The Angel Hotel, Cardiff

button-theme-crimebutton_lang_frenchThe Angel Hotel, Cardiff

cardiff_arms_hotelThis building occupies the triangular corner plot which emerged when Westgate Street was constructed in the mid-19th century. Much of the site was previously occupied by the Cardiff Arms Hotel (shown in the photo, courtesy of Cardiff Libraries), from which the Cardiff Arms Park rugby ground derived its name.

Earlier still, a building called the Red House stood here until destroyed by fire in 1770. It once belonged to Sir Thomas Morgan of Llangattock Lingoed, near Abergavenny. He had fought for the Parliamentarians in the Civil War.

The Angel Hotel was opened in 1883 by the Bland family of Haverfordwest. Its upper storeys gave guests splendid views of Cardiff Castle on the one side, and over the Cardiff Arms Park to Leckwith Woods on the other. Telephones weren’t then available, but each of the hotel’s main rooms had a “speaking tube” which led into the landlord’s parlour.

There were 34 bedrooms on the first and second floors for well-heeled visitors. Guests of lesser means could stay in the second section on the Castle Street side, where the rooms were further away from the lobby and the corridors were narrower!

In 1917 the US Navy took over the Angel Hotel and gave its own name to the premises – USS Chattanooga! Later the hotel was bought by Lady Agatha Honywood, who owned numerous high-class hotels. Famous past guests here include singer Marlene Dietrich and actors Katharine Hepburn, Ray Milland, Richard Burton and Bette Davis. Tom Jones sang here as Tommy Scott, early in his career.

In 1989 Hollywood star Anthony Perkins was arrested when he arrived at the hotel. He had posted cannabis to himself in advance but a member of staff had given the package to another guest called Perkins, who alerted the authorities!

Until the Second World War, rugby teams used the Angel Hotel as their changing rooms before each international match at the Cardiff Arms Park. In 1972 the New Zealand All Blacks were staying at the hotel when prop Keith Murdoch was involved in a late-night altercation with a security guard, who had refused entry to the bar (closed for the night). He then became the first All Black to be sent home from a tour. Too ashamed to show his face in New Zealand, he cut short his journey in Australia. He lived as a recluse there until his death in March 2018, aged 74.

Postcode: CF10 1SZ    View Location Map

Website of The Angel Hotel

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