Building » Cardiff (Cyncoed) – St Paul

Cardiff (Cyncoed) – St Paul

Cyncoed Road, Cyncoed, CF23 6AF

A thoughtfully-configured functional brick design by F.R. Bates, Son & Price, externally somewhat austere, and with a wide, low interior with high level glazing and an octagonal lantern over the altar.

A Mass centre was established from St Brigid’s in the 1960s at the then Lady Mary High School in Cyncoed Road to cater for the Catholic population of this affluent residential suburb of Cardiff. Thanks to the generosity of Miss Beatrice Turnbull, who gave a well-treed site further along Cyncoed Road, a new church was built in 1975 and opened by Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff on 7 October of that year. The architects were F. R. Bates, Son & Price (the designer was almost certainly Thomas Price); ‘the object of the architect has been that of endeavouring to create a building which meets the requirements of the liturgy and in so doing fulfils the practical functions of a place of worship. At the outset it was established that the physical character of the building should voice to young and old alike that the Church is a live and dynamic force. Hence the purpose of the structure has set the pattern of design and the requirements of the liturgy have dictated the arrangements of the interior space’ (Diocese of Cardiff Yearbook, 1978, p.148). The architects also retained most of the mature trees along the borders of the site, many of which still remain.


A low, modern and functional building, with walls of buff brick laid in header bond and a flat roof with felted coverings. The plan comprises a broad aisleless nave with slight transepts producing a ‘T’-shaped main church, with a small chapel attached to the east end and lower sacristies and a hall along the south side. The west elevation is slightly forbidding, with a row of small rectangular windows high in the wall and the lower hall extending to the south. The main entrance is at the west end of the north side, with a recessed porch. More small windows pierce the nave wall but the shallow north transept has five full-height rectangular window strips set in a projecting stone surround. The south side is lined with lower additions for its full length, with small windows in the nave wall behind. Over the crossing is an octagonal lantern with glazed sides and a flat roof. The main east wall facing the road is blind with a rectangular projection in the centre forming a small chapel with a fully glazed south side and a canted rooflight. Both the main lantern and the rooflight originally had copper roofs.

The interior is a single low-ceilinged space with painted plastered walls and a woodblock floor, mostly covered in carpet. The windows are all clear glazed. There is no structural division between the nave and the sanctuary, and the altar is set on a dais under the octagonal lantern. Behind the altar a rectangular opening in the east wall with an openwork metal screen leads to the Blessed Sacrament chapel. Many of the furnishings (including the Forest of Dean stone altar, the wood and steel font with Greek key ornament and the nave benches) appear to be original.

Heritage Details

Architect: F. R. Bates, Son & Price

Original Date: 1975

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed