St David's Bishop's Palace
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
In the late 6th century St David established a monastery here on the southwestern tip of the Pembrokeshire peninsula. Over the ensuing centuries David's monastery was a centre for training missionary monks, who travelled throughout Wales, Ireland, and south west England. After David's death his shrone became a popular place of pilgrimage.
Unfortunately the exposed location of the monastery made it an easy target for raiding Norse seafarers. Over the 4 centuries followig David's death in 601AD the monastery was sacked by the Norse on at least 10 occasions. But the most serious threat to the monastery was not from the Norse, but from the Norman invaders who came by land following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Normans gradually conquered southern Wales, and established their own bishops to replace the Welsh.
The Norman Palace
Around 1280 Bishop Thomas Bek began an ambitious program of building beside the cathedral. Though Bishop Bek greatly enhanced the early Norman palace, it was down to a later Bishop, Henry de Gower (1328-1347) to create the great palace we see today. Bishop de Gower added a grand Great Hall to tthe complex, notable for its arcaded parapet and eye-catching wheel window set in the east gable. His work included a chapel, and a private suite of apartments. It is interesting to see the difference between the east range - the bishop's private quarters - and the south range - very ostentatious, public rooms. Bishop de Gower also created the grand entrance gate that is one of the Palace's most striking features.
The site is now in the care of CADW, and it is often used for open-air theatrical performances. What a setting! The combination of the cathedral and palace make St David's an absolutely wonderful historic treat.
About St David's Bishop's Palace
Address: St David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales, SA62 6PE
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: Next to St David's Cathedral (off the A487). Signposted paid parking area beside the palace.
Website: St David's Bishop's Palace
Phone: 01437 720517
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
St David's Cathedral - 0.1 miles (Cathedral)
St Non's Chapel - 0.8 miles (Historic Church)
Camrose Castle - 11.5 miles (Castle)
Rudbaxton, St Michael's Church - 13.2 miles (Historic Church)
Haverfordwest, St Mary's Church - 13.8 miles (Historic Church)
Haverfordwest Castle - 13.9 miles (Castle)
Haverfordwest Priory - 14.3 miles (Abbey)
Scolton Manor Museum & Country Park - 14.9 miles (Historic House)
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