The earliest cathedral site in Britain
This Christian place of worship, consecrated in 546, claims the title of the oldest cathedral foundation in Britain. Its origins extend as far back as 525, when a nobleman called Deiniol established a Celtic clas, or monastery, on land given to him by Maelgwn Hir (Maelgwn the Tall), the king of Gwynedd in the first half of the 6th century. Deiniol enclosed the site within a fence called a ‘bangor’, from which the present city takes its name. The defences proved inadequate, however, and sea raiders sacked the site in 634 and again in 1073.
Nothing of the original building remains. The oldest surviving parts date from the 12th century after reconstruction work to repair damage caused by King John (whose men sacked the city and held the bishop ransom for the sum of 200 falcons). Further destruction occurred during the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, and again during the Civil War when Cromwell’s men used the cathedral as a stable.
Most of the present building is the result of sensitive reconstruction between 1870–80 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The celebrated Victorian architect reused fragments of the medieval building to restore arches and transept windows. The cathedral is notable for the ‘Mostyn Christ’, a late 15th-century oak carving of a near-lifesize Christ, seated and shackled, awaiting crucifixion. In the grounds of the Cathedral is the Biblical Garden, said to feature every plant mentioned in the Bible.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Buggy Access
- Wheelchair Access
Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.30pm and Saturdays 10.30am – 1.00pm
Bangor town centre
Bangor Station - 100 yards
Bus Station nearby
On NCN Route 8
Bangor High Street
OS Full Grid Reference: SH 579720
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01248 355 530
- 07543 931 528
- St Deiniol's Catheral, Bangor, LL57 1LH