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UK News The most beautiful Swansea buildings that were lost in time

15:40  28 november  2019
15:40  28 november  2019 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Wales’ most beautiful campsite lies at the head of Three Cliffs Bay. The views are breathtaking and It was to be moved, a second time in 2004 – to its present location – and is now a jewellery shop. Swansea suffered terribly in World War II; parts were even razed to the ground by the enemy bombs

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a black and white photo of a horse drawn carriage on a city street: Wind Street, Swansea in 1920. Dominating the scene in the centre is the Ben Evans department store © South Wales Evening Post archives Wind Street, Swansea in 1920. Dominating the scene in the centre is the Ben Evans department store

From some of the finest French-inspired architecture to decor likened to an iconic five-star London hotel, Swansea once boasted some of the most beautiful buildings around.

They were the places where people met their husbands and wives, watched the latest blockbuster film in the cinema, or had an overnight stay in the lap of luxury.

But one by one, many of them have disappeared for good.

We've taken a look back at some of the most stunning buildings the city had to offer which are now just a memory.

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Mackworth Hotel

a black and white photo of a city street: The Mackworth Hotel © South Wales Evening Post archives The Mackworth Hotel

The Mackworth was Swansea’s foremost hotel for much of the 20th century, popular for wedding receptions and dinner dances, and having a resident orchestra.

Retired police officers recall the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the gratings from the hotel’s kitchens in the early mornings as they walked back to Central Police Station at the end of the night beat.

Its features included a billiard room with six tables, and the novelty of an Automatic Café.

Among those who have stayed at the Mackworth Hotel are Dame Vera Lynn during the war, and the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, when they appeared at the now demolished Empire Theatre in Oxford Street in September, 1952.

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Although so much history was lost as temples and beloved buildings fell, the country is still full of a vibrant culture as it rebuilds. A newly designed religious park is a long- time work in progress meant to revitalize the Many traditional buildings were completely destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

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The Mackworth Hotel closed in 1967 and was demolished in the 1970s, though its name lives on today with Mackworth Court.

Ben Evans department store

a person walking in the rain with an umbrella: Swansea's famous Ben Evans department store was lost forever © media wales Swansea's famous Ben Evans department store was lost forever

It was the first department store in Wales and its standards were so high that it was known as the 'Harrods of Wales'.

Ben Evans sat on the site of Swansea's original trading market in 1895, with its building inspired by some French architectural themes.

It sold high quality merchandise and was held in high regard by many across the city.

But during the Second World War, it was reduced to rubble.

It was cleared in the late 1940s to create Castle Gardens, now known as Castle Square.

Tower Ballroom

a sign in front of a building: The old Tower Ballroom © TH Madge The old Tower Ballroom a steam train: The ballroom on fire © South Wales Evening Post The ballroom on fire

Tower Ballroom in Swansea was one of the most glamorous in Wales at the time, with a dance floor likened to that of the Dorchester Hotel, and packed full of people enjoying a night out with their closest friends most Saturdays.

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The building was designed and completed in 1937, and visible from miles away, with its first owner and manager being Oscar Dennis.

It began life as a cinema, and the first film shown was Swing Time with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, iconic dance partners who made motion pictures together from 1933 to 1949.

It was perhaps an early sign of what the building was to become, as in August, 1958, it became The Tower Ballroom.

In later years, the Tower became a bingo hall in the 1970s, where house prices would vary from £5 to £100.

But it later became disused for many years, with plans to turn it into flats not coming to fruition.

It meant it became a target for vandals, and what was to follow on September, 1993, broke a lot of people's hearts.

The South Wales Evening Post reported how "parents and children ran screaming" as tons of brickwork crashed to the ground when a raging inferno ripped through the Townhill landmark.

It was said that the building had been set alight twice the night before as it had "become a magnet" for youngsters.

The blaze tore through the building for two hours before firefighters could bring it under control, but its already poor condition, further damaged by fire, meant there was no way back for a structure which once meant so much to so many.

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Two days later, it was bulldozed to the ground, leaving the many who went there with just their memories.

The Ship and Castle Hotel

a black and white photo of an old building: The Ship and Castle Hotel, Mumbles © South Wales Evening Post archives The Ship and Castle Hotel, Mumbles

The Ship & Castle Hotel in Mumbles was burned to the ground on the night of February 17, 1896, and rebuilt shortly afterwards.

But it was closed down in 1927 for being a disorderly house, or a brothel.

It was replaced by The Conservative Club.

Empire Theatre

a black and white photo of a city street: Swansea's Empire Theatre, pictured in the early 1950s © South Wales Evening Post archives Swansea's Empire Theatre, pictured in the early 1950s

It was based in Oxford Street having been built and opened in 1900.

The owner was Moss Empires, and it had 2,200 seats. It closed in 1957, and was demolished three years later.

Osborne Hotel

a person sitting at a beach: Osborne Hotel was at Rotherslade Bay © South Wales Evening Post archives Osborne Hotel was at Rotherslade Bay

Langland's Osborne Hotel shut its doors for good in the year 2000.

The replacement for what was one of Swansea’s most loved hotels at Rotherslade was a luxury apartment block of the same name.

The 36 homes making up the £4 million development were snapped up within days of going on the market, at prices upwards of a couple of hundred thousand pounds.

Its construction was not without problems as far as local residents were concerned, however, with disruption to the cliff-top path and parking at the bottom end of Rotherslade Road.

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Libanus Chapel

Libanus Chapel was destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack in 2012 © South Wales Evening Post archives Libanus Chapel was destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack in 2012 a view of a large building: Demolition at Libanus Chapel following the fire © Jonathan Myers Demolition at Libanus Chapel following the fire

The 19th Century Libanus Chapel in Cwmbwrla, Swansea was the victim of a suspected early morning arson attack in 2012.

Firefighters from as far afield as Haverfordwest were called to deal with the blaze, while Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service evacuated people from four nearby homes.

Station manager Craig Thomas confirmed the fire was being treated as a deliberate act of arson.

The structure of the church was later demolished because it was deemed unsafe.

Langland Court Hotel

a close up of a street in front of a house: The Langland Court Hotel © South Wales Evening Post archives The Langland Court Hotel

Langland Court Hotel was once one of the city’s top hotels after being built by a Swansea shipping family in 1884.

It was also a wedding reception favourite for many hundreds of couples over the years.

It was closed to guests in summer, 2002, and then, three years later, in 2005, was destroyed by fire and was later razed to the ground.

It had been in the Birt family for 47 years.

Liberty Properties (Homes) Ltd built houses in its place, including four and five-bedroom townhouses and three-four-bedroom detached houses.

Langland Bay Hotel

a black and white photo of a castle: Langland Bay Hotel © South Wales Evening Post archives Langland Bay Hotel

The Langland Bay Hotel was closed as bosses struggled to make a profit. It was pulled down in 1998 and has since been redeveloped into residential flats.

Powell Dyffryn House

a large building: Powell Dyffryn House was based in Swansea's Adelaide Street © South Wales Evening Post archives Powell Dyffryn House was based in Swansea's Adelaide Street a large building: After the building was demolished © South Wales Evening Post archives After the building was demolished

In its heyday, Powell Dyffryn House, which was based in Swansea's Adelaide Street, was rated of great architectural significance.

Originally known as the Letricheux Buildings when finished in 1914, it was leased first to metal merchants then used as offices.

Coal merchants Cory Brothers took it on as home to its offices in the 1950s.

This use continued until the 1980s. After this the building became vacant and was often used by homeless people, one of whom burnt to death there after accidentally setting fire to himself.

It was pulled down in 1999 by EA Bond Contractors.

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