October 2 - 8, 2016: Issue 283


St. David's Cathedral on the Right with the ruins of the Bishop's Palace at the foot of the hill.


By George Repin

Although no bigger than a village in terms of both size and population St. David’s, because it has a cathedral, officially is Britain’s smallest city (2011 Census pop. 1,797).  The cathedral, also called St. David’s, is the final resting place of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales,  thought to have been born between 462 and 520 CE.

St. David’s is in Pembrokeshire, at the Western extremity of South Wales, about 15 miles north-west of Milford Haven.  The coastline around St. David’s forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

David established a very strict monastic brotherhood which fed and clothed the poor and needy.  The settlement which grew up around the monastery was called Tyddewi, meaning David’s House.  A cathedral on the site often was plundered by Vikings and was destroyed by fire in 1087. 

The present Cathedral was built by the Normans.  The great pillars inside have a pronounced lean since an earthquake in 1248, which also buckled the stonework behind the high altar and left an outside tower with a definite lean.  An interesting feature of the interior, which seems to have been part of the original design, is that the floor of the cathedral slopes by a metre towards the west.

St. David's Cathedral.

St. David’s bones, for many centuries, were kept in a shrine which attracted pilgrims, including William the Conqueror in 1077, Henry II in 1171 and Edward I and Queen Eleanor in 1284.  They then disappeared until the 19th Century when they were found bricked up in a recess behind the high altar and are now in a reliquary.

Next to the cathedral is the ruin of the 13th Century Bishop’s Palace which is open to visitors.  Other notable features of St. David’s include a Celtic Cross and the 14th Century Tower Gate.

The front of St. David's Cathedral seen from the ruins of the Bishop's Palace.

 Photographs taken by George Repin in 1982.
Looking over the ruins of the Bishops Palace to the front of St. David's Cathedral.

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre  Around Angkor - 1963  Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II  The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia   Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958  A Miscellany of Flower Images Gardens Bath 

Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.