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The Court School including attached chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Llanishen, Cardiff

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Latitude: 51.5315 / 51°31'53"N

Longitude: -3.1828 / 3°10'57"W

OS Eastings: 318052

OS Northings: 182065

OS Grid: ST180820

Mapcode National: GBR KH0.9Y

Mapcode Global: VH6F0.SR8S

Plus Code: 9C3RGRJ8+JV

Entry Name: The Court School including attached chapel

Listing Date: 10 October 2001

Last Amended: 10 October 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 25798

Building Class: Education

Location: At the E end of Llanishen, near the railway station. Set back from the road in its own grounds, the front facing N.

County: Cardiff

Town: Cardiff

Community: Llanishen (Llanisien)

Community: Llanishen

Locality: Station Road

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Built c1882 as the lodgings for the zealous Roman Catholic Bishop of Cardiff, John Hedley, on land donated by the 3rd Marquess of Bute, the most famous C19 aristocratic convert to Catholicism. Bishop Hedley was given use of the house until his death in 1915. Attached to the residence is the Bishop's private chapel. It is built on the most easterly of 4 similar adjoining plots, none of which are shown on the Ordnance Survey of 1875 (they are shown in 1920). The different styles of the 3 surviving houses would suggest that they are not by the same architect. The residence was later converted to a school, the chapel becoming the assembly hall.


Residence in simple classical style with 4-bay 2-storey front with attic. Constructed of snecked rock-faced stone under a hipped slate roof, with red brick stacks and red brick and freestone dressings, including brick quoins and plinth. Distinguished by wide bands of chequered red and white brick to string course and eaves cornice, the moulded eaves with saw-tooth dentils. Stone mullioned and transomed windows with flat stone lintels and sills, brick reveals, and containing horned sashes. Entrance to R of centre with double panelled doors and narrow small-pane side-light, in brick surround with heavy stone sill band. Curved stone brackets support a prominent segmental stone pediment with decoration to centre including roundels. Above the porch is a 4-light stepped window (stairlight) with small panes under a broken triangular pediment supported on short fluted shafts with foliage. Under its apex is a shield with 3 chevrons and relief foliage. To upper storey, 2 x 2-light windows L of stairlight, and one to R. To lower storey, 3-light window R of entrance; 2 single lights to L and 2-light window to far L. Small brick ridge stack to centre and large stack to NE angle of roof pitch. Two late C20 flat-roofed attic dormers with 3-light uPVC windows. The former chapel adjoins the R side of the building and has an advanced apse to front. It is single-storey, rendered and lined, with a flat roof, except for a pyramidal rooflet towards centre. Stone dressings including a plinth, wide moulded cornice and pilasters with fluted and foliate capitals between windows, which have flat heads and C20 wooden glazing. Three windows to apse, formerly 3 to W side, that to R now obscured by a small lean-to. A large steel fire-escape staircase leads over the top of the roof to the upper storey of the house. The S addition to the chapel is roughcast with a hipped roof to W end.
The E end of the house has a central doorway with inset half-glazed panelled door reached by concrete steps; small-pane side light immediately L. Above is a tall stairlight to back staircase cutting through the chequered string course. It is 2-light with small panes. The upper storey has a small light to R of stairlight, with small panes to upper sash, and mid-late C20 windows with concrete lintels to far R and L of stairlight. To lower storey L is a lean-to with boarded door. To rear, the chequered band to eaves cornice continues, but that to string course is narrower. Three 2-light windows grouped towards centre of upper storey, with further windows flanking. Two attic dormers as front and 2 small brick stacks to L. Three large windows to lower storey with segmental heads and brick surrounds, and large-pane wooden glazing. Some are altered; part of the R window is converted to a doorway leading onto a terrace (now playground). The rear of the chapel extension has a canted bay to the L with pyramidal roof and 2-light windows with quarry glazing above the transoms; door to R. The playground is retained by a snecked stone wall with late C20 brick parapets, and reached by 2 flights of steps with steel railings, which are supported on 4 round arches of stone and brick.


Inside front entrance, open-well wooden staircase to L with barleysugar balusters, moulded handrails and large shaped and tapering newel posts. A short corridor leads to a longer corridor at right angles. This has a decorated corbelled ceiling cornice and rooms leading off with wood panelled doors. To the far L is a back staircase. To the R, the corridor leads to the former chapel, now assembly hall. Vaulted roof, raised to centre, and with vertical ribs decorated with flower bosses. The chapel has ornate door surrounds with foliated capitals, wooden wainscot with small panels and Art Nouveau-style stained glass to apse. A former fireplace in the N wall is now infilled. Wide shallow arch on corbels to S end leading to extension with canted bay, now divided off by a screen.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its historic and architectural interest as the lodgings and chapel of a notable Catholic bishop, and a good example of a large suburban Victorian residence in Cardiff retaining its character. Group value with 90 and 92 Station Road.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II The Hollies including former coach-house range
    At the E end of Llanishen, near the railway station. Set back from the road in its own grounds, the front facing N.
  • II Hill House
    At the E end of Llanishen, near the railway station. Set back from the road in its own grounds, the front facing N.
  • II Century Methodist Church
    Situated 60m E of junction of Melbourne Road and Fidlas Road.
  • II Bridge Cottage
    Located immediately E of the railway viaduct on Fidlas Road, on a sharp bend.
  • II* Church of St. Isan
    Set in a large quadrangular churchyard in the centre of the village, on the corner of Station Road and Heol Hir.
  • II Church Inn
    In the centre of the village nearly opposite the church. At the junction of Ty Glas Road and Heol Hir. The N front faces the road, the S front, a car park.
  • II Llanishen Reservoir Dam
    To the east of Llanishen, accessed via a track running SE from the B4562, some 0.5km east of Llanishen station.
  • II Lisvane House
    Towards the top of the rise in Mill Road with gardens to side and rear.

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