Building » Swansea (Gendros), Holy Cross

Swansea (Gendros), Holy Cross

Upper King’s Head Road, Gendros, Swansea, SA5 8BR

A modern brick design by Thomas Price with a rewarding interior – essentially octagonal on plan, with sanctuary walls defined by curving planes of brickwork and a fan-shaped worship space with curved bench seating.

In 1954 a dual-purpose church/hall dedicated to Our Lady Queen of the Universe was built to serve the post-war suburban expansion of Gendros, probably to the design of F. R. Bates Son & Price of Newport. This was initially served from St Joseph, Swansea, but in 1956 Gendros became a separate parish. A presbytery was built in the early 1980s and funds were then raised for the building of a new church. The parish priest, Fr Michael Flook, suggested a building on the plan of a Celtic cross. Designed by Thomas Price of F. R. Bates, Son & Price (ex.inf. Canon Flook) this was built in 1988-9 and opened in December 1989.


The plan of the building is octagonal, with the roof brought down at the cardinal points over a narthex, sacristy and side chapel. The main body of the church is a steel-framed structure with cladding of red brick laid in stretcher bond; the single-storey outer elements are of loadbearing brick. The roof is covered in concrete tiles and rises to a central octagonal lantern topped by a spirelet. The main entrance is sheltered by a deep canopy. The church outer walls on either side have vertical slit windows with five stepped lights.

The interior is entered though a narthex separated from the church by a glazed screen. The floor of the main space is of timber boards, the walls are of bare-faced cream/yellow brick, the ceiling is lined with acoustic panelling and rises to the timber-lined opening of the central lantern. The windows are mostly clear glazed. The sanctuary is defined by concave planes of brickwork incorporating sidelights and consists of a raised carpeted platform, partly enclosed by dwarf brick side walls, with the timber altar and ambo, both incorporating cross motifs. The handsome timber bench seating arranged in a semi-circle around the sanctuary was made by Bob Usher & Son.

Heritage Details

Architect: F.R. Bates, Son & Price

Original Date: 1989

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed