Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

LLANDAFF CATHEDRAL

Site Details



NPRN 131

Map Reference ST17NE

Grid Reference ST1555678122

Unitary (Local) Authority Cardiff

Old County Glamorgan

Community Llandaff

Type of Site CATHEDRAL

Broad Class RELIGIOUS RITUAL AND FUNERARY

Period Post Medieval, Medieval

Site Description The original church, later a cathedral, at Llandaff was founded in 1107. Between 1120 and 1133 there was a substantial re-build of the core of the church, followed, between 1193 and 1229, by further work on the choir, nave and the western end. Between 1244 and 1265 the Chapter House was added, followed by the addition of a Lady Chapel (by 1287). Between 1315 and 1360 the presbytery was re-modelled and around 1375 the aisle walls, choir and nave were re-built. A north-western tower was added by 1500, possibly by William Hart (1490 - 1526).

Between 1843 and 1869 there was a substantial restoration involving Wyatt, Prichard and, between 1852 and 1863, J.P. Seddon. In 1941 the cathedral was hit by a land mine - the consequent extensive repairs were carried out to the design of George Pace.

RCAHMW, February 2011

_____
The origins of Llandaff Cathedral lie in the twelfth century, with its foundation in 1107. Between 1120 and 1133 it underwent substantial rebuilding, while a series of further works and extensions were carried out over the course of the next 400 years. These included the addition of a Chapter House, Lady Chapel, and the north-west tower, as well as a major rebuilding of the main body of the church in the late fourteenth century.

The cathedral suffered major structural damage during both the Rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr and the English Civil War. During the latter, Parliamentarian forces raided the church and seized and destroyed many of its treasures, among them the valuable library collection. In the following years, parts of the cathedral were used as stables and even a tavern was set up inside its walls.

The Great Storm of 1703 greatly damaged the structure and over the course of the following twenty years, the building decayed at increasing pace, until its roof eventually collapsed in 1723. In 1734, architect John Wood work began on a new cathedral, utilising portions of the original but covering up the medieval fabric. Work progressed very slowly and in 1841, further architects were employed to remove Woods’ work and complete the restoration of the original. Enough was completed to allow the cathedral to be reopened for worship in 1857 but when the Anatole Le Braz and Charles Le Goffic visited Llandaff Cathedral in 1899, they still found a considerable amount of ivy covered ruins. Le Goffic was particularly congratulatory about the perfect blending of Romanesque and Gothic styles. At the time, Llandaff was still a separate village that had not been encroached on by the expansion of Cardiff, and so remained quite rural and reminded the two visitors of the villages at home in their native Brittany.

During World War II, the roof of Llandaff Cathedral was struck by a German mine during a night time air raid on Cardiff. Unlike the preceding centuries, however, reparations were carried out at a much faster pace and restoration work finished in 1960. The most notable aspect of the twentieth century restoration is the sculpture ‘Christ in Glory’ by Jacob Epstein.

Record updated as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Journey to the Past: Wales in historic travel writing from France and Germany'.
R. Singer (Bangor University) and S. Fielding (RCAHMW), 2017.

Digital Images

Archive Records

Associated Sites

Online Resources