The origins of All Saints’, Adamsdown can be traced back to 1856 when the Marchioness of Bute built a church in Tyndall Street – then in the parish of St Mary – to serve Welsh-speaking Anglicans. Within two or three decades though, the demographic of this part of Cardiff had changed; Welsh language provision moved nearer to the town centre and a new parish of Adamsdown was established with services in English. However, surrounded by a predominantly Irish, Roman Catholic population, the Tyndall Street church was isolated from most of its own members.
In 1893, a mission chapel, dedicated to St Elvan, was built in Adamsdown Square. This was closer to the main population centre of the parish and it was subsequently decided to erect a new parish church on the site. Authority to abandon and dispose of the Tyndall Street building required Parliamentary approval, which was granted through the All Saints’ Church (Cardiff) Act 1899.
The new All Saints’ was opened on 28 January 1903. A contemporary newspaper report suggests that the architect, John Coates Carter, was required to exercise considerable economy in its design, the chief interior feature being a high pitch-pine screen (which can still be seen in Mary Traynor’s drawing) surmounted by an iron cross. The main entrance faced Windsor Road, at a significantly higher level than Adamsdown Square. This was addressed by building on two floors, with a schoolroom and vestry below the main worship area. A particularly odd feature, which still survives, is the bellcote mounted on a buttress-like structure set at right angles to the west end.
All Saints’ Church closed in 1965 after the parish had been united with St John’s. The building was then used, for many years, as commercial premises – most recently by a dealer in fireplaces and architectural salvage. A further change of use came in about 2012, when the former church was converted into flats.
David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer
• Mary Traynor Collection [D1093/2/16]
• Cardiff Borough Building Regulation Plans, plan of All Saints’ Church, Windsor Road, 1902 [BC/S/1/14883]
• Evening Express, 26 April 1893; 29 January 1903
• Cardiff Times, 21 January 1899