Curved corner shop, Brecon

Curved corner shop, 11 Watergate, Brecon

This building, with its distinctive curved frontage and large chimney stack, occupies a prominent position at one end of the Elizabethan bridge over the river Usk. It was a dilapidated eyesore before it was refurbished to become the Gate Gallery & Glassworks.

The frontage, which continues along the adjoining property, is thought to date from the first half of the 19th century. Notice how the windows follow the curvature. The foundations and other parts of the building are older, possibly dating back to the 16th century.

In the early 20th century the shop was the premises of butcher George Bolland. After the Second World War it was the shop of newsagent WF Hutchinson. He also sold fishing tackle, conveniently close to the Usk – one of Wales’ finest salmon rivers. Towards the end of the century the building fell into decay and had lost its doors, windows and floor by the time refurbishment began c.2005.

Since 2007 it has been home to the glassworks of Kathryn Roberts, who hails from Cardiff and obtained her MA at the Royal College of Art in 1998. As well as designing and creating glass items here, she also repairs antique glass for insurance companies, auction houses and others.

The building next door, now a private house, was the Crown Inn in the 19th century and into the 20th. In the 1880s it was kept by Ann Price. She was 70 years old when she asked in June 1885 for protection against her son Howell, whose alleged cruelties included throwing hot tea over her. Magistrates ordered police to ensure the inn was “ridden” of her son. He was in trouble again five months later, when he was found guilty of trespassing in pursuit of game and ordered to pay fines and costs of  £5 4s (more than £650 in today’s money).

Postcode: LD3 9AN    View Location Map

Website of the Gate Gallery & Glassworks