Alan Thorne

Posted in the News Category


On Saturday, 9th April at 2.30pm in the Parish Hall a large, receptive audience heard a talk on “The Building of St Augustine’s” by the well-known local historian Alan Thorne.

Alan started by taking us back to the 12th century with the background of the ownership of the land the church and the whole of Penarth stands on.

When Penarth Docks were built in the middle of the 19th century, Penarth changed from being a small rural community to a thriving town.  The small mediaeval church that stood on the headland was in poor repair and too small for the number of people now living in the area, and Baroness Windsor paid for the new church to be built.

With a wealth of information about the people involved and the actual building of the church, Alan gave us a fascinating and wide-ranging talk (for instance, we learned that when the architect, William Butterfield, was due to visit the site from London, the wooden scaffolding had to be scrubbed clean and the workmen were instructed to turn up for work wearing clean clothes and having shaved and washed!).

We also learned where many of the building materials came from (Llandough, Radyr and Merthyr among other places, brought along poorly made roads or tracks).

In addition to Alan’s talk, there was a small exhibition about the making of the Roll of Honour in St Augustine’s, a chance to see the facsimile of the book about the history of the Roll and to buy copies.

Chris Higley thanked Alan for his talk and presented him with a copy of the Roll of Honour book.



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