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Art Gallery and Shop (former Working Men's Free Institute), Monmouth

Description: Art Gallery and Shop (former Working Men's Free Institute)

Grade: II
Date Listed: 8 October 2005
Cadw Building ID: 85207

OS Grid Coordinates: 350982, 213005
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8131, -2.7111

Location: St James Square, MonmouthMonmouthshire NP25 3DT

Locality: Monmouth
County: Monmouthshire
Country: Wales
Postcode: NP25 3DT

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Listing Text

Location
On the principal road which runs north-south on the east side of Monmouth town centre.

History
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.

Interior
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.

Exterior
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.

Reason for Listing
Included for its special interest as a Victorian building of definite quality, character and special social history in the Monmouth town centre.

References
Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire, 1884.
John Newman, The Buildings of Wales, Gwent/Monmouthshire, Penguin, 2000, p 406.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Notes:
On the principal road which runs north-south on the east side of Monmouth town centre.

Source: Cadw

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.




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