'The History and Antiquities of St David's' by W B Jones & E A Freeman, 1856

1 November 2020 | Mari James

The cover of 'The History and Antiquities of St David's' by W B Jones & E A Freeman, 1856

This book is one of several in the Cathedral Library collection that has had significant influence in the many years since its first publication. This was partly what the authors intended. In the book they have brought together a series of other publications and reports on the dilapted state of the Cathedral at the time and their arguments on the special place St Davids warrants in christianity in Wales and so how the Cathedral deserved care, attention, investment, restoration and recognition. So it was a campaigning book. They were supported by the then Bishop of St David's, Connop Thirlwall. One of the subscribers to the original book was architect George Gilbert Scott who was inspired by the whole exercise. Over the next 5 decades Gilbert Scott, and then his son Oldrid, oversaw the restoration of St Davids Cathedral to much of what we know in 2020. We have several different copies of the original 1856 book in the Cathedral LIbrary.

We are fortunate to have been able to work with the Pembrokeshire County Archives to bring back into circulation the fascinating facsimile of the original book. Originally published in 1998 by Pembrokeshire County Council Cultural Services, we are now able to sell this book in our Cathedral shop for £20 and by post on application by email to library@stdavidscathedral.org.uk.