St Margaret of Antioch, exterior, © Natasha Ceridwen de Chroustchoff.

St Margaret of Antioch, Roath, Cardiff. Designed by John Prichard, and built in 1869-70 to replace an earlier church here. At this period, the living was owned by the wealthy 3rd Marquess of Bute, indeed, the foundations were laid by the then architect of Bute Estate, Alexander Roos. But Roos was replaced by Prichard in 1868, after which Prichard proceeded with his own plans, with the Clarke firm of Llandaf undertaking the sculptural work. From 1881-86, Prichard also replaced the mausoleum here, which had been built earlier for the first Marquess's first wife. The tower arrived even later, in 1886, to the design of another architect, John Coates Carter; the original glass has had to be replaced as well. The church stands on Waterloo Road and is Grade I listed. [Click on this and the following images to enlarge them.]

St Margaret of Antioch, interior, looking east.

Arguably Prichard's most notable church, St Margaret's has a colourful polychromatic interior. Prichard made use of light and dark coloured brickwork and contrasting bands of local stones, including much hard-to-come by marble-like Penarth alabaster, red Radyr conglomerate and grey Bridgend sandstone.

Left: Prichard's reredos, now returned to the church and displayed appropriately. Right: Sir Ninian Comper's reredos.

From here Prichard's original reredos, principally constructed of blocks of Penarth alabaster, which exhibit the stone’s wide variety of colouring, was moved to St Anne’s church Snipe Street in Roath in 1925 to make way for a new reredos by Comper. At St Anne's, the older one stood neglected in an alcove in a room partitioned off from the main church. St Anne’s closed in 2015 but the reredos was eventually rescued, repaired, refurbished, and re-erected on a specially constructed steel shelf back in St Margaret’s in 2019.

Text by Michael Statham with some comments about the church's history by Jacqueline Banerjee. Photographs by Statham, except for the one of the exterior, which was originally posted on Geograph by Natasha Ceridwen de Chroustchoff and is licensed for reuse under the terms of the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) licence. You may use the other images too without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite it in a print document.


Church of St Margaret. British Listed Buildings. Web. 30 November 2022.

Elliott, Kieran. "Dismantling, Conservation and Re-building of the Prichard Reredos, St Margaret’s Church, Roath, Cardiff." Welsh Stone Forum Newsletter. No 18 (April 2021): 13-14.

Created 30 November 2022