The Albert Hall, Llandrindod Wells
This building, now a community theatre, was erected by the Presbyterians in 1896 at a cost of £2,000. Their chapel next door couldn’t cope with additional demand from Welsh-speaking tourists who were Methodists, so Welsh services were held in summer at the Albert Hall.
The hall accommodated 750 people on moveable seating. It was designed by Owen Morris Roberts & Son of Porthmadog. Notice the Art Nouveau décor on the frontage, including the curving door and window details.
When the adjoining chapel was rebuilt in 1905, the Albert Hall’s basement was converted into a chapel schoolroom. The pulpit of the 1870 chapel was moved to the hall.
During the First World War the hall was used for entertainments by the Royal Army Medical Corps, which billeted c.4,000 men in the town for training. RAMC men were given their own competition categories at the town’s second annual eisteddfod for young people in March 1915, held at the hall.
In February 1916 a public meeting, with musical entertainment, was held here to welcome the Welsh unit of the RAMC to Llandrindod. The unit’s commanding officer, Major Bowle, presided over the 1916 young people’s eisteddfod, where a recitation prize went to an RAMC man from Manchester who was also a Jewish Rabbi. In April 1916 a concert by the Welsh unit at the Albert Hall raised more than £6 to buy cigarettes and other comforts for rheumatic soldiers at the Rock Park auxiliary hospitals.
Membership of the Presbyterian chapel began to decline after the war but there were still construction debts to pay off. In 1922 the Albert Hall was refitted as a commercial theatre. The Presbyterians sold the hall in the 1950s.
The hall’s stage has been trodden by famous artists and speakers, including Cardiff-born composer Ivor Novello, comedian Tommy Handley, suffragette Emily Pankhurst and two of Britain’s former Prime Ministers, David Lloyd George and Anthony Eden.
The hall was taken over by a local charitable trust. In 2007 a £115,000 restoration project began, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources. The hall hosts theatre shows and is available for community events.
Postcode: LD1 6AA View Location Map
|To continue the Llandrindod Wells in WW1 tour, go down Ithon Road. Turn right into Victoria Road. Continue to Dyffryn Road and cross. The next QRs are at the High School entrance|