The Gatehouse

Tower Gate House and Bell Tower

The 15-foot high Close Wall, built in the 14th century enclosed the original cathedral city.  The wall was pierced by four gatehouses.  The Tower Gatehouse, is the only survivor and was used by the medieval town council.  Also housed in the Tower Gate House is the lapidarium (where there is a display of religious stones) and below is the bishopís dungeon.  Next to the gatehouse stands the 13th century Bell Tower which now has a Royal ring of ten bells.



The Gatehouse contains an exhibition designed to introduce the pilgrim/visitor to the history and life of the Cathedral today including its daily worship.

There is information about St David himself, about mediaeval pilgrimage to St Davids (two trips to St Davids was equal to one to Rome itself), and the importance of St Davids. In mediaeval times St Davids occupied a strategic position at the junction of major land and sea routes between England, Wales and Ireland and therefore the monarch took an interest in St Davids, William the Conqueror visiting in 1081. The exhibition then considers Reformation and Revolution and the impact of these on the Cathedral when in the Civil War, Commonwealth troops did severe damage to the cathedral and destroyed manuscripts in the library.  The last phase covering the last two centuries has been a time of renewal and rebuilding culminating in the restoration of the gatehouse and the recreation of the mediaeval cloisters.

Also housed in the Gatehouse is a Mediaeval Bell and the Abraham Stone, which is the gravestone of Hedd and Isaac, sons of Bishop Abraham, killed by the Vikings in 1080.  The decoration reveals a blend of insular Celtic and intrusive styles. Amongst other items on display is the carving from above the door of the West Front designed by Nash.


Land of Song

Music has always been important in the cathedral.  The early monks chanted Latin Plainsong.  In the Middle Ages the cathedral had an organ and a choir of boys and men, trained in St Maryís College.  Today, despite a population of less than 2,000 with no choir school, the cathedral maintains three choirs.  Girl trebles were introduced in the 1960s and in 1991, a separate boyís choir was formed, along with an adult voluntary choir. Concerts and recitals are held throughout the year and the St Davids Cathedral Festival is popular with musicians and music-lovers from far afield.

 A great deal more information is available by navigating to the music section using the "Music" menu a t the top of any page.

(Chwilio Manwl/Advanced Search)  

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