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100 Facts

Design & Construction

As early as 1895 the College launched a public appeal for a building fund for a site that had been made available in Cathays Park.

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Opening of Main Building

The Principal of the College when Main Building opened was Ernest Howard Griffiths, who held the post from 1901 – 1918. Like John Viriamu Jones before him, Griffiths was a physicist.

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Early Years

Before Main Building opened, it was decided that degree-conferring ceremonies of the University of Wales should be held in the new building. The first of these ceremonies was held in November 1909 in the Drapers’ Library.

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Main Building throughout the years

Charles Edward Williams was the very first student to enrol in the University College in 1883. He returned in 1929 to pose outside Main Building with his son, John Norman Thomas – the 10,000th student to enrol.


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Architectural Features

Exterior decorations of Main Building include coats of arms of benefactors and supporters, a ‘figural frieze’ and statues of King George V and Edward VII when Prince of Wales.

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Main Building today

The Science Library is today home to approximately 37,000 loanable books, more than 1.2km of book shelves, and more than 1.5km of journals shelving.

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