urban75 blog

Bongs, buttons and bull strength at Cardiff’s Central Market – in photos

Cardiff Central Market has been around since Victorian times, and I always make a point of taking a look around whenever I’m back in my home town.

It doesn’t seem to have changed much since I was a child, with the market offering a rich and unpretentious variety of stalls, with cheap cafes and food bars inside.

Designed by the Borough Surveyor, William Harpur, the two floor market opened in May 1891, while a farmers’ market is known to have existed at the site since the 18th century.

The hand drawn artwork of Celtic Corner, by the ground floor cafe.

Lovely fresh Welsh cakes! I always try to pick up some to scoff on the train journey back to Brixton.

Business was booming at the butchers. In case you’re wondering about the seasonal red Santa hat, I took these photos over last Christmas.

Many of the stalls have extremely colourful displays, including this one showing off a large variety of stock including bongs, lighters, rolling mats and, curiously, socks.

One box of poppers bears the slogan, “STRONG LIKE BULL!”

This esoteric stall should be able to cater for just about all of your lighter/skins requirements.

Gary Anthony Butchers supplies a customer.

So far, the market hasn’t turned into a hipster hell like Brixton Village, even though a handful of vintage stores have turned up. Let’s hope the market can maintain its wonderful mix of new and traditional shops.

A very well stocked haberdashery.

Cauliflowers from the Gower at £1.80 a pop.

“LED Board: promote anything, I will increase your profits” claims the sign.

Kelly’s records on the first floor.

Hard at work creating Welsh cakes at Cardiff Bakestones.

Some more haberdashery views.

Market clock on St Mary’s Street.

Despite being restored in 2011 at a cost of £25,000, the H. Samuel Everite Time clock remains without the hands that disappeared some time after 2007 – and it’s been a long time since the neon letters were illuminated.

Getting stuck into the chocolate mix.

Last minute Christmas card buying.

Relaxing in the downstairs cafe. The price list behind the counter advertises a beefburger for £1.80 and a plate of Faggots, Peas, Gravy and Mash for £1.90.

A chip butty can be yours for £1, with the traditional Cardiff plate of chips and curry being an affordable £1.80.

Looking across the ground floor from the stairs.

Enjoying a snack on the first floor.

Another stall with plentiful supplies of smoking paraphernalia.

General view from the first floor balcony.

Empty seats.

Another colourful shop unit.

DIY stall.

Large plastic panda.

Faggots & Peas, a Cardiff staple (but not for veggies like me!)

Lunch in the market.

Pets and ketchup.

This bird has flown.

Crowded stalls on the first floor.

Heading out of the market.

Here’s a lovely little video shot in 2010 (below):

Read more:
Photos of Cardiff Central Market, a Victorian indoor market in the Castle Quarter
A celebration of Kellys Records in Cardiff Central Market, south Wales
Cardiff Market photos, 2007

Central Market, Cardiff CF10 2AU
Phone: 029 2037 7355
Open 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat.
[See on map]