The Cathedral is
built on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain. Founded by St
Deiniol in 525AD, compared with Canterbury in 595AD. A long and somewhat
troubled history has found the Cathedral sacked by the Vikngs, destroyed by King
John in 1210 when he burnt Bangor to the ground and ravaged by the uprising of
Owen Glyndwr in 1402. The present building is thought to date from the mid
13th Century although not completed until the erection of the West
tower in 1512. A
number of restorations have taken place since then.
The tomb of
Owain Gwynedd (this area of Wales is in the province of Gwynedd) one of Wales's
foremost Princes is to be found here. Although not amongst the largest of
British Cathedrals, it does retain a charm and atmosphere all of its own.
The priory church of St
John dating from the 13/14th Centuries was designated a Cathedral in
1923. Although small, only 250 ft long, it does give the impression of a
stark and fortress like strength with its simple lines and massive tower.
Llandaff, Cardiff The
ancient village City of Llandaff is situated approx 2 miles from the centre of
Cardiff. Quite strange that the old City of Llandaff lies within the
boundaries of the new one. The Cathedral certainly stands on one of the
oldest Christian sites in Britain and there is firm evidence that St Dyfrig came
here early in the 6th Century. Fifty years later it is also
recorded that St Teilo built a church here on the banks of the River Taff.
A Celtic cross near the door of the chapter house is all that remains of that
very early church.
St. Asaph The Cathedral was founded by St Kentigern (St Mungo patron saint of Glasgow) in 560A.D. although the present building dates from much later circa 13th Century. Not large by Cathedral standards, in fact smaller then the average parish church, it is never the less very dignified and impressive. Inside is kept a copy of the first Welsh bible translated by Bishop Morgan of St Asaph (bishop between 1601 & 1604) the bible was first published in 1588. It was to this place that St Kernigan (Mungo in Scotland, Cynderyn in Welsh) came in about the year 560. He set about building a Monestery, a perfect situation on a small hill overlooking a river crossing. Asaph, it would seem joined this small community of monks and when Kentigern was invited back to Scotland it was to Asaph the community turned to for their Abbott. He is described as a calm man with grace and holiness of heart. When the Normans came they rebuilt the earlier Celtic church on the site into the small but fine Cathedral we see today. They called it after the popular local Saint Asaph. The Welsh however still call it by its local name Llanelwy (meaning enclosure by the River Elwy).
St. Davids Cathedral
St Davids Cathedral
almost hidden from view in a valley at the far West of the city occupies a site
of a religious settlement founded by St David in the 6th Century.
Tradition also has it that he was born here. His mother, so the story
goes, gave birth to him on the spot on the cliffs to the South of the Cathedral
now marked by the ruins of St Nons chapel. The Cathedral with its
wonderful oak roof dates back to the 12th Century (circa 1181-82), for centuries
it was a place of pilgrimage, (two visits to St Davids being equal to one visit
to Rome). Next to the Cathedral are the remains of the ruined Bishops
Palace, how splendid this must have looked in its prime. Uniquely the
sovereign of the United Kingdom is a member of the chapter and therefore has
his/her own royal stall.
St. David's Church, Llanwrtyd Wells
St. Mary's Church, Beddgelert
The parish church had
its origin in a Celtic Christian community established on the present site in
the 6th Century. It eventually became an Augustinian Priory Chapel in the
13th Century. Little remains of the original chapel except the two fine
12th Century arches in the North wall, the doorway to the vestry and the East
wall with its beautiful triple lancet window.
St. Mary & St. Nicholas, Beaumaris 14th Century in origin and built to serve what was called the new town which grew up around the castle. One interesting item in the porch is the stone coffin of Princess Joan who was the daughter of King John of England and eventually became the wife of Llywelyn the Great she died in 1237. It is reported that for many years the coffin was used as a drinking trough for horses.
St. Mary's Church, Conwy
St. Mary's Church, Caernarfon
St. Padarns Church, Llanberis