Mansion House, Cardiff

Photograph by Seth Wales

The Mansion House, located on Richmond Road, Cardiff, is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. Habershon & Fawckner designed the Mansion House and it was built in 1896 for James Howell, owner of Howells department store. It was then known then as ‘The Grove’.

James Howell was a Cardiff businessman who opened his first shop in 1865. In 1890 he made arrangements to build a property on land leased from Lord Tredegar. The plans were for a large family home, to house his 11 children. The one unusual aspect of the house is that it has two front doors. James Howell wanted to ensure that the house could be divided in two in the future if needed. In the cellar, a wall was constructed which could have been extended upwards to divide the house in two. The house was bought by the Cardiff Corporation in 1913. The building is a Grade II Listed Building.