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
probably dating from 1240
demolished and replaced by the existing church
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
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
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
St Augustine's is thought to be the most
ambitious work of Butterfield in Wales and an
outstanding example of a Victorian Gothic
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.