Through fire and water
The Pierhead Building opened in 1897 as the headquarters of the Cardiff Railway Company, to replace the original Bute Dock Company offices which burnt down in 1892.
The fantastic Gothic Revival building was designed by Welsh architect William Frame and built by William Thomas and Co. as the administrative office for South Wales Ports.
Cardiff’s docklands have witnessed many changes over the last century, yet the Pierhead has remained a central feature in this remarkable area – it was here that the Dock Master oversaw his ports, where the engineers drew up their plans and the docks’ accounts were settled.
In these bustling rooms, hydrographers, surveyors, clerks and typists worked shoulder to shoulder to maintain what were once the most prosperous docks in the world.