Oriel Mostyn art gallery, Llandudno

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Oriel Mostyn Gallery, 12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno

Oriel Mostyn Gallery was commissioned by Lady Augusta Mostyn after the Gwynedd Ladies’ Art Society (GLAS) photo_of_mostyn_galleryasked her for better premises than their existing home, in a former cockpit in Conwy. The ladies’ gender prevented them from joining the Royal Cambrian Academy, also based in Conwy.

Designed by architect GA Humphreys, the new gallery opened in 1901. From 1901 to 1903, the gallery housed works by members of the GLAS. As a patron of the arts and president of the society, Lady Augusta was aware that the ladies needed more space to display their work and gave them the opportunity to rent a room in the new building.

Some of GLAS’ members lived locally but many came from other areas of Britain. Lady Augusta was keen for the gallery to be used by local people, so the society was asked to leave and a School of Art, Science and Technical Classes was set up. Alongside the many classes, there were art exhibitions, lectures. social events, and even a gallery choir and shooting range!

Lady Augusta died in 1912 and the school no longer operated. During the First World War, the gallery was requisitioned as a drill hall.

Following various storage and commercial uses it was used in the Second World War for Inland Revenue storage. The current shop area was the location for a ‘Donut Dugout’ – a rest and recreation area for the many American servicemen in the town. Coffee and doughnuts were served and the men could read magazines from home.

After the war, Wagstaff’s Piano and Music Galleries occupied the building. In 1976 the artist Kyffin Williams, and others, suggested the building should become the proposed new public art gallery for North Wales. Architects Colwyn Foulkes supervised its restoration and it reopened, as Oriel Mostyn, in 11 August 1979.


Relocation of Royal Mail facilities next door to the gallery paved the way for an expansion project, which lasted from 2007 to 2010. Ellis Williams Architects blended the old and new areas of the building, while the Victorian  façade was refurbished. The main external change was a new golden spire of anodised aluminium tiles. The new interior makes striking use of concrete – including the desk in the shop!

Oriel Mostyn Gallery is established as Wales’ main gallery for contemporary art, from Wales and further afield. It receives financial support from the Arts Council of Wales, Conwy County Borough Council’s art service and Llandudno Town Council.

Website of the Mostyn

Postcode: LL30 1AB    View Location Map





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