The Claude

‘Go out there and have a pint!’: Campaign to get Cardiff’s historic pubs listed

The Claude, The Albany and The Halfway are all currently part of the initiative

CARDIFF’S historic pubs should be preserved and people should be encouraged to use the city’s oldest inns, says a new campaign.

In 2022, Wales lost the highest number of pubs in the UK, with a total of 50 premises closing and a row over the demolition of long-closed The Roath Park on City road has been raging for two years.

Now Cardiff Civic Society and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have joined forces to lobby Cadw – the Welsh Government’s service to protest historic buildings – to get some of Cardiff’s oldest pubs listed to recognise working class heritage.

“The campaign is to encourage people to get out and drink in pubs. Without punters they are not going to survive – go out there and have a pint,” said Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, chair of Cardiff Civic Society.

Nerys Lloyd-Pierce, Cardiff Civic Society (credit: Nerys Lloyd-Pierce)

“So many pubs in Cardiff have been lost – the traditional pubs that is. They’ve either been gentrified, or they’ve been demolished. Wales Online is always publishing ‘the lost pubs of Cardiff’.

“All those charismatic pubs that have been lost. We’re trying to get Cadw to list as many of them as possible and also, to get the council to locally list ones that aren’t historic enough,” Ms Lloyd-Pierce said.

CAMRA is an independent organisation which promotes real ale, cider and perry and traditional pubs and clubs. The group approached the Cardiff Civic Society to join the campaign.

“[People may ask] Why is CAMRA concerned with pubs? Because it’s about real ale – it’s fairly straightforward. Real ale is for pubs. Without pubs, there wouldn’t be real ale. That’s why we’re concerned with protecting pubs,” said Brian Francis, secretary of Cardiff CAMRA.

The organisations are co-compiling a list of the city’s historic pubs to send to both Cadw and Cardiff Council.

The Halfway (image credit: Georgia Bates)

Currently, the focus of the campaign is on The Albany and The Claude in Roath and The Halfway in Pontcanna. Each holds a historical value in Cardiff.

Back in the day, The Halfway was – as the name suggests – a waymarker between Cardiff City centre and Llandaff, when Llandaff was a separate village. The pub dates back to the 19th century.

Simon Dockree, staff member at The Halfway, discusses the importance of the campaign

The Claude was built in 1890 and refitted in the 1930s. In 1891, former Prime Minister and solicitor at the time David Lloyd George fought against its opening.

The Claude (image credit: Georgia Bates)
The Albany (image credit: Georgia Bates)

The Albany Hotel is a Brains pub, built in 1895. It is often named in CAMRA’s good beer guide.

Pubs are at the centre of Cardiff’s working class heritage and this is central to the campaign.

“We’ve lobbied Cadw to try and protect working-class heritage,” said Ms Lloyd-Pierce.

“Often Cadw will say too many changes have taken place in the building, but in a working-class area those changes are bound to happen. If they take that view, then, only middle-class buildings will be protected and that doesn’t tell the story of the city.”

What are the oldest pubs in Cardiff?

CAMRA view pubs as community assets and wants to protect them from people who view these institutions as “profit centres”.

“Pubs do have a community value. They are a meeting place for locals, they are a British institution really,” said Mr Francis.

“You have a responsibility taking on a pub and it’s that sort of thing that we are looking to protect our pubs with. We’re going to go as far as we can to stop this money, money, money business and look at it as a community value.”

Cardiff is home to around 300 pubs and the oldest in Cardiff, the Rummer Tavern, dates back to 1713.

In Cardiff, there are only three pubs that have been granted a Grade II listing. These are The Golden Cross in Cardiff city centre, The Corporation in Canton and The Royal Oak in Roath. 

Previously, Cardiff Civic Society has successfully campaigned for Eastmoors youth centre to be given a Grade II listing.

If you live in Cardiff and would like to recommend a pub to be added to the list, email Nerys Lloyd-Pierce on