St Augustine's Church is situated at the highest point of Penarth Head and has been used as a navigation landmark for ships for many years.

The church stands on the site of a much earlier church probably dating from 1240 which was demolished and replaced by the existing church in 1865/66.

The new church was designed by the famous Victorian architect William Butterfield and is described as one of his best polychromatic churches. Its cost of 10 000 was financed by the Countess Plymouth. A saddle-back tower was kept in the new design at the request of the admiralty. The church also includes a chancel with a southern transept and a northern vestry. The aisled nave has a tower on the south-west and a porch to the north-west. It is constructed with Leckwith limestone facings bathstone dressings and red Staffordshire tiles on the roof. There are polychrome brick patterns and bathstone dressings on red brick facings in the interior. The interior decorative features include brass altar rails chequered marble reredos and a patterned tiled floor. Fully diapered arcades of chamfered arches are supported by alternating octagonal and cylindrical piers. The splendid church organ dates from 1895.

The oval churchyard contains a medieval cross dating from the original church but is now much weathered and most of the detailed decoration has vanished.

St Augustine's is thought to be the most ambitious work of Butterfield in Wales and an outstanding example of a Victorian Gothic Church.

Buildings like St Augustine's are expensive to maintain and as the congregation decreased, the burden of funding the church's upkeep became increasingly difficult. So, in November 2012, a new organisation - the Friends of St Augustine's - was formed to complement the existing fund raising activities run by the Parish. Besides fund raising, the Friends aims are to hold events, such as concerts, talks, outings and exhibitions and to provide a social focus based around the preservation of this iconic building.

You can learn more about the Friends of St Augustine's by visiting their webpage via the link below.

The Friends of St Augustine's

The Victorian Web website also has an interesting page about the church at:-

The Victorian Web


A link to the latest Google Streetview is provided below but please be aware that this may be somewhat out of date.
Google Streetview