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Description

The two prominent buildings on the dock in Cardigan stand as monuments to the town's rich maritime history.

The Bridge End storehouse (on the right) was built as a storehouse in 1745. In 1785, the building was purchased by brothers Thomas and John Davies, who were initially involved with the trade in slates from Cilgerran and the supply of limestone and culm to the surrounding area. They also served the shipping industry in the region with a sail making loft in the warehouse and a foundry at Bridge End.

By the turn of the 19th century, the Davies brothers had also purchased ships and were involved in the import of timber to meet the needs of the construction industry. They were the owners of the Albion, the ship which transported 27 families from Cardiganshire to New Brunswick in 1819 to found the Cardigan settlement.

When this photograph was taken, the Bridge End storehouse was owned by Thomas Davies's grandson, who was also named Thomas Davies. The grandson was the owner of Cardigan Mercantile Company Ltd, which was formed in 1876 and traded in timber, lime, culm, building materials and general cargo.

Thomas Davies was also a director of the Whitland and Taf Vale Railway and a prominent figure in Cardigan, having served on the Town Council for forty years and held the office of Mayor six times.

The other storehouse (on the left) was used in the 1860s by Thomas Edwards, a local sail maker. As the shipbuilding industry developed in Cardigan, ancillary industries such as sail making also appeared in the town. Sailcloth was imported from Bristol and the sails were made in high lofts because of their size.

Source:
W. J. Lewis, Gateway to Wales: A History of Cardigan (Carmarthen, 1990)

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