St Asaph Cathedral
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 13th century tomb of Bishop Anian II
Eventually the king and bishop were reconciled, though only after Anian paid 500 marks into the royal treasury. The bishop then embarked on a campaign to rebuild his damaged cathedral by cleverly sending a well-known manuscript of the Gospels on tour through Hereford, Lichfield, and Wales to solicit donations.
Around 1391 the large central tower was erected over the crossing, built by a mason from Chester named Roger Fagan. No sooner had Fagan's tower been completed than St Asaph's suffered another burning, this time at the hands of Owain Glyndwr in 1402.
The tower had to be rebuilt again in 1714 after the top was damaged in a storm, and you can clearly see the different type of stone used in the later work. Much of the interior was rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott in a Victorian restoration.
In the interior, aside from Bishop Morgan's tomb, you will see a very good set of 15th century choir stalls decorated with beautiful pinnacles, which seem to spring like trees from the slender columns dividing the seats. Just as interesting is a very worn effigy of a medieval bishop, perhaps Anian II (1268-1293) who oversaw the rebuilding of the cathedral after Edward I's destruction. One other feature is a wooden chest for keeping records, dated to 1738.
If the word 'cathedral' conjures up images of an imposing, larger-than-life building, then St Asaph's will come as quite a shock. In size it is on the same scale as a large town church. Indeed the only external feature that might give away its importance is the impressive west front with its wonderful west doorway with multiple orders of moulding. Inside, the nave is deceptively simple,, a testament to the very plain style adopted by Bishop Anian and those who followed him.
About St Asaph Cathedral
Address: High Street, St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales, LL17 0RD
Attraction Type: Cathedral
Location: on A525 (High Street)
Website: St Asaph Cathedral
Phone: 01745 582245
OS: SJ038 743
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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