Built in 1107, Llandaff Cathedral is a historic Cardiff landmark that’s truly been through it all. A civil war, a catastrophic storm and a parachute bomb have all done their best to tear down the religious monument, yet it still stands proud in the Welsh capital to this day. The church is one of Wales’ finest examples of medieval architecture and was founded on the site of a 6th century monastic church. From religious sermons to enchanting Candlelight concerts, the cathedral has hosted a wide range of functions and events inside its historic walls over the past few centuries.
Llandaff Cathedral is located around the corner from the Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Grade II* listed mansion house known as Insole Court. If you’re looking to pay this historic site a visit, you can catch the 1,2,24,24, 310 and 63 bus which all have stops close by, and Waun-gron Park is the closest train station to the cathedral.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Llandaff Cathedral
1. The English Civil War turned the cathedral into a tavern
Between 1642 and 1651, England broke out into civil war. During the turmoil, parliamentarian forces ransacked the Welsh cathedral and destroyed many of its treasures. Once the place was raided for all its worth, it was then transformed into a stable and then a tavern serving up pints of ale.
2. A great storm wreaked havoc on the cathedral
The Great Storm of 1703 was an extratropical cyclone that destroyed a lot of England and Wales’ infrastructure. 2,000 chimney stacks were completely swept away by the strong winds and over 4,000 trees toppled in Hampshire’s New Forest. The church was also greatly damaged in the storm, and the structure’s south-west tower was deemed irreparable.
3. The cathedral didn’t escape the carnage of The Cardiff Blitz
During the Cardiff Blitz of 1941, the German Luftwaffe bombed the capital city heavily, leaving 165 dead and 427 severely injured. On 2nd January, an enormous parachute landmine was dropped on the church. The entire roof collapsed in on itself, and many of the church’s furnishings including the font, pulpit, choir, canon stalls and the organ were damaged or completely destroyed.
Candlelight concerts at Llandaff Cathedral
Llandaff Cathedral also provides the spectacular setting for the magnificent series of Candlelight concerts. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, there are few venues in Cardiff more suited for these concerts than this remarkable cathedral. As a sea of candles illuminates the space around you, gifted musicians will be putting their own classical twist on songs by Pink Floyd, Whitney Houston, Queen, Adele and more musical icons. What’s more, the spellbinding soundtracks heard in films scored by Hans Zimmer and Warner Bros. film studios will also be flooding through this stunning venue very soon.
What else can you do at Llandaff Cathedral?
Alongside the magical Candlelight series, Llandaff Cathedral also hosts a wide range of events throughout the year. From choir performances to morning prayer sermons, the church is a haven for worship. The cathedral has also set up its own Llandaff Cathedral Music Foundation to create a hub for music-making and education. By hosting choir sessions and school visits, the cathedral aims to educate the youth about the word of God through the medium of song.
Cardiff isn’t short of historic venues, and Llandaff Cathedral is one of the city’s most enchanting. This season, these dazzling Candlelight concerts will be illuminating this spectacular setting as brilliant musicians put a classical spin on your favourite songs. Prepare to be dazzled by the soothing sounds of live music and the soft glow of candlelight inside one of Cardiff’s most remarkable venues.