Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

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Volume Nine - Pre-Victorian to the present day - even more aspects - The Custom House and Dock Offices . . .

With respect to the numerous statements that Samuel Dobson was, or probably was, the architect of the Custom House, we should also consider that there was much construction activity being undertaken throughout South Wales during the mid-1860's and beyond. John B. Hilling confirms extensive construction of religious buildings, civic structures as well as industrial and infrastructure undertakings. With regard to architects active in the area for example, he states within his book 'Cardiff and the Valleys - Architecture and Township' [706] that :

'The period from the early 1860's to the early 1880's was not only the heyday of church building, but also the era when architects of national repute were engaged to work in the Cardiff hinterland.'

However, frustration ensues within Mr. Hilling's book, published in 1973, when he writes :

'A new Custom House (probably by Dobson) was also built at Dock Road below Penarth Head, in 1865 to serve the shipping trade. Pompous and baroquely classical, it attempted a dignified entrance to the quickly growing town. Altogether a grand affair, in rusticated stone and cream-coloured brick with a massive clock tower above the centre-bay, it has long since outlived its purpose and though now used by the yachting club, it looks rather forlorn and anomalous.' 


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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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