Tim Knifton


Hi all,

Sorry, terrible gap between last blog and this one, not like me to start something and not keep it rolling but hopefully will write at least twice a week from now on. Considering I’ve done a fair bit of exploring and other bits n’ pieces lately.

I’ll start off with an easy one from an early morning trip to Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales with Dai. No access issues besides asking for permission and was a nice mornings wander around this cathedral.


I wouldn’t consider myself religious but I love the details of old cathedrals and churches and given early mornings, usually get them to ourselves for some interrupted photography and all for the small price of a donation.

Llandaff Cathedral (Welsh: Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf) is the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff, head of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff. It is situated in the district of Llandaff in the city of Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The current building was constructed in the 12th century over the site of an earlier church. It is dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and also to three Welsh saints: Dubricius (Welsh: Dyfrig), Teilo and Oudoceus (Welsh: Euddogwy). It is one of two cathedrals in Cardiff, the other being the Catholic Cardiff Cathedral in the city centre.


Llandaff Cathedral was built on the site of an existing church. According to tradition, the community was established by Saint Dubricius at a ford on the River Taff and the first church was founded by Dubricius’ successor, Saint Teilo. These two are regarded as the cathedral’s patron saints, along with their successor Oudoceus.The original church is no longer extant, but a standing Celtic cross testifies to the presence of Christian worship at the site in pre-Norman times.

'Going to the Chapel'‘Chapel within a cathedral’

During the 19th century, when the Bishop of Llandaff began, for the first time for centuries, to reside in Llandaff, the cathedral was extensively restored, the tower rebuilt and a spire added. Much of the restoration work was completed by local architect John Prichard between 1843 and 1869. A triptych by Dante Gabriel Rossetti was designed for use as a reredos, and new stained glass windows were designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown. The office of Dean was separated from that of the Archdeacon of Llandaff in November 1843.The cathedral school which existed from the time of the Elizabethan Bishop Blethyn until about 1700 was re-established by Dean Vaughan in 1880.

On the evening of 2 January 1941 during World War II the cathedral was severely damaged when a parachute mine was dropped near it during the Cardiff Blitz, blowing the roof off the nave, south aisle and chapter house. The top of the spire also had to be reconstructed and there was also damage to the organ. Of British cathedrals, only Coventry Cathedral was damaged more, during the infamous Coventry Blitz.

Major restorations and reconfigurations were carried out under architect George Pace of York, and the building was back in use in June 1958. The Queen attended a service celebrating the completion of the restoration on 6 August 1960. The Welch Regiment memorial chapel was constructed, and Sir Jacob Epstein created the figure of Christ in Majesty which is suspended above the nave on a concrete arch designed by George Pace.

In February 2007 the cathedral suffered a severe lightning strike. Particular damage was caused to the electrics of the organ, which was already in poor condition. This prompted the launch, on 13 July 2007 (the 50th anniversary of the re-hallowing of the nave following the wartime damage), of an appeal to raise £1.5 million for the construction of an entirely new organ.




The cathedral has the traditional Anglican choir of boys and men, and more recently a girls’ choir, with the only dedicated choir school in the Church in Wales, The Cathedral School, Llandaff. In addition, the parish choir sings at the weekly Parish Eucharist, and is a mixed choir of boys, girls, men and women. Women were only allowed to sing in the choir from 2005 onwards.

The organ that was installed after the wartime damage was never entirely satisfactory, even before the lightning damage. Originally it had been planned to install a new organ at that time, but the costs of about 1 million pounds were deemed to be too high in the austere climate of post-war Britain. Work on installing the new organ, by the Nicholson’s of Malvern firm of organ builders, began in autumn 2008. Though not fully completed, it was brought to a playable stage by Easter 2010 and had its inaugural performance (the Gloria of Louis Vierne’s Messe Solennelle) at the Easter Vigil service on 3 April 2010. The stops still lacking, due to the necessary funding not yet having been acquired, are those of the enclosed solo and some pedal stops. This is the first entirely new organ for a British cathedral since that for Coventry.A specification can be seen here.

The cathedral has a ring of twelve bells (with an additional “flat sixth”, to make thirteen in total) hung for change-ringing, located in the Jasper tower. The current bells were installed in 1992, replacing a previous ring of ten





'Heavenly ceiling'

‘Heavenly ceiling’

'Heavenly light'

‘Heavenly light’

'Prayer books'

‘Prayer books’

'The dove from above'

‘The dove from above’

Thanks for reading, more photos are available via my Flickr photostream.

The cathedral photos are here and the previous cathedral collections are here.

This entry was published on May 19, 2013 at 9:05 am. It’s filed under Architecture, Cathedral, HDR, Photography, Religious buildings, Sunrise and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: