St. Woolos

The St. Woolos conservation area was designated on 28 August 1985 and is centred upon one of Newport’s finest buildings, St. Woolos Cathedral, whose history dates back to before Norman times.  

Download a plan of the St Woolos conservation areaboundaries (pdf) 

Named after the area’s historically and architecturally dominant building, St. Woolos Cathedral, this conservation area contains four distinct areas.  

The ancient grade l listed cathedral and walled grounds occupy an island surrounded by and towering over the A467 where Stow Hill divides and becomes Clifton Road to the north.  

The cathedral site is a true landmark building, said to date from circa 500 AD.   

To the south of the cathedral is Stow Hill, route of the 1839 Chartist march which ended in the infamous riot at the Westgate Hotel in the town centre below.  

At the cathedral island the road is several metres lower than the cathedral grounds which led to the construction of a raised flagged pavement retained by pennant stone walls.

These raised footpaths and steps are a notable characteristic of this part of the city and extend beyond the cathedral along Stow Hill and into the adjoining Town Centre conservation area.  

Clifton Place

To the north west of the cathedral grounds is Clifton Place a largely stucco terrace of 18 three storey houses mostly dating to the mid 1840’s which include a number of listed buildings.   

Many of these houses retain original character and some are visible on the hillside from a good distance beyond the conservation area. Numbers 7 and 8 are in pennant sandstone and probably pre-date the neighbouring properties.  

The Queen Victoria Memorial Almshouses (grade ll) are situated in an elevated position on the west side of Stow Hill and to the north of the cathedral.

This group of 9 buildings is circa 1901 but probably replace a much earlier almshouse.

They are described by Cadw as ‘an especially attractive, well designed set of almshouses, an unusual building type’.

Set in an area of wooded grounds the former Bishops Palace (Bishopstow) now Kingshill occupies much of the south east quarter of the conservation area.

Victoria Place

Some of the oldest town houses in Newport are to be found in Victoria Place, Victoria Road and Park Square and Hill Street. 

Victoria Place comprises two opposing terraces either side of an unusually level (for this area of the city) road built circa 1840 to connect Stow Hill with the expanding area around the newly built Town Dock.

Restored in 1977 the buildings are maintained by a management company. 

The composition is enhanced by the magnificent presence of the former United Reformed Church which closes the view when observed from the Stow Hill end of the street. All these buildings are listed.   

Hill Street and Park Square

Victoria Place leads onwards into Hill Street and also branches south into Victoria Road and then Park Square.  

On the north side of Hill Street is a terrace of mostly two storey mid 19th century houses some of which are listed grade ll.

This street descends to terminate at a junction with Commercial Street, although originally it was possible to connect with Dock Street, providing a new route to the expanding commercial and industrial area.  

Turning into Park Square from Victoria Road one encounters one of Newport’s more unusual listed buildings – a late 19th century (circa 1891) cast iron electricity transformer.

This cylindrical structure with conical cap and lamp standard was used to reduce the power produced by Newport Corporation’s first power station at Llanarth Street from 2000 to 200 volts for household use.  

Park Square centres on a roughly triangular shaped garden. Today the three roads on either side of the garden all carry the same name although the 1881 Ordnance Survey map indicates they were once called, to the north Park Street, to the south Park Place and to the east Morgan Street, the latter perhaps reflecting the fact that at the west end of the park there once stood the statue of Sir Charles Morgan which was originally erected in 1848 at the junction of High Street and Baneswell Road but was later moved to the park and subsequently (1992) re-located to Westgate Square.  

Only four of the original 17 properties survive on the north side of the ‘square’ although to the west and south most of the original 1850s two or three storey buildings survive in something near their original form and with some (numbers 9,10 and 11) being listed.  

One important feature characteristic of all parts of the conservation area is the quality of the distant views; sometimes seawards towards the Newport Transporter Bridge, Uskmouth and the Severn Estuary and sometimes inland towards the Welsh Valleys.  

Often views incorporate vistas over the city and sometimes snatched glimpses between buildings or over roofscapes. The variety is considerable and a special characteristic of the area as a whole.  

Listed buildings within the Stow Hill conservation area

Cadw Ref.

Listed Building

Grade

2998

St. Woolos Cathedral

l

3006

6 Clifton Place

ll

3007

7 and 8 Clifton Place

ll

3019

Drinking Fountain to West of St. Woolos Cathedral

ll

3031

9 and 10 Park Square

ll

3032

11 Park Square

ll

3038

81 Stow Hill

ll

3039

91 Stow Hill (Kingshill)

ll

3040

93 Stow Hill

ll

3041

103 Stow Hill

ll

3043

108 Stow Hill

ll

3045

1 – 6 Victoria Place

ll

3046

13 Victoria Place

ll

3047

7 – 12 Victoria Place

ll

3048

Victoria Road United Reformed Church

ll

3062

Electricity Transformer in Park Square.

ll

14547

95 – 101 Stow Hill

ll

23126

Lychgate to St. Woolos Cathedral

ll

23127

Letter Box (corner Stow Hill and Clifton Road)

ll

23128

Victoria Almshouses

ll

23133

105 Stow Hill (The Deanery)

ll

23141

2 Clifton Place

ll

23142

3 Clifton Place

ll

23143

4 Clifton Place

ll

23144

5 Clifton Place

ll

23146

14 Victoria Place

ll

23150

13 Hill Street

ll

23151

14 Hill Street

ll

View details of Newport's listed buildings 

Contact

Contact Newport City Council and ask for the conservation officer.