Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff

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Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff


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Review of "Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff"

published 09/03/2006 | Serenfach
Member since : 05/02/2006
Reviews : 29
Members who trust : 7
About me :
Pro A magnificent building full of history
Cons Steep hill
very helpful
Is it worth visiting?
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Family Friendly

"Llandaff Cathedral, Llandaff, Cardiff"

Llandaff Cathedral stands on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain. Nothing remains of the original 6th Century church founded by St Teilo, however a Celtic Cross that stood nearby can still be seen near the door of the Chapter House. It is sited near to Grade II listed residential homes, keeping the area in the same setting as it would have been, many years ago.

The present cathedral dates from 1107 when Bishop Urban, the first Bishop appointed by the Normans, started the building of a much larger church. Changes and additions followed throughout the years, right up until the time of King Henry VIII when pilgrims came in their hundreds to see the shrine of St Teilo whose tomb still stands in the sanctuary. Over the next 200 years the Cathedral degenerated into a state of near ruin through a total lack of funds due to pilgrims being forbidden to visit.

The Cathedral was restored in 1882 but suffered terrible damage from a German bomb during an air raid in World War II - you can still see half of the large grass covered crater outside. However, the Cathedral has now been fully restored, with the addition of a massive concrete arch supporting a sculpture of Christ, cast in aluminium, by Jacob Epstein called 'Majestas' or 'Christ in Majesty'.

The entrance to Llandaff Cathedral is off the main Cathedral Green, via a steep slope, with some very steep steps at the bottom. Wheelchair access is provided at the East and West ends of the Cathedral. .

Once inside, the first thing that strikes the visitor is the huge sculpture, a depiction of Christ with outstretched hands, which to me, seems slightly out of keeping with the rest of the architecture, but is still a sight to see nonetheless.

Of further interest are:

The Illtyd Chapel, - now dedicated to the memory of the 53rd Welsh Infantry Division - for their liberation of towns and villages during the Second World War;

The Teilo Chapel (named after the original founder);

The Lady Chapel - erected during the bishopric of William de Braose in the 13th Century;

The Rossetti Triptych - a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti titled The Seed of David. 1858-1864. Oil on canvas.

A painting by Murillo titled "Madonna and Child".

You can also see a relic of the original church and a 10th century Celtic Cross (originally hidden from Cromwell's soldiers to prevent it being destroyed, but rediscovered in 1870 as part of a wall). It is now situated in the south aisle. And of course, there are the beautiful stained glass windows made by some of Britain's most well respected craftsmen and artists.

In 1992 a new peal of thirteen bells replaced the old bells in the northwest tower, and each new bell is named after a Celtic saint - Bridget, Tathan, Ellteyrn, Elfan, Tydfil, Gwynllyw, Dewi, Samson, Cadoc, Illtyd, Euddogwy, Dyfrig and Teilo, and each bears its own Latin inscription.

The Cathedral is used on a regular basis for normal church services, weddings, funerals etc and for this reason it is probably better to visit on a weekday as obviously sightseers are unable to wander around during services.

Cathedral Services:


7.30 Morning Prayer
8.00 Holy Eucharist
9.00 Parish Eucharist
11.00 Choral Eucharist
12.15 Holy Eucharist
3.30 Choral Evensong
6.30 Compline


Morning and Evening Prayer is said or sung
The Eucharist is celebrated daily

The Cathedral does have a small shop, but refreshments are only available by prior arrangement, as are guided tours. (Contact: office@llandaffcathedral.org.uk). However, there is a small café in Llandaff village itself, only a few minutes walk from the Cathedral.

Car Parking in the area of the Cathedral Green is free and although unrestricted, is obviously busy during services, weddings and the like. There is also a free car park in Llandaff Village about a one minute walk away. There are frequent bus services to Llandaff, (route 25, 33, 33A & 62 from Cardiff Central Railway/Bus Station) which is only about 3 miles away.

I have visited the Cathedral many times over the years, sung there in choirs and rang the (old) bells, and always there is something new to find - this is a very large, magnificent building with a very long history.

Whether you are a religious person or not, the Cathedral is a place that warrants a visit, especially if you find yourself in Llandaff. It is the centre point of the area, full of history, as is Llandaff itself.

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Comments on this review

  • al1892 published 09/03/2006
    great review. used to pass it often on way to and from places. also scored for my brother's cricket matches on the pitch behind. don't think I've ever been in. Good to know where St Illtyd cheese gets its name! mmm wish they'd sell that someone other than st fagans!! al x
  • torr published 09/03/2006
    I'm not at all religious, but I do like cathedral architecture. Good, descriptive review. Duncan
  • psychstudent1 published 09/03/2006
    Sounds like the type of place I'd like to visit if I ever find myself in that part of te country. Nice review. Trish x
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Product Information : Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff

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Product Details

City: Cardiff

Type: Church/Cathedral


Listed on Ciao since: 05/12/2004