St Margaret's Church

Roath Parish

European Heritage Weekend - OPEN DOORs

Sadly, the decision has had to be taken to cancel the Heritage / Open Doors event in 2021 due to pandemic regulations.

Supported by CADW and organised by the Civic Trust for Wales

St Margaret’s Church is a Grade 1 Listed Building, and each year we are pleased to take part in the scheme of welcoming Open Days.

On offer:-
•Guided Tours – to learn the history of this Grade 1 Listed church, its ancient site and its links with the Bute family
•Visits to the Mausoleum – to see the massive polished granite tombs of the 1st Marquess and eight members of his family
•Climbing the tower (weather permitting) – for panoramic views of the city and, on a clear day, both Severn bridges
•Tracing your ancestors – the Parish Registers date back to 1731
•A Children’s quiz trail – in the church and grounds
•Enjoying delicious refreshments – tea, coffee and home-made cakes
•To take home a souvenir – guidebooks, leaflets, DVDs, plants and mementos of your visit

Our Vicar Stewart stands ready to welcome the first visitors.

Rev Stewart

In addition to regular displays about the history and fabric of this Grade 1 Listed Building, our visitors are offered home-made produce, hand crafted greeting cards, local history videos and books, and home grown plants on the several small stalls available.

This year we were able to offer for continuous viewing a short video from the Archive of the National Library of Wales showing a wedding which took place here in St.Margaret’s Church on Sept. 11th 1923. And here is the entry (top line) from the Wedding Register. It shows the Groom’s Rank or Profession as a Shipowner no less.

Throughout the whole of our weekend opening times our visitors are offered the hospitality of a chance to sit down and soak up the atmosphere while they enjoy tea (or coffee!) and a selection of cakes, before or after tackling the tower spiral stairs, or joining a guided tour of the church.

The guided tours were conducted on the Saturday by a former Parishioner and local historian Mrs. Diane Walker. Diane’s knowledge of the history of St.Margaret’s is immense, and we are very grateful to her for travelling up from Devon where she now lives to continue being one of our expert guides for visitors.

It is probably fair to say that the only time all the silverware is displayed together like this from it normal secure storage is on these special occasions.

One of the items that attracts visitors on the Heritage Weekend is the availability of all the Parish Registers for examination. The oldest of these copies date back to the 1730s, and having free access to them is obviously of great interest to many people.

Our church organ is on display too, but in between when the guided tours are taking place inside the church our visitors can hear a background of music (e.g. Gregorian chant, Hildergard of Bingen) through the church audio system.

Another big attraction we offer to able-bodied visitors (and children supervised by a responsible adult) is the chance once a year to climb the narrow spiral staircase to the belfry and ultimately the tower roof to see 360degree views over our fair city.

Although the tower is not exceedingly high (it’s 67 steps to the belfry) it is high enough to look out over all local houses and trees, and with Cardiff being quite flat there are views are far as both Severn Bridges, Somerset, and Castell Coch on fine days.

On the Sunday the guided tours were given by Parishioner and expert on the Churches of Cardiff Mrs. Jean Rose.

This year she was joined on the Sunday by Mrs. Chris Webb who gave special tours for the many children present.

This year we were blessed by fine weather throughout the weekend, which made the occasion very pleasant for all involved.

But eventually the sun set on the event, and our thanks go to all our visitors for coming, and our church members who worked so hard to make them welcome.