Cathedral Quire

This is the quire. Above you is the painted 19th-century tower ceiling and by the altar are rare surviving medieval floor tiles. St Davids is unique in having a royal quire stall sitting alongside members of Chapter. The hinged seats in the stalls have carved ledges to lean upon called misericords. These lively carvings include a dragon, an owl, and pilgrims being seasick over the side of a boat!

The choir stalls were constructed in the late 15th to early 16th century. They feature the flip-up seats called misericords, literally ‘mercy seats’. These seats have a ledge on which those in the choir could unobtrusively rest whilst remaining standing as was required through the long sung services of the medieval period. The underside of the misericord seats reveals fine 16th century carvings. Many of these feature scenes from moralistic tales as well as fantastic beasts and very basic toilet humour! The "Green Man" is a common medieval motif. It is thought to be a way of showing how the wild, natural world (a place of demons and fear in this period) could be brought inside the church and made safe.

The surviving medieval floor tiles bear the coats of arms the nobility. Coats of arms are also painted on some of the backs of the stalls and at the end of benches. Some of these are the arms of the families associated with the canons and their estates, others are the arms of families who supported the cathedral financially by paying for building work or funding a priest who would then say masses for the soul of the donor and their family after death and thereby speed their journey to heaven.