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How a Welsh pub was rebuilt brick by brick and taken back to 1915

Five more buildings remade brick by brick

St Fagans is a treasure trove of old buildings, remade. In its new home The Vulcan sits beside a row of shops and a working men’s club, both of which appeared in 2007 in an episode of Doctor Who set in the 1910s, thanks to their period accuracy. But you don’t have to go to Wales to find old buildings moved to a new location. 

Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany

Destroyed during the Allied firebombing of Dresden in the Second World War, this magnificent dome-roofed Lutheran church was rebuilt between 1994 and 2006 using the original materials which had been kept as a war memorial. 

Clavell Tower, Dorset

This Venetian-style tower, built in 1830 by Reverend John Richards Clavell of Smedmore House as an observatory and folly on Hen Cliff, just east of Kimmeridge Bay, was threatened by coastal erosion. Before the cliffs beneath it could tumble into the sea, The Landmark Trust took it apart brick-by-brick and reassembled it further inland. 

Old London Bridge, Arizona USA

Work to redesign the original London Bridge and widen its arches was completed in 1824. However, the new bridge only lasted a century before it was replaced by the current concrete and steel one. The old bridge was taken apart and purchased by Robert P McCulloch, a real estate developer, who moved the whole thing to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it survives to this day. 

Abu Simbel, Aswan, Egypt

Two enormous temples in Egypt carved out of the rock in honour of Pharaoh Ramesses II stood immovable since the 13th century BC. However, by 1959 rising waters of Lake Nasser, created by the construction of the Aswan Dam, threatened to submerge it. A team of experts cut the monuments into 30-ton blocks and transported them to a new home, where they remain open to visitors. 

The Carlton Tavern, London

Unlike The Vulcan, The Carlton Tavern managed to stay in its Maida Vale location, even after developers demolished half of the building in 2015. Following a campaign by local regulars, Westminster City Council ruled that proper planning permission hadn’t been obtained – so the whole thing was rebuilt. The pub reopened in 2021 and has been serving customers ever since.