floor between 2 free-standing Ionic columns on square bases which support the pilasters above. The doorway has dressed jambs, is metal shuttered and approached by stone steps. The flanking bays have tall windows with pale stone architraves and horizontal wooden glazing bars, except for the top storey which has shorter paired windows with colonnettes, and continuous flat lintels composed of voussoirs. Boarded doors with overlights to outer sides of front, with dressings as windows. The side wings have similar but smaller windows to each storey, but the R wing ground floor is boarded over. A frieze across the front, below the 1st floor string course, bears the inscription 'Workmens . Hall . Institute'. The outer bays and wings each incorporate 2 foundation stones immediately above the plinth (those to R wing boarded over). They are dated 13th January 1923 and were laid by local dignitaries including W.H. Le Grand Chambers, director of Bedwas Navigation Colliery.

Behind the facade, the building is long and has a pitched roof which is hipped behind the parapet. Two metal ridge vents with conical tops. Lean-to to rear, the ends of which project beyond the side walls of the main range, under an asbestos cement roof. Each side wall has 4 high-level lunettes lighting the cinema, some boarded, beyond which is a rectangular window almost reaching the eaves and probably lighting the circle. External fire-escape metal doors with metal stairs to each side. A planked side door in the east wall is used as the entrance, and has a moulded doorcase with a pediment. Paired and single horned sash windows under shallow segmental heads with gauged brickwork to ground floor. The rear lean-to has doors and windows to the ground and 1st floors, many of the windows with simple horizontal glazing bars.


The ground floor is an arts and community centre and access is from the side entrance. From this entrance, the front hall is to the L. From the hall, access to the main entrance is blocked, but there are short passages to the outer front doors, with small ante chambers leading off them and flanking the central entrance bay. These chambers are lined with polished grey marble tiles up to picture rail height. The entrance passageway from the east returns towards the north, and there are large meeting rooms off both sides, and toilets and service rooms to the rear. The second room to the L has moulded plaster beams and pronounced plaster coving. The partitions between the rooms and passageway are partly glazed and the doors are either panelled or boarded with overlights.

A cinema with circle on the 1st floor is now used as a theatre and dance hall.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a prominent and well preserved example of this building type. The construction of such institutes reflects an important aspect of the social history of the South Wales Coalfield.

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