Morgan Arcade Cardiff, from the entrance
Jennie Savage has completed a similar project for the arcades of Cardiff. So did Nicola James. She was deeply concerned with what the future holds for these arcades as a unique building type in Cardiff, and feared they might be lost forever.
Castle Arcade Cardiff, beautiful shop fronts
In recent decades, Cardiff’s main shopping streets have been made into tree lined pedestrian malls. Even better, the arcades are under cover - each arcade was and is home to an array of non-chain shops offering items for the home and high class fashion.
The Royal Arcade is the oldest of the city's shopping arcades, situated towards the south of the city centre, adjacent to the New St David's development. Tourists are told to look out for the original Victorian storefronts at #29, 30, and 32.
The best known arcade might be The Castle Arcade 1887. The interior has a decorative first-floor wooden gallery with a wooden second floor overhanging it. The Morgan Arcade 1896 still looks good, with some first-floor Venetian windows and original slender wooden storefronts. Note the first-floor Venetian windows and the original slender wooden storefronts eg #23 and 24. Running parallel to Cardiff's Cafe Quarter, Mill Lane, Wyndham Arcade cuts through to the bottom of St Mary Street.
Royal Arcade Cardiff, glass and iron roof
The Melbourne and Sydney arcades included every known Victorian architectural element in their building programme: three storeys of boutique shopping, gas and electric lighting, ornate cedar staircases, elegant bathroom facilities and hydraulic lifts. And the Paris, Milan and London arcades had stunning ceilings and entrances. The Cardiff arcades were less exotic but they were more plentiful and more in tune with Cardiff's late Victorian city centre.