Former corn warehouse, Aberystwyth

link_to_french_translationFormer corn warehouse, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth

This distinctive building largely dates from the 18th century. In the 19th century it was a corn warehouse for Matthew Davies of the Tanybwlch estate, near Aberystwyth. Corn was loaded directly onto boats moored alongside. The building then contained a kiln for drying corn.

The X-shaped pieces of iron on the front wall (facing the river) are braces to reinforce the stonework. Inside you can see a variety of old beams. The original staircases were on the outside.

In 1818 the warehouse became home to Aberystwyth’s first theatre. Tradition has it that Brecon-born Sarah Siddons appeared there, possibly to give a public reading after retiring from theatrical productions in 1812. She was one of Britain’s most acclaimed actresses in the early 19th century, famed for her performances as Lady Macbeth, and is commemorated by a white marble statue in Westminster Abbey.

By 1886 the building housed McIlquham’s china store. The McIlquham family was involved in Ceredigion’s industrialisation in the Victorian era. Other uses for this site at various times have included a chapel and marine stores.

In 1982 the building became a wine bar and fondue restaurant called Bacchus. Rummers Wine Bar has occupied the ground floor since 1986. The Storehouse (Y Stordy) restaurant opened on the first floor in 2017.

A third warehouse once stood to the west, set back a little further from the river. You scan still see its rough-stone base beneath the brick garage building (used as a canteen for recuperating soldiers in the First World War). The stepped footway between that warehouse and Rummers, now part of the Wales Coast Path, was part of a private yard behind a curved wall which connected the buildings.

Postcode: SY23 1QD View Location Map

Footnotes: More on the building’s origins

Experience gained from decades of maintenance and refurbishment here has led owner Huw Roberts to conclude that the building initially consisted of two rectangular warehouses at right angles to the river. They were connected by a section of building at what was then the first-floor level (now the ground floor), giving rise to the U-shaped hipped roof still visible today. Boats moored beneath the connecting section were loaded via doorways in the sides of both warehouses. The doorways’ blocked-up remains are still visible.

An early painting shows that the front walls went down into the riverbed and the arch under the connecting section was lower than the one above today’s central window. The original ground floor may have been filled in when the river wall and road in front the building were constructed. The arch we see today was created much later, possibly in the 1980s.

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