In the twelfth century Pope Calixtus II declared St Davids Cathedral to be a place of pilgrimage. It was at this time that the medieval shrine was constructed and situated in the presbytery, close to the High Altar. Pope Calixtus II also stated that the shrine was so important that two pilgrimages to St Davids were equivalent to one to Rome, three were equivalent to one to Jerusalem.
Since then the path of pilgrimage has been trodden by hundreds of thousands of individuals. The destruction of the Shrine during the reformation caused a steep decline in this important religious practice; however, throughout the periods of religious and political turmoil pilgrims have continued to visit the site.