Ancient Monuments

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Old Bishop's Palace, Llandaff

A Scheduled Monument in Llandaff (Llandaf), Cardiff (Caerdydd)

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Latitude: 51.4946 / 51°29'40"N

Longitude: -3.2172 / 3°13'2"W

OS Eastings: 315592

OS Northings: 177993

OS Grid: ST155779

Mapcode National: GBR K7G.L6

Mapcode Global: VH6F6.6P0M

Entry Name: Old Bishop's Palace, Llandaff

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 225

Cadw Legacy ID: GM073

Schedule Class: Domestic

Category: Bishop's Palace

Period: Medieval

County: Cardiff (Caerdydd)

Community: Llandaff (Llandaf)

Built-Up Area: Cardiff

Traditional County: Glamorgan


The monument consists of the remains of a Bishop's Palace dating to the medieval period. William de Braose, bishop of Llandaff from 1266 to 1287, was probably responsible for building the palace. The palace remained the bishop's residence and seat of administration until attacked and damaged during the Glyndwr rebellion in 1404. Thereafter, only the gatehouse was habitable, but this appears to have been kept in use, as a first-floor windown on the west side was refashioned in the Tudor period.

Although called a palace, this stronghold was built no differently from a small castle of the time, with a strong curtain wall, gatehouse, towers and internal buildings. The gatehouse is the best preserved part of the palace. It stands to first floor level, with a deep vaulted entrance passage with portcullis groove and door jambs in the middle. The room on the right, with an angled arrowslit, was the guard chamber. On the left was a vaulted room entered from the courtyard. The curtain wall, restored in places, can best be seen on the west side where it survives to its full height. It was built soon after the gatehouse. At the north end of the east side are the fragmentary remains of the great hall; a stretch of thick wall and two large first floor window openings are all that is left of it. Beyond is a steep drop to the river Taff.

The two towers in the east and south corners appear to be contemporary with the curtain wall. That on the east is small and circular, that on the south larger and square. The latter contained a number of chambers on several floors, but the remains are fragmentary; a flagstone stair ends abruptly in mid air, and a spiral stair now leading nowhere ascends within the wall in the corner at first floor level.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the organisation and practice of medieval Christianity. The site forms an important element within the wider medieval landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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