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St Deiniol's Cathedral, Bangor;Bangor Cathedral

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Map ReferenceSH57SE
Grid ReferenceSH5807372052
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyCaernarfonshire
PeriodPost Medieval

The oldest Cathedral foundation in Britain, St Deiniol's Cathedral was founded around 525 AD on the site of a Celtic clas and dedicated to St Deiniol in about 546.

The present structure dates back to the early twelfth century when it had an eastern apse and probably an aiseless nave. It has been considerably altered and rebuilt over a long period and was reconstructed by Bishop Skevington (1509-33) who built the existing nave and western bell tower. Bishop Skevington's made arrangements for his heart to be buried near the image of St Deiniol, presumably near the high altar. It is one of the last recorded heart burials in Britain.

Further eighteenth to nineteenth century work by a "Mr Wyatt", John Hall and John Foster, culminated in Gilbert Scott's restoration of the eastern part of the Cathedral from 1868 to 1880. The central tower that Scott had designed was never completed and finally in 1966/7 ADR Caroe created the existing structure.

The cathedral contains the Mostyn Christ, a wooden late fifteenth century sculpture of rare iconography, removed from Llanrwst church to Gloddaeth, but possibly the figure described in a poem of 1518 at the Dominican Friary at Rhuddlan. It is a near life-size wooden figure (missing the arms) of Christ, seated and bound, in the last moments before and with the emblems of his Crucifixion. Carvings of this devotional kind are now so rare in Britain that stylistic comparisons for the Northern realism of the exhausted face and torso are not easily made.

Associated with: city (NPRN 33003).

Sources include:
Haslam, Orbach and Voelcker (2009), The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd. Pevsner Architectural Guide, page 242.
Richard Suggett, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800, (RCAHMW 2021), pp. 21, 31, 39, 73, 223, 233.


application/pdfRCAHMW ExhibitionsExhibition panel showing interior view of Bangor Cathedral, produced by RCAHMW for the Royal Welsh Show, 2011.