Former fish market, Cardiff

Former fish market, The Hayes, Cardiff

The building on the corner of The Hayes and Hill Street was originally a fish market. The market opened in February 1901 with 25 stalls. In the morning, all fish had to be sold complete. After midday, traders could fillet and cut fish for their customers. Businesses from as far away as Hull, Grimsby, Manchester and Milford Haven had stalls here.

Six months after the fish market opened, stallholder John Griffin attracted crowds by displaying a shark which had been caught off Lundy Island. The shark was about three metres (10ft) long.

Cardiff Corporation’s extensive electric tramways were managed from offices on the first floor. In 1911 a tramway parcels depot was opened over the road – now the Hayes Island Snack Bar.

The basement of the fish market building housed a substation where electricity was distributed for lighting, trams and other uses. After the fish market closed in the 1930s, the building was converted into offices for the Corporation’s electricity supply business. The exterior, which you can see today, was rebuilt to designs by the renowned Welsh architect Percy Thomas.

After the Second World War, local electricity suppliers were replaced with publicly owned area electricity boards. The fish market became a showroom for the South Wales Electricity Board.

Later the building was home to Habitat, retailer of trendy home furnishings and fittings. It is now occupied by a restaurant.

Postcode: CF10 1AH    View Location Map