This former grade 2 listed hotel on the Penarth side of Cardif bay was built in 1865. Known as the old custom’s house. A 3 storey yellow brick building constructed in the French renaissance style with pavilion roof towers and ornamental iron balcony features. Only a few yards from the Cardiff Bay barrage, This building’s history can be traced to the start of Penarth’s life as a Victorian holiday destination. Past uses include apartments and offices but it has been vacant for about 30 years and deteriorated, suffering fire and water damage. Windows are covered and in places the roof has falled in.
In the 1990s a large barrage was constructed to support the regeneration of Cardiff’s waterfront at the cost of £120 million the barrage crossed Cardiff bay from the old docks to Penarth Head forming a large freshwater water lake behind it.
It was the largest civil engineering project in Europe at the time of its construction. The barrage prevents the tidal exposure of the mud flats at low tide and forms a vast freshwater lagoon behind it, which was said to be “more appealing to look at than exposed mud at low tide.” Houses, flats, shops and The Welsh Assembly have moved into the regeneration area but at the expense of nature. In 2006 studies have stated the loss of inter tidal mudflats on one type of wader the Common Redshank that used the mud could no longer feed and were displaced resulting in annual survival rate decline over winter from 85% to 78%. Another issue is Zebra Mussels an alien invader from Russia has arrived and multiplied in Cardiff Lagoon resulting in it holding the honour of being the 1st freshwater area in Wales to be infested with them.
My view the engineering structure is of interest and makes a good walk across the bay looking into the lagoon I could only see grey water. But I would rather see a tidal change. I LIKE MUD – I LIKE WADERS