The buildings that are now home to Mostyn have a fascinating history.
Lady Augusta Mostyn was a keen supporter of the arts and recognised that Llandudno required a gallery and space in which to hold art and technical classes for the benefit of local people. The galleries were completed in 1901, and from these early days, Mostyn was a creative and social space, hosting social events, readings and musical evenings alongside a programme of exhibitions and classes, until her death in 1912.
Mostyn continued to play an important role within Llandudno, and at various times has been a chemist, a grocery store, a furniture retailer and even a rifle club – guns were fired inside our galleries! It was a drill hall during World War I for the Volunteer Training Corps, and housed Belgian refugees from 1914-19. It was a ‘Donut Dugout’ in World War II, providing social space and taste of home for American soldiers stationed in the region. From 1946 – 1979 it was Wagstaff’s, a well-known music shop and showroom.
Restoration work was then carried out and the Oriel Mostyn Gallery opened in August 1979, continuing to show exhibitions until 2007 when the building undertook a major redesign, extending and refurbishing the galleries to how they look today. The building has won numerous awards, including the National Eisteddfod of Wales Gold Medal for Architecture and a RIBA award.