6) Sailors Institute (1890) and ‘The Last Haul’ Sculpture (2000)

The Sailor's Institute, Barmouth

Built in 1896 by Canon Edward Hughes to provide a ‘Christian haven’, the Sailors Institute is a reading and rest room for local and visiting sailors and features a remarkably preserved Victorian reading room which can still be enjoyed by visitors who venture into this small building. It was renovated in 1984 and subsequently given back its corrugated cladding of iron. The Reading Room is open daily to all members of the public free of charge, (closed Sundays November to April). Newspapers and magazines are available for reading and there are many photographs and sea charts depicting Barmouth’s maritime history. 

A video showing the interior can be found here:


Almost opposite the Institute, (under the railway bridge), is a splendid sculpture by local artist Frank Cocksey. Called the ‘Last Haul’ it shows three generations of fishermen bringing in a catch and is carved from the famous Italian Carrara marble from Tuscany in Italy. This block was part of a cargo of marble found in the wreckage of an ancient ship that came to grief off the coast about four miles north of Barmouth. It is believed the ship went down in 1709 and it is known as the Bronze Bell Wreck. One theory suggests that the marble cargo was destined for St Paul’s Cathedral. A fascinating exhibition including information on the wreck can be seen a short way along the harbour in Ty Gwyn, (See 7).