Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Name of Property
Catholic Church of the Blessed Sacrament
On the N side of Wentloog Road (B4239), 100m east of Caeglas Road / Brachdy Road junction.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Built 1959-60. Designed by Thomas Price of F R Bates, Son & Price.
In 1931 a small Baptist chapel fronting onto Wentloog Road was purchased by the Archdiocese of Cardiff and converted for use as a Catholic church. Housing development in Rumney in the post-war period increased the congregation so it was decided to build a new church set back from and to the side of the chapel, on rising ground behind the existing presbytery.
Construction of the new church started in December 1958 and it was opened on 20 March 1960. The builders were Messrs Herbert of Newport. The earlier chapel was demolished and its site became a fore area to a shrine of Our Lady constructed as a façade to a small garage. A pre-existing hall to the rear and side of the church was retained. The church was given a tall glazed south gable, visible from Wentloog Road. The canopy across the front was originally open but has been enclosed with a glazed screen. The presbytery to the front and hall to the side are not of special interest. The shrine, including the attached garage, is included in the listing of the church.
Thomas Price (1920– 2001) joined the firm of F R Bates & Son in 1948 and became a partner in 1950 with the firm renamed F R Bates, Son & Price. His own son joined the practice in 1975. In the years immediately following WWII Bates’ practice had been involved with a number of catholic churches, including the chapel at Llantarnam Abbey (II*, 1957) and the design of churches for the expanding suburbs of Gabalfa (Our Lady of Lourdes) and Malpas (St Anne), both in 1958. Price himself designed St Cadoc in Cowbridge 1956, in a conventional Arts & Crafts style. At the same as designing the church in Rumney, Price also designed the concrete framed church of St Francis of Assisi, Ely (II, 1960), one of the most striking churches constructed in the Cardiff suburbs in the early post-war period. Both churches were conceived immediately preceding the Second Vatican Council with a layout aligned with liturgical thinking of the period. Both also utilised new construction methods and materials and together with Rumney represented a shift away from traditional conventional church architecture.
F R Bates, Son & Price carried on designing Catholic churches until the late 1980s. During that time Price was responsible for much of their output and a number of innovative designs. These included: St Benedict, Swansea (II, 1961)), St Patrick, Liswerry (II, 1962), and Our Lady of the Assumption, Briton Ferry (II, 1966).
Catholic church, in a striking modern style dominated by sharp angular forms – described by John Newman as ‘mildly Expressionist’. Orientated N-S, liturgical E end to N. Concrete frame structure with rendered infill (brick or blockwork). Tiled main roof, very steeply pitched. Low saw-tooth metal sheet roof to aisle. Nave with W porch (originally open, but now enclosed), S aisle and narrower sanctuary.
W front with buttressing to corners, and fully glazed gable above full width porch or narthex. This has flat roof with central gablet, its angles repeated in the pattern of the glazing above it, mirroring the steep angles of the roof. The porch is now enclosed (with glazing to mirror the S gable). Line of porch continues as baptistry to S, marked by 9-light window with pointed heads. Nave N wall has 4 hexagonal windows set high. Similar larger windows to S aisle forming a continuous band. Side walls of sanctuary each have three rows of small windows in a grid pattern set under an eaves line that rises towards the E end. Blind E wall.
Full width porch or narthex behind glazed entrance screen. Baptistry to SE separated from the body of the church by open metal screens with hexagonal framing and concrete piers. Stone font, its angular stem echoing the angular style of the building. Nave dominated by the 6-bay lattice work roof trusses; plain plastered and painted walls. Original timber benches, South aisle, the arcade formed by shallow triangular arches between the supports for the roof trusses. Plain triangular arch to sanctuary, with lozenge patterned ceiling rising towards the east end, with upper and central rows of small window apertures on both side walls rising to match. Original high altar and later forward altar. Communion rails, central section removed. Sedilia with triangular head on E side.
Reason for designation
Included for its special architectural interest as a striking example of an early post-war church, designed by one of the leading architects and practices of church design of the period. It also displays the influence of the Liturgical Movement and is an early example of the move in this period towards a more progressive church design, layout and appearance. Notwithstanding some minor alterations to the exterior and interior it has survived relatively intact.
Cadw : Full Report for Listed Buildings [ Records 1 of 1 ]