The early ecclesiastical history of Roath is wrapped in unaccountable obscurity. Very strangely, the Llyfr Llandaf does not
seem to contain any clear reference to it, even as a chapelry; yet
Roath was a parish before the Reformation. The mediæval church,
dedicated, like the present, to Saint Margaret, was demolished in
1868; and so completely, that not a vestige remains, save traces of
the foundations, and a couple of carved stones which formed part
of some moulded arch and are now placed on each pillar of the
south gate to the churchyard. The old building appears, from a
photograph, to have been a somewhat modernised Perpendicular
structure, consisting of chancel, nave, north transept, south porch
and western bell-turret. There was one pointed Perpendicular
window in the north wall of the nave; and a squareheaded one, of the
same period, in the slightly projecting north wall of a side chapel, in
the angle between nave and north aisle. Another pointed window
was over the west door, which, with the windows, shewed the usual
hood-moulding. Between the window in the north wall of the nave,
and the west end of the same wall, was a large, plain, sloping buttress
—probably added in modern times. In the turret was a bell.
The modern church was completed in 1873, and is a cruciform
edifice in the Decorated style, solidly constructed; with a low, square,
central tower, on which a spire is meant to be raised. To the main
building has been added a very ornate and beautiful north aisle
chapel, of rich Decorated design. It forms a mausoleum for several
of Lord Bute's ancestors, (fn. 1) whose plain and massive tombs, of polished
granite, occupy most of the space in the chapel. This portion of the
church is divided from the rest, on the south and west, by an
exceedingly graceful gilt wrought-iron screen, and has a handsome
pavement of black and white tiles. On the walls are painted shields
of arms of the Stuarts, &c. The whole church has a fine vaulted
Roath church can boast the best glass in this neighbourhood.
The subjects depicted are the following:—
East Window. The Crucifix; Saints Mary, John Evangelist,
Dyfrig and Mellon. Above, angels swinging censers and playing
musical instruments, around the Saviour enthroned. Below, Old
Testament types. At base, shields bearing emblems of the Passion.
Window in east wall of south transept. Saint Margaret; below,
Easternmost window in north wall of north transept. Saints
Jerome and Ambrose; below, incidents in their lives.
Easternmost window in north wall of nave. Saint German;
below, incident in his life.
Windows in Bute Chapel, of two compartments each, from west to
east. Name-saints of the persons interred in the chapel. Saints Gertrude,
Henry, Emily, Elizabeth, John Evangelist, Charles Borromeo, John
Baptist, Francis. [The glass of these is not equal to that in the
other parts of the church.]
Mural Tablets in Roath Church.
On the west wall of the north transept:—
To the memory of William, fifth son of Lieutenant Colonel
Jonas Watson; died 1845, aged 59.
Another to the memory of other members of the above family.
Sarah, wife of Robert Daw; died 1844, aged 36. Also their
William Richards of Ely Rise, near Landaff, Esqe; died 1858,
Jane Stoker, wife of William Richards of Cardiff, and daughter
of Charles and Margaret Vachell; died 1847, aged 32. Also Charles
Richards, only son of the above William; died 1847, aged 2. Also
Margaret Alicia, his eldest daughter, died 1840, infant.
On the west wall of the south transept:—
Ann Howell, daughter of William and Anne Meredith, of
Lanishen; died 1799, aged 66. Also the Revd William Lewis,
Rector of Peterston super Ely, and Vicar of Corsham, grandson of
the above; died 1813, aged 59. Also William Lewis Evans, of
Cardiff, Surgeon; died 1822, aged 25. Also Anne Evans, wife of
Edward Evans, of Cardiff, nephew of the abovenamed William Lewis;
died 1825, aged 74.
Henry Morgan, of Cardiff, Attorney at Law (circa 1820).
John James Watkins, Esqe, of Crockherb Town, Cardiff; died
1842, aged 51. Also Elizabeth Watkins, his mother; died 1842,
aged 86. Also Harriet, wife of the abovenamed John James
Watkins; died 1868, aged 79.
Latin inscription. Carissima Georgiana, eldest daughter of
George and Ann Burnett, of Cardiff; died 1850, aged 19.
Anne Phillpotts; died 1791, aged 69. She was Relict of
William Phillpotts of Langunock in the county of Hereford, gent.
(Also various relatives, mostly Vaughans.)
Susana, Joanna and Thomas, children of William Morgan of
Pengam in this parish, gent., who died in their Infancy, 1748—50.
Also Jane Morgan, his wife; died 1781, aged 69. Also his daughter
Eleanor Morgan; died 1782, aged 37. Also his son William
Morgan; died 1753, an Infant. Also his daughter Hannah Morgan;
died 1787, aged 44. Also the said William Morgan, gent.; died
1791, aged 77. He was a Son of Edward Morgan of Pintwyn in
the Parish of whiteChurch, gent. Also Mary Morgan, daughter of
the said William Morgan; died at Pengam, 1819, aged 78.
A tiny square slab of marble. Mary, youngest daughter of John
Mathews Richards, Esquire; born 1829, died 1853.
Sacred to the memory of Mr William Williams, of St Mary
Street, Cardiff; died March 1859, aged 66.
Mr John Drew, late of the White Friars Gardens, Cardiff; died
June 1819, aged 88. Also Ann his wife; died Jany 1828, aged 82.
Evelyn Fanny, daughter of John Bird, of Cardiff; died 1843,
aged 13 months. Also Jemima, wife of John Bird; died 1858, aged
47. Also Mary Ann Strutt, widow of Joseph Strutt, of Isleworth,
Middlesex, mother of Jemima Bird; died 1865, aged 81.
Henry Morgan, of Pwllcoch near Llandaff; died at Pengam,
1839, aged 88. Also Henry Morgan of Pengam, gent., son of Lewis
Morgan and nephew of the above Henry Morgan; died 1838, aged
49. Also Jennetta Morgan, of Pengam, sister of Henry Morgan;
died at Cardiff, 1842, aged 56.
On the east wall of the south transept:—
Brass to the memory of Christiana Baskett; died 1876. Erected
by her pupils.
Brass, in the splay of the window, to the memory of George
Insole; died 1851, aged 61. Also Mary his wife. "They were
buried, previous to the rebuilding of this Church, in a vault near
the site of this window." (The window displays an effigy of Saint
Margaret, and a picture of her martyrdom.)
Just east of the easternmost lancet window in the north wall of the
A small undated brass to the memory of Thomas Price, late of
this town, and Elizabeth his wife. Erected (circa 1890) by their son.
Inscriptions in Roath Churchyard.
The churchyard of Roath lies contiguous with Roath Village
Green on the west, the flat land of the Deri Farm on the north
and the lane or approach to Ty Mawr on the south. The churchyard is entered by gates on the south and west. There is a fine
old yew tree by the south porch of the church, but no remains of
the churchyard cross. None of the tombstones are older than the
19th century. On the west the wall of the yard is immediately
bounded by a cart-road leading to Roath Mill (fn. 2) and the Deri Farm;
which road until lately crossed an arm of the Nant Mawr by a stone
bridge of low arches, close to the church. Since 1890 the brook
has dried here, and been partly filled up with rubbish. The
picturesqueness of the surroundings has been further marred by
enclosing the best part of the village green within very inaesthetic
iron railings, and planting shrubs within this area, besides other
alterations, of a nature more utilitarian than beautiful. However,
the proximity of Roath Court, Cwrt Bach and Ty Mawr retains for
this neighbourhood some remains of old-world rustic beauty—too
soon, we fear, to be sacrificed to the irresistible advance of "public
South side, near the porch:—
David Owen; died 1826, aged 55. Also Ann his wife, and Ann
their daughter. Also David Davis; died 1871, aged 51.
Elizabeth, wife of William Williams, of Cardiff; died 1851, aged
James Gabb; died 1864, aged 84. Also his wife Mary.
Mary, wife of Edward Williams; died 1822, aged 62.
Stone, broken and effaced. By the path from the gate to the south
porch. Edward . . . . ; died 1807.
Ann, widow of William Jones, of Whitchurch; died 1823, aged
85. Also Ann Bowen, their daughter.
Thomas Morgan (circa 1800).
Stone, broken at the top. Edward Roberts—. Also Margaret
his wife, who died 1817, aged 78.
Thomas Shears; died 1893, aged 57. Also his daughter.
Eliza, daughter of Daniel and Eliza Vincent, of Llandaff parish;
died 1844, aged 8. Also their son Lewis.
Edmund Stephens, of Cardiff; died 1831, aged 69. Also his
five infant children by his wife Florence.
Thomas Stephen; died 1802, aged 53. Also Thomas his son;
died 1803, aged 23.
John, son of John Turberville; died 1777. Also his mother,
Anne; died 1814, aged 60. Also the lastnamed John Turberville;
died 1815, aged 70.
Evan Richards; died 1809, aged 71.
Thomas Watkins; died 1859, aged 62. Also his wife Margaret.
Vault. Daniel Phillips, of Llandaff; died 1838, aged 40.
John Harding, of Ty'r Cyw in this parish; died 1860, aged 74.
Also Ann his widow.
Family vault. George Roberts, of Adamsdown in this parish;
died 1868, aged 76. And others.
Thomas John; died 1838, aged 77. And family:—
"Am hynny byddwch chwithau yn barod." (fn. 3)
Henry Rimbron; died 1846, aged 60. And family.
Charles Hill, of the 58th Regiment of Foot; died 1862, aged 85.
Family vault of Thomas, of Llwyn-y-Grant in this parish.
Mary Ann, daughter of John Wood, Esqre, late of this parish;
died 1858, aged 72.
Thomas Posthumous Phillips; died 1894, aged 62. And family.
Irish cross, of granite. John Hier Evans, J P., of Pengam in
this parish; born 1821, died 1885.
Thomas John, of Ty-y-Cyw in this parish; died 1847, aged 94.
Also Daniel John, of Pentwyn in the parish of Llanedern, son of the
above; died 1855, aged 62. And others of the family.
Serjt David Rees, of Pyle; died at Cardiff, 1839, aged 73. Also
Gwenllian his wife; died at Rumney, 1845, aged 74.
Vault. John Williams, of Splott in this parish; died 1873, aged
73. And family.
Rees Howels; died 1863, aged 88. And relatives.
John Brock, late Barrack Sergeant of Cardiff; died 1862, aged 56.
Charles Crofts Williams, of Roath Court; born 1798, died 1860.
Also Blanch his wife.
Cugiano Garibaldi Paggi, and Josephine Anita Paggi; died 1863
and 1864 respectively, each aged a few months.
Henry Oram; died at Pontlecky House in this parish, aged 67.
(There are other stones to various members of this family, which was
of Wiltshire origin.)
Family Vault. Henry Sladen, Comptroller of H.M. Customs at
the Port of Cardiff; died 1853, aged 57.
Obelisk. Lieut.-Co1 William Powell Bennet, R.A.; died 1870,
aged 42. (He was connected with the Bennets of Laleston.)
I.H.S. John Head Deacon, son of William Head Deacon of
Longcross, Esqe, and grandson of John Bennet of Laleston, Esqe;
died 1831, aged 5 years.
Henry Griffin, of Ty'n-y-coed farm in this parish; died 1886,
aged 91. And family.
Richard Hewett, of Ilfracombe; died 1872, aged 74.
Harriet Mc Cormick; died 1838, aged 18. Also her sisters
Florence and Frances, children of Andrew and Harriet Mc Cormick,
late of New Ross, Ireland.
Harriet, widow of Lieut.-Col. Jonas Watson, late 13th Regt; died
at Cardiff, 1832. Also their sons William Jonas Watson and Richard
Watson, and daughter Harriet. Also Martha, widow of the said
William Boughton, Esqe, formerly of Splott House in this parish,
and of Adsett Court in the county of Gloucester; died 1850, aged
Vault and railing. John Skyrme, of Splott House in this parish,
yeoman; died 1843, aged 46.
Family vault. John Williams, of Charles Street, Cardiff; died
1858, aged 67.
Obelisk, railed in. John Bird, Esqe, Alderman of Cardiff; died
1840, aged 79. Also John Bird, Esqe, Alderman of Cardiff, nephew
of the above; died 1874, aged 55.
John, son of William and Mary Davies, of Wedal in the parish
of Landaff (formerly of Merthyr); died 1838, aged 19. And others
of the family.
Vault. John James Watkins, of Cardiff; died 1842, aged 51.
Edward Phillips, for 44 years Clerk and Sexton of this parish;
died 1895, aged 75.
Sergeant Thomas John, late of the 43rd Regt. "He fought under
Generals Moore, and Wellington, through all the late War in the
Spanish Peninsula. He was also engaged at Waterloo." Died 1864,
aged 83. Also Mary, his wife; died 1882, aged 99. "She accompanied her husband through the Peninsular war as above."
William David; died at Pengam in this parish, 1810, aged 49.
Edmund Mathews; died 1824, aged 68. Also Mary his widow.
Also William Mathews, son of the above and Parish Clerk of this
church for 25 years. Died 1850, aged 67.