Swanage Tearoom and Cafe

Call: 01929 422266 Email: info@earthlightscafe.co.uk

Earthlights Cafe Swanage History

Earthlights Cafe “The Arcade”, The History

The Arcade was built in 1896 as can be seen in the stone work on the end wall along with the name of the building. There is always much speculation from customers as to what the building was “originally”, however to set the record straight there was no original purpose it was designed as it is, an architectural show piece. There is some speculation that there was to be four of them in a row along the high street but only one was ever built.

Earthlights Cafe building was designed by the Weymouth architect G.R. Crickmay (1830 – 1907) who was also responsible for the design of Durlston Castle and the Globe here in Swanage. Many people think that it may have been a chapel because some of the features such as the vaulted ceiling, which may have come about as Crickmay was involved heavily with design and renovation of Churches in the area.

Many people miss lots of the great features of the building from the carvings on the outside of the arcade to the rain water pipe that is located on the inside of the building to maintain the architectural integrity outside.

The first occupier of the building was W Pouncy a local photographer who originally had a studio over the road about where Swanage Carpets building now resides but that was all demolished to make room for the present day buildings.

During the 1930's and 40's the building was a dairy, occupied by Worth Farm, other occupants include the use as a Coal and Corn Merchant named CANN, as an antiques shop, a Christian book shop, Crystal and Spiritual location, Gift shop and finally and most recently as Earthlights Cafe.

Very little has changed to the original design except the railings being removed from the outside arcade as part of the War effort.