The Wyndham Arcade (the Forgotten Arcade)

Of all the Cardiff Arcades, Wyndham is the one, that for me at least, is easy to forget. It’s a little bit out of the way (well by comparison), is smaller than the others and doesn’t have as many shops. In fact, quite a few are empty.

Inside there’s a few gems that could be interesting for the project – namely a tobacco shop, inline skate shop and a pub.

The architecture of the Wyndham Arcade is similar in style to other Victorian arcades but it’s a lot more rundown and a lot less vibrant than the others.

Built in 1887, the arcade itself is a Grade II listed building so it’s not going anywhere, but I wonder what could be done to reinvigorate this arcade and give it the same buzz as its sisters just down the road?

I’ll keep an eye on the shops in here and see what I can do for the project, I have to remember not to forget about it as it’s been all to easy for me to do up to now.

What do you think of the Wyndham Arcade?


12 thoughts on “The Wyndham Arcade (the Forgotten Arcade)

  1. I think the Wyndham Arcade has a faded charm. I used to frequently visit Cardiff, but now have not been fomaye 14 years. I remember the arcades as I felt they gave Cardiff a unique character.

    • Yes, walking around it is a bit like walking in the past – which you kind of get from the other arcades, but they feel a lot brighter, fresher and like people are still very much involved – it’s a shame considering the brand new St David’s is just opposite, you’d think more could be done in the way of attracting businesses down there… oh well, I still think there could be some very interesting portraits done from in here, just need to pluck up the courage to ask!

  2. I used to love going down to the Wyndham Arcade when I was a bit younger – when i was a kid, mainly for the stuffed bear in the tobacconist shop (not sure if it’s still there now) and later on when I was a grumpy teenager to go and mooch about at the piercing studio in Rebel Rebel. They used to have some really weird and wonderful stuff under glass (tarot cards, jewellery and so on) plus of course the legendary ‘back room’ which was of a slightly more adult nature…

    • Are you from Cardiff Laura?

      Glad to report the bear is still there, but most of the shops were closed when I went down on Sunday. Had some interesting Twitter convos about the “interesting” characters down there, so a bit more daunting asking these people… think I’m going to wait until I’ve done a lot more from the other arcades, but I definitely want to do the bear and rebel rebel if nothing else…

      • Oh I know that, so obvs I know you went to Cardiff Uni and all that jazz but didn’t know where you were from – I’m not from Cardiff, but you probably wouldn’t know that unless you knew me… I’m actually from just outside Birmingham, only came to Cardiff in 2005 for uni 🙂

  3. I hope that you will find the courage to ask some of the people in the arcade if you may take photos. I know it’s hard to ask, but I’ve done it a lot and the vast majority of people are really pleased. Sometimes they say things like they don’t take a good picture, but they usually seem quite flattered that somebody is taking an interest.

    • Of the people I’ve asked from the other arcades, they’ve all been pleased to be involved and mostly responded very positively – although some haven’t responded at all, so I suppose that speaks volumes.

      I’m just being silly I know, but the shops in this arcade seem like a tougher venue to crack, so I think it’s somewhere I will venture when I’ve done a lot more in the other arcades.

      Went through Wyndham just now, and it’s 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, there were about 10 drunk people hanging around outside the pub, all in various states of inebriation and displaying some odd behaviours. I suppose it adds to the charm, but it’s quite off-putting for a young girl waving around a camera, as I don’t honestly know what I’d do if things turned nasty/confrontational… other than try and run away!

  4. Don’t forget Servini’s Snack Bar, which has been in the Wyndham Arcade for 15 years (and in a different location before that). A bit of a Cardiff institution. Family-run, good-value food. I recommend the breakfasts.

    • Ooh sounds good Stephen, I’ll try and get in touch with them!

      For me, the Wyndham is a little bit forgotten, and I’d like to redress that balance a bit, but I know from speaking to afew people that there are some well-loved shops in there 😀


  5. There used to be a really nice cafe called Bees Kneez (not sure that was the exact spelling) above Rebel Rebel/Spiral. I don’t think it’s ever been replaced by newer establishments, either.

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