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Cathedral of St Davids

A Grade I Listed Building in St. David's and the Cathedral Close (Tŷddewi a Chlos y Gadeirlan), Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.882 / 51°52'55"N

Longitude: -5.2683 / 5°16'5"W

OS Eastings: 175156

OS Northings: 225430

OS Grid: SM751254

Mapcode National: GBR C5.RPWM

Mapcode Global: VH0TD.MYPN

Entry Name: Cathedral of St Davids

Listing Date: 1 March 1963

Last Amended: 28 July 1992

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 12537

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: Situated in the sheltered valley of the River Alun, below the city.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: St. David's and the Cathedral Close (Tŷddewi a Chlos y Gadeirlan)

Community: St. David's and the Cathedral Close

Locality: St.Davids

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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St. Davids

History

C12 to C16, restored principally by Sir G G Scott 1862-78, J O Scott and W D Caroe. The present building is substantially of 1180-1220, built by Bishop Peter de Leia, his work comprising the nave with its arcades, triforium and clerestory, aisles, west tower arch and transept walls, eastern tower piers, choir aisles and E responds of choir. The W front is a restoration by Sir G G Scott to recreate the Norman original following the unscholarly rebuilding of 1793 by J Nash. Round arches generally, with chevron and other ornament and single keel mouldings to shafts and jambs. One of the earliest British examples of combined triforium and clerestory.

The fall of the central tower in 1220 demolished the choir and transepts, but these were rebuilt to very similar design by 1250. Pointed arches on three sides of the crossing are post 1220 as are arcades of presbytery to E. E lancets of presbytery repaired after earthquake damage 1248. Choir aisles extended E with cross-passage enclosing courtyard in late C13, the courtyard roofed 1509-22 to form Holy Trinity or Bishop Vaughan's Chapel, with fan-vaulted roof. Lady Chapel added ca1300. C14 work includes alterations to nave aisles; chapel of St Thomas of Canterbury added to N transept with former chapter house above; second stage of tower; Bishop Gower's rood screen and S porch. Influence of the Bristol School evident in C14 work. C16 top stage to tower, Lady Chapel vault (collapsed 1775, rebuilt early C20), early C16 fine timber nave roof. Late C15 to early C16 choir stalls, sanctuary sedilia and sanctuary encaustic tiles.

Interior

Outstanding monuments include: in the nave, Bishop Morgan (d1506) and Bishop Gower (d1347); in the S transept C10 or C11 Celtic carved fragments; in the presbytery Edmund Tudor (d1456), altar tomb provided by Henry VIII; and in choir aisles various C13 effigies, one reputedly of Gerald of Wales.

Notable post-medieval works are the painted roofs to crossing and presbytery by Sir G G Scott; the Salviati mosaics and Hardman glass to the lower and upper lancets of the E end; the Lady Chapel vault by W D Caroe, 1897-1903; and W window stained glass of ca1920.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade I as the principal cathedral of Wales and the most important medieval ecclesiastical building in Wales, on the site of the monastery founded by Saint David ca520.

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