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Temple of Peace, Cardiff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Temple of Peace and Health
Temple of Peace and Health, Cardiff.JPG
LocationCathays Park, Cardiff
ArchitectSir Percy Thomas
Architectural style(s)1930s German/Italian public building style;[1] Art Deco[2]
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameTemple of Peace & Health
Designated19 May 1975
Reference no.13740[1]

The Welsh National Temple of Peace and Health, known as the Temple of Peace and Health or commonly the Temple of Peace, is a non-religious civic building in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. It was designed by the architect Sir Percy Thomas. Since its foundation the building has always served a dual function as headquarters for health and international affairs organisations.


The centre's conference and seminar facilities include the 200 capacity marble Main Hall, the 50 capacity wood-panelled Council Chamber and the smaller 20 capacity meeting room. The venue has parking nearby and is within walking distance of the northern city centre. It can also be reached by rail transport from Cathays railway station.[3]


The Temple of Peace and Health was the brainchild of David Davies, 1st Baron Davies, and was conceived to serve two purposes. The first was to provide a home for the King Edward VII Welsh National Memorial Association, a voluntary organisation dedicated to the prevention, treatment and eradication of tuberculosis, which had been founded by Lord Davies in 1910. Davies was also the founding president of the Welsh National Council of the League of Nations Union, and in 1934 he pledged £58,000 (4147963 in 2017 sterling) towards the erection of a building to house the two organisations.[4]

Lord Davies wished for the Temple of Peace and Health to be "a memorial to those gallant men from all nations who gave their lives in the war that was to end war" and so it was dedicated to the memory of those who laid down their lives in that war.[5]

In founding this public building, Lord Davies hoped to combine the ideals of peace and health. He wanted these two great humanitarian causes to be expressed in the architectural design of the building. The architect of the Temple of Peace and Health was Sir Percy Thomas, who was awarded the Bronze medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects for its design. The foundation stone was laid by Viscount Halifax in 1937. The Temple of Peace and Health was opened on 23 November 1938. The ceremony was performed by one Mrs Minnie Annie Elizabeth James of 8 Cross Francis Street, Dowlais, who lost three of her sons in World War I.[6]

The Temple of Peace and Health was bombed in July 1968 by Welsh nationalists in protest at the approaching investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.[7][8]

In 2018 the Temple of Peace was bought by Cardiff University from the previous owners, Public Health Wales, though the Welsh Centre for International Affairs remain as leaseholders of part of the building.[2]


The rear of the Temple of Peace and Health
The rear of the Temple of Peace and Health

The building, built in the form of the letter ‘T’, has two wings. Made out of Portland stone, the roofs of the wings are dark red Italian pattern tiles. It is in these wings that offices and committee rooms, on three levels, are situated.

Marble Hall:

The striking architecture of the interior of the Temple of Peace
The striking architecture of the interior of the Temple of Peace

The central portion of the building, being deliberately higher than the wings, houses the spacious Temple Hall. Situated on the ground floor and facing anyone who enters the main entrance, it is lined with dove-grey marble to symbolise the emblem of Peace. It serves as a meeting place of numerous cultural and social organisations, with lectures and conferences on international issues being held here (featuring speakers from all over the world), as well as it being a venue for campaigning groups and social events.[9]

The Crypt and the Welsh National Book of Remembrance:

Situated immediately below the Temple Hall, the Crypt houses the first Book of Remembrance. 1,100 pages long, it bears the names of 35,000 men and women of Welsh birth and parentage, and the men who served in Welsh regiments who lost their lives in the first World War. As most died on Belgian or French soil, the bronze used on the glass casing of the Book of Remembrance is French, and the marble pedestal on which it rests is from Belgium. Concealed lighting illuminates the book from the roof of the Crypt.[5]

Council Chamber:

This is used as a meeting place, and is also a library, housing many books with international themes. Wood panelled, it is to be found on the first floor of the building. Lord Davies’ own book collection can be found there, in part.[9]

Use as a filming location

Much of the 2005 Doctor Who episode "The End of the World" was filmed in the Temple Hall and other parts of the building. The location was used to represent a space station five billion years in the future. Temple Hall was also used in the 2007 episode "Gridlock" and the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii". It was used again in the episodes "Let's Kill Hitler", "Cold Blood" and "Nightmare in Silver."[10]

The Temple of Peace has also been used as a filming location for other television shows, including Sherlock and His Dark Materials.[11]

See also

Based at the Temple are:


  1. ^ a b "Temple of Peace & Health, Castle". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Barry, Sion (14 December 2017). "The iconic Temple of Peace in Cardiff has been sold". Wales Online. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Temple of Peace & Health - Facilities". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ Chappell, Edgar L. (1946). Cardiff's Civic Centre: A historical guide. Cardiff: Priory Press. p. 47.
  5. ^ a b "The Welsh National Book of Remembrance". National Library of Wales. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Bereaved Mother". Getty Images. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Welsh History: The Investiture of Prince Charles: The Bombings". BBC News. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  8. ^ Prior, Neil (30 November 2013). "War dead temple marks 75 years". Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Rooms". Temple for Peace. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Doctor Who series 6: lots of pictures from Let's Kill Hitler". Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Filming & Photoshoots". Temple of Peace. Retrieved 25 August 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 June 2021, at 13:01
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