St Davids Bishops Palace, Pembrokeshire
High St, St Davids, Haverfordwest
During the Middle Ages there were few landowners in Wales wealthier than the Bishop's of St Davids. As well as being princes of the church, they were Marcher Lords in their own right, owing allegiance only to the king. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that at their cathedral city these powerful bishops created a group of medieval buildings unsurpassed anywhere west of Offa's Dyke.
St Davids was the largest and most important medieval diocese in Wales. The cathedral housed the relics of the sixth-century saint, David, patron saint of Wales, and attracted substantial numbers of pilgrims, including William the Conqueror.
Even in ruin, the palace is truly magnificent, matching most castles in scale and surpassing in terms of splendour.
~ History ~
1284 ~ King Edward I and his queen pilgrimage at St Davids.
Following this visit bishop Thomas Bek begins a program of new building within his role as a major churchman and former statesman for King Edward.
1330's ~ Bishop Henry de Gower, in addition to major works in the cathedral itself, builds the Great Hall at the Palace.
1600's ~ The Reformation begins the story of decay and destruction to the Palace.