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Pantycelyn, Aberystwyth University

A Grade II Listed Building in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

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Latitude: 52.4165 / 52°24'59"N

Longitude: -4.0694 / 4°4'9"W

OS Eastings: 259355

OS Northings: 281844

OS Grid: SN593818

Mapcode National: GBR 8S.NW4F

Mapcode Global: VH4FC.FJ0D

Entry Name: Pantycelyn, Aberystwyth University

Listing Date: 9 June 2008

Last Amended: 9 June 2008

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87568

Building Class: Education

Location: At the lowest end of the Penglais Campus of Aberystwyth University, overlooking the drive to the National Library of Wales.

County: Ceredigion

Town: Aberystwyth

Community: Aberystwyth

Community: Aberystwyth

Locality: Penglais

Built-Up Area: Aberystwyth

Traditional County: Cardiganshire

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The Penglais campus site was acquired by the University College in 1929. The first scheme to be realised was that of 1935 by Sir Percy Thomas, but implementation was partial, and only three buildings were completed. The Pantycelyn Halls of Residence were one of these, designed in 1939, and built between 1950 and 1960.


Neo-Georgian, boldly scaled and generously detailed. The building comprises a broadly symmetrical development in which two H-plan blocks each of 3-9-3 bays flank a recessed central block of 7 bays, but there are subtle differences between the blocks, reflecting their various functions and period of building (dates of 1950 on rainwater goods in northern block, 1960 to centre and south). Rock-faced Forest of Dean stone in small blocks on moulded plinth; steep graded siver-grey slate roofs behind plain parapets. Northern H-plan block is two storeyed, with principal rooms at ground floor emphasised by tall 40-pane sash windows; 20-pane sashes above. Main entrance is in its northern wing, facing north in the centre of a symmetrical façade of 7 bays. Broad segmentally arched entrance with radial fanlight, inset architrave with paired panelled doors, flanked by small hexagonal windows. 3-window east-facing return to this and the balancing wing to the south, flanking the recessed central range of 9 bays with outer stair windows (divided by 2 transoms) over doorways and wide Palladian-type windows with triple radial fanlights over tripartite sashes to ground floor; tall sash windows above, and gabled dormers behind the parapets. Tall axial chimneys. To the rear, this block has minimally advanced returns to each cross range, and a 5-window two storeyed block between them. The balancing block to the south is similarly disposed but is 3 storeyed, with sash windows of 12 and 9 panes, and two modest entrances (one with bolection moulding, the other plain) in the south-facing elevation of its southern cross-wing. Its central range is also 3 storeyed, but ground floor detail and flanking stair windows matches that of north block. Its rear (west) elevation has been altered at ground floor by the addition of a flat-roofed service block. Central block is recessed between these two H-plan blocks, and presents a 6-bay 3-storeyed façade to the east. To the west, it reads as integral with the inner wings of the H-plan blocks to form a strong composition: central entrance in simple moulded architrave with tall stair window divided by 2 transoms above, and sash windows of 12 and 9 panes.


Original main entrance into northern block: near-cubic hall with elegant plaster cornice and broad architraves to doors. Beyond it, a smaller stair-hall has groin vaulting. Long corridor has barrel-vaulted ceiling, pierced by small high-set windows. Senior common room and a second formal room have similar plaster cornices and stone fireplaces. Dining room occupies southern cross-wing of northern block. Wood or parquet floors throughout. Beyond it, the central block and part of the southern block comprise accommodation, and the detail is generally simpler - terrazzo floors, plain plaster-work etc.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a fine essay in the Neo-Georgian style, a prominent and important land-mark in Aberystwyth which has significant group value with the National Library. A key building by one of Wales' leading architects of the twentieth century, and an important component of the first phase of development of the University campus.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Cledwyn Main Building
    Towards the NW corner of the main Penglais campus, approached by a service road to the west of the main entrance to the campus off Penglais hill.
  • II* National Library of Wales
    Prominent elevated site facing W above the town centre, reached by a road off Penglais Hill.
  • II Plas Penglais
    Situated in an elevated woodland site on the opposite side of the road from the University campus; reached by drive past lodge and through landscaped grounds.
  • II Milestone
    At the roadside near the top of Penglais Hill on the NE outskirts of Aberystwyth.
  • II Meiros
    Situated between Llanbadarn Fawr village and Aberystwyth on the S side of Llanbadarn Road.
  • II* Edward Davies Memorial Chemical Laboratories
    Elevated above the town on Buarth Mawr; set into the hillside.
  • II Holy Trinity Parish Church
    In the railed churchyard at the N end of an island site with W end to Stanley Road, set into the slope.
  • II Milestone on S side of Llanbadarn Road
    Situated between Llanbadarn Fawr village and Aberystwyth on the S side of Llanbadarn Road.

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