Pierhead: The building that defeats the modern architecture around it
The Pierhead Building, the former home of the Bute Docks Company still stands along Cardiff Bay welcoming the history buffs.
Sailors of the past always searched for the red-bricked Pierhead accompanied by the famous Welsh Big Ben on Tiger Bay which greeted them as they entered the port.
The Pierhead was an indication of home for most, while for many others, it was a glimpse into the place that they would call home.
Commissioned by the Third Marquess of Bute, it was built in 1897 as an administrative building for the Bute Docks Company later renamed as the Cardiff Railway Company, the Pierhead is the only historical building that still stands among other modern pieces of architecture on Mermaid Quay, including the Welsh Senedd, which maintains and runs the Pierhead now.
The Pierhead was constructed from Ruabon Terracotta, and its rich red colour remains unfaded continuing to capture the attention of busy onlookers.
Huw Clarke, the visitor engagement officer appointed by the Senedd believes that Cardiff’s multi-cultural history could be traced back to the international trade that plied its way through the port. In a way, the Pierhead was witness to how Cardiff became the bustling city it is today.
The visitation hours begin from 9.30 on weekdays while it opens up at 10 on the weekends and closes at 16.30 every day. The former office room used by staff is now called the Future’s Gallery hosts art exhibitions that celebrate what Cardiff is today.
It often caters to school groups — educating the new generation. Nevertheless, it’s a definite visit for people who enjoyed their history lessons.