Temple of Peace and Health

Temple of Peace and Health c.1941

Temple of Peace and Health c.1941

The Temple of Peace and Health was the result of a donation from Lord Davies of Llandinam, formerly a local MP, to erect a building to serve as administrative offices for two causes he supported - the Welsh National Memorial Association for the treatment and eradication of tuberculosis, and the Welsh National Council of the League of Nations. The building, named after these causes, was designed by Percy Thomas and built by E. Turner & Sons. It has a foundation stone, written in relief and laid in April 1937.

 
  • THIS FOUNDATION STONE
  • WAS LAID BY
  • THE RT. HON. THE VISCOUNT HALIFAX K.G
  • LORD PRIVY SEAL
  • ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF APRIL 1937
  • PERCY THOMAS O.B.E. PRIBA
  • ARCHITECT
  • E TURNER & SONS LTD.
  • CONTRACTORS

 

The building was officially opened on 23rd November 1938 by Mrs Minnie James of Dowlais, who had lost 3 sons in the First World War..[1] On the entrance floor is the Marble Hall. The Welsh National Book of Remembrance, which contains the names of those from Wales who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 War, is kept in the Temple in the area known as the Crypt.

The building was described as follows in the mid 1940s:[2]
The Hall of Nations, as the building is sometimes called, is T-shaped, the leg of the T containing the Temple of Peace and Health, whilst the two wings house the offices of the two Institutions in Wales which are engaged in fighting the crusades for Peace and Health. The Temple is, of course, the outstanding feature of the building. The main doorway from the Avenue opens into an entrance hall the walls and floors of which are lined with marble, with a short flight of steps leading to the main ground floor and the beautiful Temple. According to an official description, " This magnificent edifice has walls faced with Trani Mirabelle marble. Eight square majestic columns in fluted black and gold marble for the side aisles, between which large modern light fittings, constructed chiefly in glass, are suspended by heavy green cords. The beautiful coffered ceiling is richly coloured in dove-grey, emerald green and gold, and large windows extending to the floor are provided with specially designed hand-woven heavy curtains of grey and green to harmonise with the general colour scheme."

At the rear of the building (west side) is a the Wales National Garden of Peace, established in 1988.

In 2018 the Temple of Peace was sold by its then owner Public Health Wales and acquired by Cardiff University.[3] Five charities continue to occupy the building including Welsh Centre for International Affairs who have been tenants since the building first opened.

Sources of Information

  1. Temple of Peace and Health website
  2. Cardiff's Civic Centre : A Historical Guide by Edgar L.Chappell. Published: Cardiff : Priory Press, 1946, page 48
  3. Wales Online: The iconic Temple of Peace in Cardiff has been sold

Other sources: