St David's Cathedral Library is the only Cathedral Library in situ in Wales. The present Collection dates back to the 16th Century and the Reformation. We have copies of some of the early Bibles in Welsh and early Bibles in English.
Find out more about what we do and the services we offer using the links below.
Join us for an introductory tour of the Library and the Collection by the Dean of St Davids, The Very Rev'd Dr Sarah Rowland Jones.
CATHEDRAL LIBRARY VISITS
The Library is open to the public on Monday and Friday afternoons 2pm and 4pm. No booking is required at these times.
Visits for specific study and research purposes can be made, usually on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Any requests, including specific study subjects, should be emailed to Library@StDavidsCathedral.org.uk
During the 2022 St Davids Cathedral Music Festival, the Library will be open to the public and to Festival goers at particular times between concerts:
Friday 27th May 2pm-4pm
Saturday 28th May 1pm-3pm
Monday 30th May 1pm-3pm
Tuesday 31st May 1pm-3pm
On Wednesday 1st June and Thursday 2nd June there are pre-booked group visits only.
For full programme of the 2022 Cathedral Music Festival and online bookings, see: Programme of Events - St Davids Cathedral Festival
2022 LIBRARY EVENTS
THURSDAY 16TH JUNE 2022
2pm - 4pm
"Medieval Wall Paintings in St David's Cathedral." - Joint event with Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales.
A unique Walk & Talk / Cerdded a Chlonc event around the Cathedral, guided by Richard Suggett author of Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800/ Temlau Peintiedig: Murluniau a Chroglenni yn Eglwysi Cymru, 1200–1800.
Joint event between St David's Cathedral Library and the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales.
Further information and online bookings links are here:
This event is free of charge, but donations towards the upkeep of the Cathedral Library will be welcomed. Donations can be made on the day or on the online link below.
Places are limited, so please book in advance to disappointment.
The Medieval Wallpaintings of St Davids Cathedral: A Walk & Talk Event in the Cathedral
with Richard Suggett, author of Painted Temples,Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800.
Join this special event with an opportunity to view rarely seen medieval wall paintings in one of Wales’s most spectacular ecclesiastical buildings. Our guide will be Royal Commission architectural historian, Richard Suggett, author of Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800/ Temlau Peintiedig: Murluniau a Chroglenni yn Eglwysi Cymru, 1200–1800.
Starting at 2pm in the Cathedral Nave, there will be Guided Walk led by Richard Suggett through the painted screen arch and into the Quire to see the paintings on the Bishop’s Throne and other features. We finish in the Cathedral Refectory to view the rare medieval Consecration Crosses. Richard Suggett has kindly agreed to sign copies of his book at the end of the event in the Cathedral Refectory.
Light refreshments will be available.
Participants are also welcome to come to Choral Evensong sung by the Cathedral Choir in the Quire at 6pm.
SATURDAY 2nd JULY
SUFFRAGETTES IN ST DAVIDS
11am-12noon and 2pm-3pm
A Talk on the anniversary of the visit to St David's in July 1908 by Suffragette campaigers Emmeline Pankhurst, Annie Kenney, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, Mary Blaythwayt and others. Including display of signatures in Cathedral Visitors Book.
Booking online via EventBrite
PREVIOUS LIBRARY EVENTS
UK LIBRARIES WEEK - 4th-8th October 2021
A series of Talks and events were held in St Davids Cathedral examining some of the issues raised by the anniversary of the pilgrimage visit by Henry II in 1171, the brutal and public murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket a few months before and 12th century building developments in the Cathedral. Copies of the Presentations and Talks are being posted on this site in the weeks following their delivery in the Cathedral. For further information, please email to Library@StDavidsCathedral.org.uk
Monday, 4th October 2pm - The Crozier's Journey - Online Presentation of the journey of one of the Cathedral's 12th century Bishop's Croziers which was loaned to the British Museum for their summer 2021 exhibition "Thomas Becket Murder and the Making of a Saint". Including Conversation with the Curator.
Tuesday, 5th October
2pm - Looking through the Becket miracle windows - what can we see? Dr Heather Payne.
Rewatch this Talk here St Davids Cathedral - Library week lecture | Facebook
3pm - Gerald the Welshman. A medieval Canon Lawyer Rediscovered. Prof Norman Doe, Cardiff University, Centre for Law and Religion.
Rewatch this Talk here St Davids Cathedral - Library week Lecture | Facebook
Wednesday, 6th October
2pm - New Archaeology in St Davids Cathedral. Revealing the 12th Century - Ross Cook, ArchaeoDomus Archaeological & Heritage Services, Cathedral Archaeologist to St Davids
How were the Cathedral Library walls built in the 14th Century? Was the Library muniments chest made in the 12th Century?
- Walk and Talk inside the 12th Century Cathedral – Walking tour with Ross of three parts of the inside of the Cathedral built in the 12th Century.
- Walk and Talk outside the 12th Century Cathedral - Walking tour with Ross round the outside of the Cathedral building (weather permitting).
Thursday, 7th October
2pm - Researchers’ Dissertations North Transept
A series of presentations by researchers who have used the resources of the Cathedral Library for their research dissertations.
Gillian Lander, Auckland University The Offices of St David and St Thomas in the Penpont Antiphon;
Megan Rees, Bristol University Welcomed with open arms: Girl choristers at St Davids Cathedral
Rev’d Sophie Whitmarsh, Trinity College Bristol What does the spirituality and life of Dewi Sant teach us for mission today? Sophie's full dissertation here
Sophie Allen, Courtauld Institute.The Pulpitum at St Davids Cathedral.
Friday, 8th October
11am-11.45am - Visits to the Cathedral Library
12 noon - Pilgrim Prayers at the medieval shrine of St David.
1pm-2pm From Neumes to Now. A musical timeline. With Christopher Limbert, St Davids Cathedral Vicar Choral.
Location: North Transept.
On 25th, 26th and 29th September 2021 St David's Cathedral was part of the OPEN DOORS / DRYSAU AGORED programme. Part of the wider European Heritage Days programme covering 50 European countries, OPEN DOORS / DRYSAU AGORED is co-ordinated by CADW, the heritage part of the Welsh Government. Over 150 historic Welsh venues offered free entry, activities and events at various times throughout September. St Davids Cathedral is, of course, open 365 days a year (outside of global pandemics) and this extra involvement will enable us to join with our neighbours in the fascinating medieval Bishops Palace as well as with historic venues across Europe who are all sharing their built heritage with free entry, activities and events for members of the public.
Activities in St Davids Cathedral included:
Saturday 25th September
8am - Morning Prayer & Holy Communion. St Thomas Becket Chapel.
10.30-11.30am - Guided Tour of Cathedral.
11am-11.30am - Cartoon film "Gerald of Wales" made by CADW - was shown in Cathedral south transept and is available on YouTube
3pm-4pm Guided Tour of Cathedral.
Sunday 26th September
9.30am - Cymun Bendigaid, Capel Mair.
9.30am - Family Service, north transept.
11.15am-12.15pm - Choral Mattins. Sung by the Cathedral Choir.
2pm-3pm - Guided Tour of Cathedral.
Wednesday 29th September 2021
Michaelmas and 850th Anniversary of Henry II visit on pilgrimage 1171.
A series of services, tours, talks and walks were held to mark the visit on pilgrimage on 29th September 1171 by Norman King Henry II within a year of the brutal and public murder of Thomas Becket. The programme included an OPEN DOORS welcome to the Cathedral as part of CADW's contribution to the Europe-wide Heritage Days events. Some of the issues raised in consideration of the Michaelmas visit and 12th Century in the Cathedral are being discussed during UK Libraries Week, 4th-8th October, in a series of live and online Talks and events.
8am - Morning Prayer in St Thomas Becket Chapel. All welcome.
10.30am-11.30am Guided Tour of 12th Century Cathedral.
The tour was continued by crossing the bridge between the Cathedral and the medieval Bishops Palace and joining an Open Doors Guided Tour of Bishops Palace by CADW