Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Overview

[image: Exterior view of Gwalia stores ]

Exterior view of Gwalia stores at St Fagans National History Museum

Gwalia General Store

A typical general store from the south Wales industrial valleys. The shop is divided into three sections, on two floors, and includes ironmongery and grocery displays.

In 1880 William Llewellyn developed his grocery business by building this shop. The original building was just the central section, flanked by the storeroom and Llewellyn's house.

The shop was fitted with mahogany shelving, counters and bins by Parnalls of Bristol, and by 1912 the ground floor of the house had been taken over and a drapery established. The shop soon expanded to include the first floor and the ground floor of the adjoining three houses.

By 1916, Gwalia Stores comprised a bakery, ironmongery, grocery, gentlemen's outfitters, chemist and a section selling animal feeds. Members of staff slept in the attics and were paid 8 shillings (40p) per week.

Alderman Llewellyn died in 1924 and the shop has been shown as it would have been in the late 1920s in the ownership of his sons. It closed in 1973 and was moved to the museum in 1988.

[image: Gwalia Map Plot]

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Ogmore Vale, Glamorgan
  • Date originally built: 1880
  • Furnished: Late 1920s
  • Moved to St. Fagans: 1988
  • 32nd building opened to the public at the Museum
  • Visiting information

 

Oral testimony from the archive

Rev. Jones describing how his grandparents came to Ogmore Vale in the late 19th century to start a grocery business:

startingup-.mp3
Rev. Canon Dillwyn Llewellyn Jones describing how his grandparents, William and Mary Llewellyn, came to Ogmore Vale in the late 19th century to start a grocery business.

Gwalia Stores was ideally located across the road from the railway station:

by-railway.mp3
Mr Arthur Tuck of Ogmore Vale describing how Gwalia Stores was ideally located across the road from the railway station.

Oral testimony describing Gorwyl House, Ogmore Vale by William Llewellyn, owner of Gwalia Stores:

gorwyl3.mp3
Oral testimony describing Gorwyl House, Ogmore Vale. Gorwyl was the home of William Llewellyn, owner of Gwalia Stores and a local politician. Contributors: Mrs I. Lewis, Rev. Canon D.Ll.Jones and Mrs G.M. Morgan.

Mrs Iris Lewis describes the wonderful smells of the grocery in Gwalia Stores:

grocery-smell.mp3
Mrs Iris Lewis describes the wonderful smells of the grocery in Gwalia Stores, Ogmore Vale