Adamsdown School

When Cardiff School Board was established in 1875, one of its priorities was the provision of a school for 800 children in the ecclesiastical district of All Saints.  To address this need, they quickly established Adamsdown Temporary School in the schoolroom under Mount Tabor Chapel (now the Jewish Reform Synagogue) in Moira Terrace.  The Board subsequently acquired, from the Marquess of Bute, a site on the north-western side of Adamsdown Square and a new school, designed by local architect W. D. Blessley, and built by Samuel Shepton, opened on 31 April 1879.

d1093-2- 024 Adamsdown School_compressed

Over the next twenty years or so, the school appears to have been extended more than once, and by 1901 it was reported to have accommodation for 888 scholars.

A replacement primary school opened in 1985, in nearby System Street.  The Adamsdown Square building then closed and was demolished in about 1988.  The site is now occupied by two blocks of flats – Windsor Mews and Ty’r Ysgol.

David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

Sources consulted:

  • Mary Traynor Collection [D1093/2/19]
  • Cardiff Borough, building regulation plans, plan of Adamsdown Board School, South Luton Place, 1878 [BC/S/1/1637]
  • Cardiff School Board Records, minute book of the Sites and Buildings Committee, 1875-1881 [ESB68/21]
  • City of Cardiff Education Week 1932
  • Childs, Jeff, Roath, Splott and Adamsdown – One Thousand Years of History
  • South Wales Daily News, 5 Jan 1899
  • Weekly Mail, 8 September 1900
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Flyover, Junction of Tyndall Street and Central Link Road, Cardiff

With the construction of the M4 to the north of Cardiff, work began in the 1970s on developing good links from the motorway into southern and central parts of the city. Recently completed, the Peripheral Distributor Road (A4232) forms a loop, skirting the south of Cardiff between M4 junctions 30 (Cardiff Gate) and 33 (Capel Llanilltern).

d1093-2- 021 Flyover, Junction Tyndall Street & Central Link Road_compressed

d1093-2- 022_compressed

The Central Link Road (A4234) is a spur connecting the A4232 with the city centre.  Built at a cost of £8.5 million, it was opened on 16 February 1989.  Comprising just under a mile of dual carriageway, the road runs from Queensgate roundabout in Cardiff Bay, mainly alongside the former Bute East Dock, to Adam Street.  There is a grade-separated junction where it crosses Tyndall Street, and Mary Traynor’s drawing illustrates the supports carrying the flyover at this point.

David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer

Sources consulted:

Interior, All Saints Church, Adamsdown, Cardiff

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.

d1093-2- 020 Interior Chapel, Windsor Road, Adamsdown_compressed

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

Sources consulted:
• 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
http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/slr_churches_consultation.pdf
http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/coates-carter/coates-carter.htm