This elaborate Gothic screen was erected by Bishop Gower in the 1340s. It houses his tomb. Look closely and you will see it is decorated with tiny human heads!
On the screen stands the organ, rebuilt in 2000. On the north side is Thomas Tomkins’ memorial (died 1656), the great Tudor composer. Born in St Davids, Thomas was a chorister here and his music is still used in the Cathedral.
The cathedral’s organ was built by Henry Willis in 1883 and had three manuals and thirty-one stops. It was rebuilt and restored several times until its major resotration between 1998-2000. It was then dedicated by the Bishop of St Davids at Choral Mattins on Sunday 15 October 2000. The inaugural recital was given by Dr Roy Massey MBE, organist of Hereford Cathedral, on Wednesday 15.
The figures on the screen are of modern date, including the statue of St David.
The screen is embellished with an open four-leaf flower and wave and pellet mouldings. This is an example of the Decorated style typically found in buildings associated with Gower.
The earliest record of an organ existing within St David’s comes from an anonymous Welsh poet in the fourteenth century.