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Bangor Cathedral

Bangor Cathedral, situated on the south side of the Menia Straits which separates the isle of Anglesey from the mainland of north Wales, may be the only Cathedral in the United Kingdom to have been in continuous use since its conception. It is one of the earliest monastic settlements in all of the UK. being founded by St. Deiniol in the year 525; when Deiniol was consecrated Bishop in 546 his church became a Cathedral.

Four Bishops of Bangor, which means in Welsh a wattled fence for such a fence surrounded the monastic community that once lived here, have gone on to be Archbishop's of Canterbury.

Bangor External Inside Bangor

The building one sees today is of course not the original, for the Cathedral has been rebuilt on several occasions. The first stone one being erected by Bishop David between ll20 and ll39.

The 'Cathedral' has suffered immense damage throughout its history having been severely burnt on several occasions, both during local conflicts between the Princes of Gwynedd and by them against 'Longshanks' Edward Ist of England.

In 1402 it suffered severe damage once again when Owain Glyndwr made his advance into the north; for it was garrisoned by English troops and their fight to retain it was bitter; with Owain losing many men.

Then again late in l5th century extensive rebuilding was again undertaken, for the Cathedral had suffered saver damage during the English Civil War. Finally in the nineteenth century, Sir Gilbert Scott was asked to supervise a drastic restoration. It is the result of his endeavours which can be seen today; a Victorian creation which completely hides any part of the original Cathedrals that once stood on this hallowed turf.

Despite all the destruction and rebuilding which has occurred, the Cathedral holds some great treasures. None more so than perhaps the tomb of the Great Owain Gwynedd, for he lies under the high alter. However, Owain is not the only one to be buried in the Cathedral, for he is but one of three Princes of Gwynedd that are buried here, another of the three being his troublesome brother Cadwaldr.

On the walls are murals which depict the six cathedrals of Wales and notable men of the Welsh Church from Dubricius (Dyfrig ) to the first Archbishop of Wales, A.G. Edwards. The Cathedral also contains a memorial to poet Goronwy Owen, who left his native Wales to teach at William and Mary College in Virginia in the mid-eighteenth century.

Yes Bangor Cathedral is as much part of our history as any castle in Wales.

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