the desecration of the Monasteries and Cathedrals by Henry VIII
the nave was divided in two by a rood screen, this allowed one
half to be used by the Benedictine monks while the other half
was used as a parish church. Above the screen was suspended the
Brecon Cross; it was the Cross that made the Cathedral an important
place of pilgrimage throughout the late Middle Ages.
1537 the Priory of Brecon was dissolved, but fortunately the main
edifice survived as the Parish Church of Brecon, and remained
so until Brecon received Cathedral status. The cathedral today
houses the Harvard Chapel, which is the Regimental Chapel of the
South Wales Borderers, who won 11 Victoria Crosses at the Battle
of Rorke's Drift during the Zulu War. Also in the chapel is the
Queen's Colour of the 1st Battalion, which commemorates the battle
of Isandhlawana in 1879.
Standing as it does among old tombs, headstones and ancient trees,
the cathedral with its nave, transepts and central tower looks
more like and enormous country church. Rebuilding of this monastic
place began in 1201 and today the Cathedral contains many outstanding
treasurers, none more so than the 12 century font. A reminder
of those far gone Norman times, the font is carved with masks,
birds and beasts; above it hangs a brass candelabrum of 1722.
indeed Brecon can be proud of its history, for there is more than
900 years that can be perused in one form or other.