The first steps in the painstaking process of dismantling Cardiff’s historic Vulcan pub began yesterday.
Scaffolding was put up around the 159-year-old pub on Adam Street ready for work to begin taking apart the building brick by brick. It will eventually be rebuilt at the Welsh National History Museum.
Tomorrow, architects will move in to conduct a detailed survey of the former Brains pub in order to ensure not a brick is out of place when it is rebuilt at St Fagans.
Gerallt Nash, senior curator of historic buildings at National Museum Wales, said work would start next week on dismantling the pub. But it could take his team of eight workers weeks or even months to complete the job.
The Vulcan is then expected to remain in storage for several years before being rebuilt to reflect how it might have looked between 1910 and 1915.
An appeal for photographs, objects and stories about the Vulcan and its history, especially relating to the period between 1910 and 1915, will begin soon.
“On Wednesday we will have architects recording the outside of the building, taking measurements and recording the tile work on the front,” he said. “They will also be recording the interior, so that when we submit it for planning permission we will have all the correct measurements. Then, next week – once the survey is complete – we can begin work on dismantling.”
Workers will use tools to carefully chip away at the mortar and remove the bricks one by one, a row at a time.
“We will start at the top of the chimney and then work down layer by layer,” said Gerallt. “We have to work extremely carefully so none of the bricks are damaged. It will take a good few weeks and, altogether, a couple of months for it to be completed.”
Despite a long-running campaign and high-profile supporters like comedian Eddie Izzard and former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Brains closed the Vulcan in May.
At the same time the pub’s owner, property company Marcol, announced it would be donated to St Fagans.
Mark Richards, deputy director general of National Museum Wales, added:
“We are grateful to Marcol Asset Management for donating the building and giving us the opportunity to save and preserve this important part of Cardiff’s heritage for the nation, and to tell some of the area’s rich history.”