Former Customs House
This compact building, nestled against part of Conwy’s medieval town wall, provides a good view over Conwy harbour from the upstairs bay window (which was added to the building sometime between 1865 and 1906). A 1981 survey by Cadw, the official Welsh heritage body, suggested that it was built in the 19th century. Directories published in 1874, 1875 and 1878 all refer to it as an “antique building”, implying perhaps that the building pre-dates that century.
The building was Conwy’s Customs House in the 19th century. For centuries Conwy had been a busy port, importing timber and other products. Salt and slate were shipped out. Customs officers kept a close watch to ensure that the correct duties were paid on imports.
With the spread of the railways, coupled with the growth of large ports, activity on Conwy quay become increasingly dominated by fishing and the Customs presence was no longer needed. The previous function of this building is still echoed in the name of the terrace of houses a little to the south.
In the early 20th century the Ministry of Labour Employment Exchange was located here. From 1948 to 1954, and again in 1963 and 1964, the First Conway Scout Group used the ground floor of the former Customs House for their meetings.
After the Second World War, the building became home to Conwy’s harbour master and his staff. Their work is now concentrated mainly on the leisure activities that take place on the local waters, which feature two marinas and numerous other berths for private boats.
FOOTNOTES – Previous occupants
Postcode: LL32 8BB