Council Chamber Library

Directions: The central first floor corridors, from the top of both stairwells, lead to the Council Chamber door (the ‘halfway’ point of the Peacemakers Timeline display)

The Council Chamber Library in 2018.

Above the Temple’s Entrance Hall and facing out across Cathays Park and Alexandra Gardens, the Council Chamber of 44 feet by 22 feet is a spectacular library in Australian Walnut, with floor-to-ceiling shelves inlaid with Macassar ebony holding the Temple’s Archives and Collections – from over 80 year’s work leading the efforts for peace and global health from Wales. Enlightened by the skyward ‘laylight’ glazed in Thermolux, and (once) warmed from a Hoptonwood Stone mantelpiece at one end, great glass-topped tables and chairs can be configured for gatherings of all sorts. This room is the ‘brain’ of the building, where movements meet and great plans are scoped. This is the room where United Nations bodies have been shaped, and where Wales’ NHS was created.

Council Chamber in 1938, showing the wood parquet flooring beneath the carpet

Displays within the cabinets spotlight some of the Temple’s unique heritage artefacts, such as the personal library and writings of Lord David Davies; UN Youth Volunteers through the years; and the 1923 Welsh Women’s Peace Petition to America – signed by 390,296 women. The high windows look out through the great bronze Art Deco grills over the Entrance Portico to Cathays Park, and the cabinets along this wall are draped with linen hangings in the 7 colours of the 1960s rainbow Peace Flag, interspersed with snippets from Archive Materials of the Welsh League of Nations Union.

Council Chamber Library Windows and Dome
Album of the Council Chamber, which includes indexed listings showing the contents of each cabinet and shelf.

The Chamber continues to be used, as was always intended as a meeting room and community hub for Wales’ peace and health movements, for conferences and venue hire more broadly – from ‘Chatham House’ style briefings, to weddings and banquets.