Council Chamber History

Originally designed to accommodate Council meetings, the Council Chamber has witnessed many passionate debates over the years. Today it is available for numerous other uses, including press conferences, televised debates, meetings and wedding ceremonies.

The Chamber lies directly beneath the dome of City Hall and this is reflected by its circular form and high ceiling.

The panelling is made of oak, decoratively inlaid with holly, whilst four massive pillars of Italian Breccia marble support the dome. Above the columns are two bronze models of ships – reminders that Cardiff grew through its docks from a small and relatively unimportant community into a great City. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Cardiff had become the greatest coal-exporting port in the World.

The Councillor’s seats, which are also of oak, were designed by the original architects of the building, and are arranged in the round. The Lord Mayor’s chair is set in an elevated position.

Cardiff’s armorial bearings are displayed in the canopy over the Lord Mayor’s chair. They carry the mottoes in Welsh ‘Deffro mae’n dydd’ (Awake it is day) and “Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn” (The Welsh dragon will lead the way).

Mayoral Boards – Council Chamber

On entering the Chamber there are galleries to the left and right. Here the walls are inset with beautiful quality Welsh oak, and in chronological order name the Lord Mayor from City status in 1905 until 1996.

Cardiff has been fortunate in having many distinguished men and women acting as Mayor throughout the twentieth century. The gallery on the right of the Council Chamber contains the names of an earlier generation – Mayors of the Town of Cardiff from 1836 to the granting of City Status in 1905.

Along the corridor to Function Rooms A–D, you will find a gallery of recent Lord Mayors’ portrait photography.