Aberystwyth – A Place for Architecture
The Old College
“Aberystwyth’s Old College is the work of Gothic Revival architect John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906). Built as a hotel in readiness for the masses of people that were sure to arrive with the expansion of the railway, it was supposed to be accommodation for the upper classes, and it certainly was superior: “ an eclectic Neo-Gothic fantasy with conical spires, castellated towers, gargoyled parapets, and steep-pitched roofs like a French Renaissance chateau”
Aberystwyth University, About Us.
However, just before it was due to be completed, the developer went bankrupt, and the building was sold to a group who planned to establish Wales’ first university.
The result was the breathtaking Old College, next door to the town’s Norman castle and its Georgian Assembly Rooms (which today plays host to a restaurant and student accommodation). Today, the college often plays host to the School of Art, and is a magical area that rivals Hogwarts in its elaborate spiral staircases, balconies, arches and columns. There is a real sense of history in this fantastical building, and it is just one example of the many styles of architecture that jostle for space within the town.
Right in the town centre is Ceredigion Museum, based in The Coliseum, which opened in 1905 as a theatre and served as a cinema from 1932 onwards. The interior of the museum continues to be arraigned in the manner of the original theatre, with the stage still intact. It was the scene of many a first date for some of the older generations of Aberystwyth residents, and still draws a lot of affection as a result.
More Architecture coming soon … can you contribute? Get in touch!