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Latitude: 51.8135 / 51°48'48"N
Longitude: -2.7124 / 2°42'44"W
OS Eastings: 350982
OS Northings: 213005
OS Grid: SO509130
Mapcode National: GBR FL.WV3H
Mapcode Global: VH86T.XPX3
Entry Name: Art Gallery and Shop (former Working Men's Free Institute)
Listing Date: 10 August 2005
Last Amended: 10 August 2005
Source ID: 85207
Building Class: Commercial
Location: On the principal road which runs north-south on the east side of Monmouth town centre.
Traditional County: Monmouthshire
Built as the Workingmen's Free Institute in 1867-8 and designed by Benjamin Lawrence of Newport. 'This Free Institute for Working Men was founded and endowed by Mrs. Matilda Jones of Ancre Hill A.D. 1868'. It has been little altered externally, but the interior has been divided in its new use as an Art Gallery and Shop, although not in any permanent way.
Built of roughly coursed rock faced red sandstone rubble with Bath stone dressings and Welsh slate roofs. Gothic style with some mild Italian/Venetian details. Two storeys, with the upper storey very much higher than the lower. The gable end is to the street and this has quoins and banding with a plain door and window on the ground floor. Above is a large 3-light Gothic window with colonnettes with stiff-leaf capitals, pointed heads to the lights and a chequerwork infill to arch with framed coat-of-arms. Coped gable with louvred vent and metal spike finial. Very steeply pitched roof.
The right return has a window on either floor and then a projecting bay with an elaborate entrance porch again with stiff-leaf colonettes and cranked head, double doors within. Above this a stone balcony on brackets and a pointed arch window. Roof hipped to right.
The left return is largely obscured by the later Baptist Chapel (qv).
Rear elevation not seen.
The principal feature is the stone open-well stair with decorative wrought iron handrail, said to have been supplied from Glasgow. The column at the foot of the stair has a fine Venetian Gothic capital. There are hooded fireplaces in the main lower and upper rooms but any decorative finish in the rooms has been painted over and are hidden by the modern partitions and false ceilings.
Included for its special interest as a Victorian building of definite quality, character and special social history in the Monmouth town centre.
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