Pryce Pryce-Jones

The buildings exterior has undergone a much needed clean up  .

long gone is the bridge that connected the two buildings   known now as agricultural house.

An old photo showing the bridge between the two price Jones buildings

Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones
 Newtown businessman who introduced mail order shopping to the world
Born:
1834
Place of Birth:
Llanllwchaearn, Newtown
Trivia:
Pryce-Jones was not averse to name-dropping and would use the names of his better-known customers on his promotional leaflets and labels – among them, Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale..
Biography:
Pryce-Jones was born in Llanllwchaearn, just outside Newtown, in 1834. He became a highly successful businessman who devised a pioneering method of reaching markets far from rural Mid Wales.Pryce-Jones started his working life at the age of 12 as an apprentice at a local drapery business in Newtown’s main thoroughfare, Broad Street. He worked there until he was 21 and, having learned the tricks of the trade, he set out on his own.As with many successful businesses, Pryce-Jones started small with his own little shop selling drapery just off Broad Street. Newtown had always had a woollen industry and it was this local Welsh Flannel which formed the mainstay of Pryce-Jones’ business.It was the reform of the post office and the arrival of the railways in Newtown which helped turn a small rural concern into a global company.Pryce-Jones hit upon a unique method of selling his wares. People would choose what they wanted from leaflets he sent out and the goods would then by dispatched by post and train.

It was an ideal way of meeting the needs of customers living in isolated rural locations who were either too busy or unable to get into Newtown to shop. It was also the world’s first mail order business and it was to change the nature of retailing throughout the world.

The further expansion of the railways in the years that followed allowed Pryce Jones to take orders from further afield and his business grew rapidly. He built up an impressive list of customers – among them Florence Nightingale as well as Queen Victoria, the Princess of Wales and royal households across Europe. He also began selling Welsh Flannel from Newtown to far-flung America and even Australia

Several times, he had re-locate to bigger premises. In 1879, he built the Royal Welsh Warehouse, a tall redbrick building in the centre of Newtown which still stands today and which is still home to a mail order company, albeit not the original Pryce-Jones company.

By 1880, he had more than 100,000 customers and his success was acknowledged by Queen Victoria in 1887 with a knighthood, when he became Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones. He was also elected Member of Parliament for the area.

Pryce-Jones died in 1920 at the age of 85. The company he had built up over decades was hit badly by the depression of the 1920s and 1930s, being taken over by a Liverpool company in 1938.

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the second entrance into the main Building this  sandstone facade has a lot of detail such as the two carved murals  depicting the transport of the day.

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The rear of the building its quite clear to see there are 5 floors the basement now houses two bargain stores,

By sea

By Rail

goods from Pryce Jones Newtown went to the following cities around the world

3 carvings of Paris with different dates,

Two carved plaques of Vienna

they even sent the products to that strange land called England.

Two ports in Wales where the tall ships berthed to carry the woollen products abroad.

What is now the main entrance into the building

the whole facade has had a facelift

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Newtown Station is now set in its 3rd location the public rail service was set in this location near pryce jones warehouse, in the 1900s

The mosaic flooring to the entrance

The oak stairs on the first floor these go up three flights but not to the top floorone of the cornice mouldings on the stair well.

This window on the landing between the first and second floor, Not sure if its meant to say or mean what it says. and I am sure Queen Victoria was too busy with Albert to care.

As well as Pheonix second hand furniture there is quite a good cafe on the 3rd floor notice the beveled sliding doors across what is a 7ft wide wall. I think as there is a door to each side of the opening they could be fire prevention doors. easy to close but quite hard to open on an upward slope.

The whole of this building is in superb Victorian workmanship. and thanks to the lottery fund it will be kept for the next generations to see.

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