St Davids Cathedral has a number of beautiful chapels, all of which are significant in different ways. Take this tour to explore them!
This 13th-century chapel is dedicated to St Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury murdered in 1170.
Henry II came to the Cathedral in 1171 to hear Mass and this chapel seems to have been built soon afterwards. It is one of the oldest chapels in the Cathedral and is regularly used for worship and quiet prayer.
It was completely remodelled by Bishop Gower in the 14th century (the chapel retains its 14th century ceiling and is part of a three-storey structure). Situated above the chapel is the Cathedral Library.
The Chapel retains an Early English double piscina from the original chapel of the martyr.
In 1509, Bishop Vaughan built Holy Trinity Chapel, apparently infilling an open space at the east end of the 12th-century cathedral.
In its exquisite fan-vaulted ceiling he placed his crest with that of King Henry VII. The altar and its reredos were pieced together in the 1920s from beautiful medieval fragments found during restoration work. The Latin text reads “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.
The most eye-catching parts of the Edward the Confessor chapel are the finely carved pink-toned alabaster of the altar, screen and nearby tomb of the Viscountess of Maidstone. She donated all the chapel’s fittings and funded the restoration of the south aisle leading to the chapel. The carved Biblical scenes are from the Book of Revelation. Her grandfather was John Banks Jenkinson, Bishop of St Davids from 1825 to 1840.
The Chapel of St Edward the Confessor was re-roofed in the early part of the twentieth century. It had fallen into disrepair after Parliamentary soldiers were ordered to strip the lead from the Cathedral roof in 1648.
This 14th-century chapel, built to honour the Virgin Mary, has been reworked many times.
Remodelled by Bishop Vaughan in the 1500s, he kept the 14th-century stone seats (sedilia) and earlier tombs, but his vaulted ceiling fell in 1775, probably because the lead had been stripped in 1648.
Here is the elaborate memorial to Bishop Owen (d.1926) and glass by Kempe (1901). Frank Roper’s metal screen (1973), transparently defines a welcoming space used regularly for worship.
The cathedral’s Welsh congregation meet in the lady chapel for Sunday worship.