Llandaff Cathedral is situated in the suburb of Llandaff in the city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales, and is the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff. There is evidence for Christian worship on the site from the 6th century, and a church was built by Teilo on the bank of the River Taff. After his death, his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. The monastic settlement survived for many centuries before the establishment of the diocese of Llandaff following the Norman Conquest.
The Normans occupied Glamorgan early, and appointed the first bishop in 1108. He began construction of the cathedral in 1120, but it was not completed until 1290. The cathedral was overrun by Parliamentarian troops, and by 1720 the southwest tower was in a state of collapse. In 1734, work began on a new cathedral, nicknamed the "Italian Temple", which was used for a hundred years but never completed and now lies in a state of ruin.
During the 19th century, when the Bishop of Llandaff began, for the first time, to reside in his diocese, the cathedral was extensively restored, the tower rebuilt and a spire added. A triptych by Dante Gabriel Rossetti was designed for use as a reredos, and new stained glass windows were designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown.
The cathedral school which existed from the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England until about 1700 was re-established in 1880.
On the evening of January 2, 1941 during World War II a German bomb fell beside the cathedral, causing massive destruction including that of the organ, only back in service since 1938. Of British cathedrals, only Coventry Cathedral was damaged more.
Major restorations and reconfigurations were carried out under architect George Pace of York, and the building was back in use in June 1958. The Queen attended a service celebrating the completion of the restoration on August 6, 1960. The Welch Regiment memorial chapel was constructed, and Sir Jacob Epstein created the figure of Christ in Majesty which is suspended above the nave on a concrete arch designed by George Pace.
For more information see: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/llandaff/
Photographs © Walt Jabsco. Click on any image for a larger view.