Open Doors Cardiff 2014!

Oh by heck, it’s that time of year again when those hidden nooks and crannies around our city throw their doors open for you nosey lot to go and have a poke around!

Tickets are free but you need to book in advance. Cadw don’t seem to be doing much promotion of Open Doors Cardiff specifically, so it took a bit of digging to find the list. But here it is! There are also about a billion spelling and grammar mistakes on the actual Cadw site, so if that sort of thing grinds your gears, then read the version below, which I spent about two hours editing for them.

You just can’t get the staff these days, eh …

Grammatically yours, Helia x



Open Doors – St Mary’s Church, St Fagans, 06 September 2014

This Grade II listed building in the village of St Fagans was developed in four main stages. The Norman foundations date from 12th century, followed by the change to the Decorate style in the 14th century. The tower was added in the early 18th century and lastly the Victorian restoration and addition of the north aisle and vestry began in 1860. Stained glass windows are Victorian.

The church is normally open for services and to coincide with both Open Doors and the St Fagans village fun day, we will be opening the doors to visitors old and new.

6 September 10am – 3pm

Address: St Mary’s Church, Crofft-y-Genau, St Fagans, Cardiff, CF5 6EL

The church is opposite St Fagans Castle which forms part of the St Fagans National History Museum.

Cardiff buses stop outsie the church. See their website for details. By car follow signs to the National History Museum and continue up to Crofft-y-Genau

More information can be found


Open Doors – St Nicholas’ Greek Orthodox Church, 06 September 2014

The Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas is tucked away just off the top of Bute Street. It was built in 1906 in the Byzantine style. In fact, it is one of the very few churches in the UK built as an Orthodox Church. In recent years, the church has been completly renovated. The interior of the church is very beautiful. There is a carved icon screen and wall paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ and also St Nicholas.

During the open day, the church will be open to visitors. Two guided tours will be given. The Church hall will be open for refreshments and the sale of Greek foods. The open day will conclude with the singing of vespers at 5pm.

6 September 2014 11am to 6pm

Guided tours at 11.30am and 4.00pm

Sung vespers at 5.00pm

Address: Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, Greek Church Street, Butetown, Cardiff CF10 5HA

More information can be found online –


Open Doors – Cardiff Reform Synagogue, 07 September 2014

Visitors will be able to view the sanctuary including our windows (as featured in the book ‘Biblical Art from Wales’) and other features of the building including a Torah scroll. There will be a small exhibition from the ‘Hineni’ oral history project, which captures the varied stories of our members lives.

Visitors will be able to see part of the Righteous Muslims exhibition – telling the story of Muslims who helped Jews during the holocaust.

Sunday September 7 – We will be open from 11.00 until 3.30. At 11.30 and 1.30 talks on the synagogue’s history and Judaism. Tea and coffee will be available.

Address: 6 Moira Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 0EJ

Directions – The synagogue is on Moira Terrace opposite the entrance to Howard Gardens. It originally was and still looks like a Methodist Chapel. Queen Street station is five minutes walk, many buses stop on Newport Road (City Rd stop) two minutes walk away.



Open Doors – Cardiff Bay Barage, 10 September – 18 September 2014

Cardiff Bay Barrage by Gordon Plant

(photo by Gordon Plant on Flickr)

The Cardiff Bay Barrage is 1.1km long and extends from Cardiff docks in the north to Penarth in the south.  This major civil engineering construction project created the Bay, which has over 13 km of waterfront.  The £220m project was the catalyst for the £2 billlion regeneration of the old docklands areas of Cardiff and Penarth.

The Barrage Control Room is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is not normally open to the public.  The Barrage Lock Keepers are responsible for operating and maintaining the Barrage and undertake essential procedures including the operation of the sluice gates to control the level of water in the Bay. As part of Open Doors 2014, Barrage Contro will open their doors to members of the public and conduct tours of Barrage Control and the Barrage itself.

Wednesday 10 September 10am

Thursday 18 September 10am

Booking required as spaces are limited. Please call 029 2087 9727 to book a tour or email

Address: Cardiff Bay Barrage, Penarth Portway, Cardiff CF64 1TP

Directions – Follow signs for Cardiff Bay on A4232. Exit onto A4055 signposted Penarth.  Pass Morrisons supermarket on the left and drive straight up until you reach crossroads with traffic lights. Use the slip road bearing left signposted Penarth. Turn left at roundabout signposted Penarth Marina. Pass Oyster Catcher pub on the left. Straight over roundabout and continue for half a mile. Turn left at roundabout and into Barrage Car park.

Steep Narrow Staircase into the control room with no lift access.


Open Doors – St Michael’s College, Cardiff, 12 September – 14 September 2014

St Michael’s College is a theological college serving the Anglican Church and the work of chaplaincy in partnership with Cardiff University. Situated in beautiful grounds in the tranquil city of Llandaff and just a ten minute bus ride from the vibrant city centre of Cardiff. The original college building, built in river stone, includes a cylindrical tower and spire, cantilevered balcony and a corner oriel window. The college was opened on 8th August 1907. Following bombing damage during WWII some rebuilding work was undertaken and work began on building the college Chapel in 1956, designed by George Pace and consecrated on 2 February 1959.

12 – 14 September

Saturday 13 September, 11am – 3pm – autumn fayre and Llandaff Society Archive open.

Sunday 14 September 12 noon – 2pm – Traditional Sunday lunch.

12, 13 and 14 September – Family quizzes and puzzles based on an exploration of the college site.

Tours and photographic displays with college history leaflets available

Booking required for Sunday lunches. 60 places available. Please phone 029 2056 3379 to book

No booking is required for tours.

Address: St Michael’s College, 54 Cardiff Road, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2YJ


Open Doors – Dyffryn Gardens, 13 September 2014

Dyffryn Gardens are an exceptional example of Edwardian garden design, covering more than 55 acres featuring a stunning collection of intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and seasonal bedding. There is also a statuary collection, and an arboretum with trees from all over the world. Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion, overlooks key aspects of the gardens.  Significant parts of the ground and first floors of the House have been restored to their Victorian splendour and are now open to the public.

For one day only, enjoy free admission to the Gardens from 10am until 6pm (last admission 5pm) and to the House from 12 noon until 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Come and explore the gardens or join a garden walk at 11am or 2pm. House tours are available too, at 12.30 or 3pm but numbers are limited so you will need to book on arrival.

13 September 10am – 6pm

Address: Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan, CF5 6SU

Getting there – From M4 take junction 33 onto the A4232 (signed Barry). Exit second slip road. At roundabout take the fourth exit on to A48 (signed Cowbridge), then in St Nicholas villlage follows signs for Dyffryn. The X2 bus service goes to St Nicholas, then it’s approximately one mile walk along a road with a pavement.



Open Doors – East Vale Group of Churches, 13 September 2014

Bonvilston Church

The east Vale group is a family of severn ancient churches that work together as a group. We are part of the Diocese of Llandaff and are situated in the Vale of Glamorgan to the west of Cardiff. The seven churches are in the villages of Bonvilston, St Nicholas, St George’s -super-Ely, St Brides-Super-Ely, Peterstone -super-Ely, Pendoylan and Welsh St Donats. Open doors will be taking place at all seven churches andalso at two of the neighbouring Chapels.

There will be an organised walk between some of the churches, a bicycle ride and run as well as travel by car. We also hope to include horse riding in this journey between places of worship. The event will start at St Nicholas Church at 10am with the releasing of 250 balloons from the church tower. This will be done in conjunction with 4 local Church primary schools who will attach a prayer to each balloon. Each church will be open for heritage and family history reasons as well as for prayer and refreshments.

13 September 10am – 3pm

Starting point St Nicholas Church: CF5 6TY


 Open Doors – Glamorgan Archives, 13 September 2014

Photo by the BBC

Glamorgan Archives is a state of the art archive repository which opened in January 2010. It contains four environmentally regulated archive strongrooms, a modern conservation studio, isolation and cleaning rooms, along with spacious and comfortable public areas. The building has been designed to be as environmentally friendly and economic as possible. It is the leading archive repository in Wales and one of the most advanced across the UK.

Take a look behind the scenes at Glamorgan Archives! Discover more about our building and the work we do here to collect, preserve and make accessible historic documents relating to the area we serve.  There will be tours of the building, conservation demonstrations, craft activities for children, and a display of documents relating to the built heritage of Glamorgan. Staff will be on hand all afternoon to answer your questions so do call in to find out more about Glamorgan Archives.

Saturday 13 September 1pm to 4pm

Address: Glamorgan Archives, Clos Parc Morgannwg, Leckwith, Cardiff, CF11 8AW

If you would like to take a tour behind the scene at Glamorgan Archives please contact us to book a place.  Tours take place at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. To book contact us by email at or by telephone 029 2087 2200


Open Doors – Cardiff Riding School, 14 September 2014

Located in Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff, the Riding School is part of the urban parkland adjacent to the Taff Trail.

Volunteers will be on hand to show visitors around and explain what is available at the school which opened in 1970 to enable city children to have an opportunity to ride, and, partly to address the problem of horses in the park.  Pony rides are available on a first come first served basis at £5.

14 September 11am – 2pm

Address: Cardiff Riding School, Pontcanna Fields, Fields Park Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF5 2AX

Getting there – The Riding School is just off westbound A48, west of the Gabalfa Roundabout.  Take a small road to the left by the river birdge.  Continue along this road for 300 yards, between large pillars.  The riding school is on the left .


Open Doors – WJEC Headquarters, 16 September 2014

The WJEC headquarters was designed by Jonathan Adams architect of the Wales Millennium Centre. It has a modern frontage with a metallic finish and incorporates some of the eathered sandstone cobbles from an early 20th century house previously on the site. Heating, lighting and ventilation systems have been designed to be environmentally friendly.  The landmark building, at 245 Western Avenue Cardiff houses a public bookshop, conference and meeting rooms used for professional development and youth arts auditions, and offices for over 200 staff.

16 September 12pm

Join Jonathan Adams, the architect behind WJECs headquarters for a tour of this striking building adjacent to Llandaff Fields. Booking essential, e-mail or call 02920 265096

Address: WJEC, 245 Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 2YX

Directions – WJEC headquarters can be found just off Western Avenue, opposite Cardiff Metropolitan University, and is accessible vis car northbound and southbound. Western Avenue is also accessible via public transport using the city circle bus route 1 or 2

More information is available online –


Open Doors – Ysgol Pencae, 18 September 2014


The school was built in 1908 and a new extension added to the main building in 1995. Ysgol Pencae was established on the site in 1991.

An opportunity for us as a school to open our doors and welcome members of the Llandaff community to the hustle and bustle of school life. You will be led around the school and will have the opportunity to enjoy a short performance by the pupils.

Thursday 18 September 2014  10am – 11am

Address: Ysgol Pencae Highfields, Gilian Road, Llandaff, Caerdydd CF5 2QA

Directions – Through Llandaff village, past the BBC offices on the right, turn right into Gilian Road. Follow the road down the yellow fence and gates at the school. Sign in at the main entrance.


Open Doors – Howells School, Llandaff, 19 September 2014

Howell’s school is a grade 11* listed building. It was designed by the architect Decimus Burton and was build in 1858/9. With it’s sister school in Denbigh it is te oldest girls school in Wales, and it retains many of its original features. The Great Hall, designed by the diocesan architect George Halliday, was added in 1900 and contains murals by the Western Mail political cartoonist J M Staniforth. The school estate includes other Victorian properties including Cumberland Lodge, a boyhood home of Roald Dahl, and Bryntaf, the home of the draper David Morgan with its oak-panelled walls and billiard room.

Guided tour of the school, including former boarding houses (which now house the Sixth Form College, junior school, nursery and music department). Refreshments will be provided and there will be a chance to look at the school museum before or after the tour.

Friday 19th September 2014.

10am – 10:30am registration, coffee, museum.

10:30am -12:30pm Tour of the school.

Note: tour of the main building will finish by about 12:00pm

Address: Howell’s School, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2YD

Directions – Heading into the centre of Cardiff from Llandaff village, the school is on the main road  (A4119) on the right hand side, about 200-300 yards from Western Avenue. Passing busses include numbers 24,25,33A,60,62 and 62A.

Entry to the school involves climbing about six steps, which are fairly shallow. The tour is not suitable for anyone with very limited mobility. The museum and most of the rooms of interest are on the ground floor, although there are about ten steps leading up to the great hall.


Open Doors – Broadcasting House, 20 September 2014

(photo by the BBC)

Designed by Sir Percy Thomas and Son.
Built by Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons (South Wales)Ltd.
Opened by HRH Princess Margaret on 1st March 1967.  Broadcasting House is the main broadcast base for BBC Wales.

A behind-the-scenes tour of BBC Cymru Wales’ mainheadquarters in Llandaff and an opportunity to learn more about some of the programmes made at broadcasting House, including Wales Today and Crimewatch.  You’ll discover how television programmes are made and find out about radio progrmammes broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and find out about radio programmes broadcast on BBC Radio Cymru.  If that’s not enough, you also have a go at creating your own news bulletin or taking part in an interactive radio drama.  We will also be showing still photos of the site and building over the past half century and a short video about the site which was made shortly after it opened.

Saturday 20th 10am and 11.30am

To book a place on a tour please email with your name and contact number, which time tour you’d like to take and the number of people in the group.  All participants must be 12 years old or over.  You must pre-book a slot as numbers are limited and will be allocated on a strict first come first served basis.   For more information call 03703 500 700

Address: BBC Cymru Wales, Broadcasting House, Llantrisant Road, Cardiff, CF5 2YQ

Directions – BBC Cymru Wales is located in Broadcasting House on Llantrisant Road in Llandaff.  It is approximately 20 minutes by car, taxi train, and bus from the centre of Cardiff.

No access issues but partipants need to inform us of any mobility or health problems that might arise.  Broadcasting House is a large building and the does involves a fair amount of walking


Open Doors – City of Llandaff, 20 September 2014

W Clarke, Sculptors, Cardiff Road, Llandaff:  This long established family firm has supplied ecclesiastical/monumental sculpture and furnishing for well over 100 years, notably for the Victorian rebuilding of Llandaff Cathedral and its reconstructions following bomb damage in the Blitz during WW2.

The firm’s archives are remarkable and members of the Clarke family will be on hand to explain.

20 September 11.30am – 12.30pm

25 people maximum.  Please call 02920 563181 to book your place

Address: W Clarke, 98 Cardiff Road, Llandaff, CF5 2DT

Directions – Train:  Llandaff Station (approx 1.5 miles) Waun Gron Road approximately .75 miles.  Car:  To Cardiff via M4 Motorway/A48.  Take A4119 and follow signposts for Llandaff.  Bus:  From Cardiff Castle: Services 24,33, 133 and 122 to the Black Lion


Open Doors – Llandaff Cathedral, 20 September 2014

Llandaff Cathedral stands on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain. The present cathedral dates from 1107, the west front from 1220, and the chapter house from the 13th century. There are also good examples of Pre-Raphaelite art works. The building was heavily damaged in 1941 leading to restoration including Epsteins ‘Christ in Majesty’. In 1992 the bells were recast as a new ring of 12 and in 2010 the Nicholson organ was built. A thriving community exists and choral services take place throughout the week. details can be found at

Friday 19 September – 10am-12pm Local schools event (details to be confirmed) 2-3pm guided tour for parents with/out pushchairs. This event is aimed at enabling parents to look around before picking their children up from school, and bringing younger children with them.

Saturday 20 September – meet inside Cathedral for all events. ONLY bell tower tour needs to be booked. 2.45pm – 4pm Guided tour, 3pm teas in Prebendal House. 4.30pm Tour of Bell Tower (must be booked phone 029 21154275) 6pm Choral Evensong, Cathedral Choir

Address: Llandaff Cathedral, CF5 2LA

Buses from city centre, parking in High Strett carpark, walk / cycle Taff Trail, follow signs.


Open Doors – National Assembly Estate, Pierhead and Ty Hywel, 20 September 2014


(photo by Neil Bradley)

We have three buildings within the estate; the Senedd which is a modern parliamentary building, one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings in Wales and home of the debating chamber of the Assembly; the Pierhead which is a historic. late Victorian building which is now a museum and exhibition centre and Ty Hwel which is the original home of the National Assembly chamber and holds offices to Assembly Members and staff.

We will be opening all three buildings in the estate, taking a journey through time, learning the history of Cardiff Bay and the history of the National Assembly for Wales. Taking a behind the scenes look at the Assembly in all its glory.

20 September 2.00pm

Booking required – 20 spaces available in the first instance, but if demand increases then we’ll look at adding spaces.

Address: National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

The Bendycar bendy bus leaves from Cardiff Queen St Station and Cardiff central station every 10 minutes. Train services are every 12 minutes from Cardiff Central Station to Cardiff Bay Station. The station is a few minutes walk from the Senedd and the Pierhead building. Leave the M4 at junction 33, follow the A4232 to Cardiff bay and follow signposts to National Assembly for Wales. By Bike/foot, the Taff Trail from Brecon through Cardiff city centre to Cardiff bay ends at the oval basin outside the Senedd. 


Open Doors – St Anne’s Church in Wales, 20 September 2014

The church was built in 1987, and the full design was shown at the Royal Academy by its architect A J Reeve, a pupil of William Burgess. The church was never finished but opened in 1187 and the red sandstone font, also by Reeve, was installed a year later. After great fundraising efforts, the vestries and north aisle were completed in 1892. In 1920 the present pulpit, octagonal, in wood on a stone base, designed by Penarth architect and craftsman John Coawstes Carter, was installed as a memorial to the men of St Anne’s who fell in the First World War. In 1898, four carved roundels were placed high in the chancel walls, they depict ‘Angels in Praise’ and are most distinctive. The organ was purchased, possibly from St Martin’s Church in Roath, in 1902. It is a 2-manual pipe organ, one of the few to retain its original swell box mechanisim.

20 September 10am – 4pm

Address: St Anne’s Church, Snipe Street, Roath, Cardiff

Directions – Buses 44 and 45 – alight at Elm Street.  Walk to nearby Partidge Road and access Snip Street.


Open Doors – St Edwards Church, 20 September 2014

A Church in Wales building approximately 100 years old. It is the memorial Church for the parish of Roath and contains 3 memorials to the fallen of WW1, WW2 and a Red Cross memorial. Currently also a local music and arts centre where many musicians , local and international, rehearse and perform.

Historical displays, what the church does now displays, tea/coffee, fairtrade goods, homecraft stall in aid of African Famine relief. Interactive displays for children and adults. Live music/medieval and traditional. This will be the church’s third Open Doors event and it is still evolving as they learn.

Saturday 20 September 10.00am – 4.00pm

Address: St Edwards Church, Westville Road, Penylan, Cardiff, CF23 5DE

More information is available online –

Public access is via the naïve entrance which is easily accessible to wheelchair users.



Open Doors – Tabernacl, Eglwys y Bedyddwyr, 20 September 2014

A Baptist Chapel where all services are conducted in the Welsh language. It celebrated 200 years of Christian whitness in the city centre last year. It is a grade 2 listed building from the Victorian era. Stained glass windows in memory of Rev. Charles Davies former minister from 1888-1927. The two front windows depict the baptism of Christ and the last supper. Their 100 year organ has recently been restored.

The chapel will be open from 10.30am -12.00pm. Visitors may walk around freely but members will be present to to welcome and escort visitors and answer any questions. There will be an organ recital by the chapel organists.

Address: Taberbacle Church, The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AJ

More information can be found online –

Saturday 20 September 2014 10.30am-12.00pm



Open Doors – Cathays Cemetery, 21 September 2014

Cathays Cemetery is the largest municipal cemetery in Wales and one of the largest in the UK.  It was opened in 1859 in response to the growth of Cardiff and the lack of space in existing burial grounds.  It is an important source for local and national history, holding the graves of many local families including significant historical figures.  The cemetery boasts a fine example of twin mortuary chapels, also dating from 1859.  The fell into disrepair in the late 20th century, but have recently been restored by Cardiff Council in partnership with Friends of Cathays Cemetery.

This will be the first opportunity for the public to see inside the newly restored twin mortuary chapel at Cathays Cemetery.  The roofs were replaced in 2009, but it’s only recently that funding was secured for internal refurbishment.  The Friends of Cathays Cemetery will be on hand to outline the history of the cemetery, the chapels and their restoration, and help you find your ancestors’ graves.

21 September 11am to 2pm.

There will also be a guided walk around the new section of the cemetery at 2.30pm (Allensbank Road entrance).

Address: Cathays Cemetery, Fairoak Road, Cardiff, CF24 4QF. ST 182785

Directions – Cardiff Bus – Nos 38/38A alight at Cathays Library. Limited space in cemetery.  Parking available in surrounding streets.



Phew! Got all that? Go get yourselves behind some closed doors, and let us know how you get on! Helia x

4 thoughts on “Open Doors Cardiff 2014!”

  1. I’ve been round the Glamorgan Archives and they’re very interesting, some of the original documents they have there are incredible.


  2. Correction: St Mary’s Church, St Fagans, is a grade II* building. The star is significant, although it should be a grade I.


  3. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.|


  4. I just like the valuable information you supply for your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and test again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I will learn many new stuff proper here!
    Best of luck for the next!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.