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St Davids
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Pembrokeshire

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St Davids Cathedral

Built upon the site of St David's 6th century monastery St Davids Cathedral has been a site of pilgrimage and worship for many hundreds of years and remains a church serving a living community. During the 10th and 11th centuries the cathedral was regularly raided by vikings arriving from the western seaways. A visitor in the 11th century found only an abandoned site with St David's shrine lost amongst the undergrowth.It is known that in 1089 the shrine had been removed from the church and stripped of the precious metals which had adorned it. "privilege" from Pope Calixtus II. St Davids became a centre for pilgrimage. In 1131 he dedicated a new cathedral and in 1181 work on the Cathedral we see today was begun.

St Davids Cathedral St Davids Cathedral on St Davids Day Stained glass window in the nave

  • 589 St David dies having founded a monastery at the current cathedral site.
  • 645-1097 St Davids (Menevia) is attacked and destroyed many times.
  • 9th century King Alfred summons help from St Davids in rebuilding the intellectual life of Wessex.
  • 999 Bishop Moregenau killed by Vikings.
  • 1080 Bishop Abraham killed by Vikings.
  • 1081 William the Conqueror visits St Davids to pray.
  • 1089 David's shrine vandalized, stripped of precious metals.
  • c.1090 Rhigyfarch writes "Life of David" highlighting David's sanctity.
  • 1115 Bishop Bernard appointed by King Henry I.
  • 1123 Bishop Bernard secures a "privilege" from Pope Calixtus II. St Davids becomes a centre for pilgrimage.
  • 1131 Bishop Bernard "dedicates" a new cathedral.
  • 1171 Henry II visits.
  • 1181 Present cathedral begun.
  • 1220 Collapse of the "new tower"
  • 1247/48 Building damaged by an earthquake
  • 1328-47 Gower's episcopate: rood screen and Bishops Palace built.
  • 1365St Mary's College built.
  • 1509-22 Edward Vaughan's episcopate: Holy Trinity Chapel built.
  • 1530-40 Nave roof and ceiling constructed.
  • 1538 Bishop Barlow strips St Davids shrine of its jewels and confiscates the relics of St David and St Justinian in order to counteract "superstition".
  • 1540 Edmund Tudor's tomb placed in front of the high altar.
  • 1648 Building destroyed by Parliamentary soldiers.
  • 1793 West front rebuilt by Nash.
  • 1862-77 Sir George Gilbert Scott's restoration.
  • 1901 Lady Chapel restored.
  • 1900-1910 Remaining eastern chapels restored.
  • 1982 Queen Elizabeth II distributes the Royal Maundy.
  • 1989-90 Celebration of the 14th centenary of St David's death.
  • 1993 St David's Day celebrations with the Prince of Wales.
  • 1995 Queen Elizabeth II confers city status to St Davids.
  • 2004-07 New Cloisters built
  • 2013 St Davids Shrine Restored

 

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