Building » Swansea (Dunvant) – St Joachim and St Anne

Swansea (Dunvant) – St Joachim and St Anne

Llysteg, Dunvant, Swansea, SA2 7QQ

A functional concrete portal-framed building of the mid-1960s, built to serve the post-war suburban expansion of Dunvant.

The 1960s saw considerable suburban expansion in Dunvant, leading to the erection of a Catholic parish and the building of the present church and presbytery in 1966. The dedication to SS Joachim and Anne (according to Catholic tradition, the parents of the Virgin Mary) is unusual. The architect was Robert Robinson (also responsible also for additions at Morriston and the Grade II-listed Blessed Sacrament, Gorseinon, qqv).


The church is rectangular on plan and is not conventionally orientated. The liturgical east end is to the southwest. The building consists of a broad concrete portal frame with a shallow-pitched roof covering the main space, a short sanctuary projection to the southwest and lower, partly flat-roofed, additions along the other three sides. The main body of the building is faced with render. The additions are faced with cream coloured brick and their flat felted roofs are relieved by shallow gables at intervals. On the main front the lower range has large plain glazed rectangular windows. The wide gabled end of the main church space has three large windows shaped to the gable with small-pane glazing. On the side elevations, the lower additions have irregular glazing according to the internal function. Above the additions are horizontal rectangular windows in each bay lighting the main space.

The low range across the front contains a narthex or entrance lobby separated from the main church space by a glazed partition. In the main church space, the concrete portal frame is exposed. The floor is timber boards, the walls are plain plastered and the ceiling is panelled between the concrete bay divisions. The windows are all clear glazed. In the (liturgical) south wall are doors to the confessionals; on the north side is a simple modern Lady Chapel. An arch of the same shape as the portal frame opens to the short sanctuary, which has high side windows and a blind end wall. The tympanum of the sanctuary arch is filled with boarding which carries a crucifix, the underside of which serves as a canopy over the altar. Of the fittings, the oak altar was brought from St Illtyd, Swansea and was given by the parents of Dom Basil Gwydir, who was lost in the First World War. The oak reredos from which it is now separated was presumably part of the same gift. The large cast Stations of the Cross are also introduced from elsewhere, their provenance not established. The seating consists of timber benches, possibly contemporary with the church.

Heritage Details

Architect: Robert Robinson

Original Date: 1966

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed