Wyndham Arcade, Cardiff

Wyndham Arcade

This arcade was built in 1887 by the Cardiff Arcade Company, which had earlier created the Royal Arcade a little to the north. It runs from St Mary Street to Mill Lane and looks more spacious inside than Cardiff’s other arcades, partly because of the three-storey frontages either side. The eastern entrance is at an oblique angle to Mill Lane.

The arcade originally had 35 shops, with cellars and private living rooms. The arcade had been open only five months when jeweller GA Phillips was driven into bankruptcy after a thief stole stock worth £200 from his shop in the arcade. The culprit, Frederick George Coles, was sentenced to five years’ penal servitude (jail with hard labour) for the crime in 1888.

One of the earliest shopkeepers in the arcade was basket-maker Philip Jones, who was born in the Old Arcade in Church Street. As a young man he carried his baskets on his back to sell in outlying communities. He worked until a few days before he died, aged 72, in 1905.

The arcade is named after the Wyndham-Quin family, which owned large areas of land in the region. Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven (1841-1926), was a military officer and Justice of the Peace for Glamorgan. Windham Henry Wyndham-Quin, 5th Earl of Dunraven (1857-1952), was military secretary to the governor of Madras, India, when the arcade opened. Later he was MP for South Glamorgan.

In 1923 Glamorgan Wanderers Rugby Football Club opened the Wanderers Club in Wyndham Arcade. The club was formed in 1893 and had several home grounds in succession, in various districts of Cardiff. Rugby fans from around the world went to the club to drink and socialise on days when Cardiff hosted international matches. The club closed in 1969.

With thanks to ASK Italian for hosting the QR codes

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF10 1FE (St Mary Street entrance)

Website of ASK Italian restaurant

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