Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral

button_lang_frenchMetropolitan Cathedral of St David, Charles Street, Cardiff

This building is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff. It became a cathedral in 1920. Its original interior was destroyed in a wartime air raid.

By the 1880s, the 1841-built Catholic parish church in Bute Terrace was too small to cater for Cardiff’s growing number of Catholics. The new St David’s Church in Charles Street was built as a replacement to accommodate up to 1,000 worshippers. It was consecrated on 26 May 1887.

A school was demolished to make way for the church, after the site was bought for £4,800. The narrow plot was a constraint for London architects Pugin and Pugin as they designed the church.

In 1907 boxer Jim Driscoll, the featherweight champion, married Edith Wiltshire, daughter of a Cardiff hotelier, at the church. He was born in Cardiff to Irish parents and became a professional boxer in 1901.

As you stand in Charles Street, look up at the frontage to see a statue of St David, Wales’ patron saint, above the large window. The tower, to the left, was originally intended to have a spire rising to more than 55 metres (180ft) above the street. A smaller spire now tops the tower.

The original interior featured paintings of Jesus, Mary and St John on an oak rood screen. This and other fittings were destroyed by fire after the Luftwaffe dropped an incendiary bomb on the cathedral in 1941. The building reopened in 1959 after restoration.

Inside the cathedral you can see a reminder of the ravages of the Second World War – a memorial to Welsh Italians who died when the liner Arandora Star was sunk by a U-boat in 1940. Most of the passengers were Italians and Germans who had settled in Britain and were being transported to Canada for internment.

Postcode: CF10 2SF    View Location Map

Website of Cardiff Cathedral