The Custom House & The Crown

The Custom House & the Crown were neighbouring pubs at the northernmost end of Bute Street. In the late 1960s and early ’70s they and other pubs in the area were frequented by some of Cardiff’s queer community.

The Custom House and the Crown are just two of the pubs at the northern end of Bute Street which attracted a gay clientele. In the years before and immediately after the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts, The Glendower, The Quebec, the Fishguard, and the Salutation were also known meeting places for gay men, sex workers, and others on the fringes of society. At one time Bute Street and its environs had no fewer than 30 pubs, almost all of which have since been demolished. Only the Golden Cross and the Packet, at either end, remain.

“(The Crown) had a largely gay male crowd on Sunday afternoons when the Kings Cross closed at 3pm.”

“(The Crown) was a most interesting pub and very friendly. Had a huge parrot in a cage that swore a lot.”

“The Crown was a most interesting pub and very friendly. Had a huge parrot in a cage that swore a lot. Well known for sex workers also.”