Built in the 12th century, Llandaff Cathedral has weathered several severe batterings in the years since – not least attacks by Parliamentarian forces during the Civil War, a huge storm in 1703 and, most damagingly, German bombs in the Second World War. Significant work was carried out on the building in the 1950s, with glorious results. Visitors to Llandaff Cathedral today are greeted by the sight of a stunning wishbone arch that crosses over the nave. On top of this stands the ‘Majestas’, a statue of Christ designed by Jacob Epstein in 1957, plus a cylindrical case that discreetly contains a section of the cathedral organ.
Did you know?
Among the former organists of Llandaff Cathedral is one Francis Edward Gladstone, who held the post from 1866-70. A distant relative of four-time prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, Francis Edward later went on to be organist at Chichester and Norwich cathedrals. History relates that he was formidably organised – so much so, the story goes, that he even wrote the music for his own funeral and pre-rehearsed the choir as to how it should be sung. Of his other compositions, a recording of his Te Deum in F major, sung by Norwich Cathedral Choir, is available today.