A stunning cathedral and the home of a unique Bible.
St Asaph Cathedral has several claims to fame. It is the home to the William Morgan Bible, the very first publication that made it possible for people to read the whole Bible in Welsh. Morgan was a parish priest who worked on the translation while serving his congregation at Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant. In 1588 his translation, using words from the north and south of Wales, was published. Morgan became Bishop of St Asaph in 1601. His achievement, along with that of his fellow translators, is commemorated by the Victorian memorial near the cathedral.
The cathedral is also known as the smallest in Britain, measuring only 182 feet in length, and is one of the oldest in Wales. A monk called Kentigern founded the first monastery and church here in the mid-6th century. When he returned to his native Scotland, he placed his favourite pupil, Asaph, in charge. This is how Llanelwy, ‘the church by the river Elwy’, became known as St Asaph, and the first cathedral building dates to around 1239.
Throughout its history St Asaph has been attacked by armies but always rebuilt. King Edward I’s soldiers inflicted great damage in 1282 and, in 1402, Owain Glyndŵr’s troops burnt down the cathedral partly in protest at English rule. Restoration has been a long term process and the building today is largely 14th century with many Victorian alterations. The architect Gilbert Scott is responsible for the majority of the interior from his remodelling work in the 1860s and 1870s.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
Paneli Dehongli Ein Treftadaeth Cadeirlan Llanelwy / Our Heritage Interpretation Panels at St Asaph Cathedral
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