Llandaff

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{city, large, area}
{area, part, region}
{church, century, christian}
{line, north, south}
{government, party, election}
{borough, population, unit_pref}
{township, household, population}
{county, mile, population}
{village, small, smallsup}

Llandaff (Welsh: Llandaf llan church + Taf) is a district in the north of Cardiff, capital of Wales, having been incorporated into the city in 1922. It is the seat of the Church in Wales Bishop of Llandaff, whose diocese covers the most populous area of South Wales. Much of the district is covered by parkland known as Llandaff Fields.

Contents

History

Most of the history of Llandaff centres on its role as a religious site. Before the creation of Llandaff Cathedral it became established as a Christian place of worship in the 6th century AD, probably because of its location as the first firm ground north of the point where the river Taff met the Bristol Channel, and because of its pre-Christian location as a river crossing on an east west trade route. Evidence of Roman-British ritual burials have been found under the present cathedral. The date of the moving of the cathedral to Llandaff is disputed, but elements of the fabric date from the 12th century, such as the impressive Romanesque Urban Arch, named after the 12th century Bishop, Urban. It has had a history of continual destruction and restoration, as a result of warfare, neglect, and natural disaster. Llandaff has been a focal point of devastating attacks by Owain Glyndwr and Oliver Cromwell. It was the second most damaged Cathedral in the UK (after Coventry Cathedral) following Luftwaffe bombing during World War II, and subsequently restored by the architect George Pace. One of its main modern points of interest is the aluminium figure of Christ in Majesty (1954-5), by Jacob Epstein, which is suspended above the nave. In 2007 a lightning strike to its spire sent a surge through the building which destroyed its organ. Its replacement, the largest to be built in the UK for over 40 years, was inaugurated in 2010.

Llandaff never developed into a chartered borough, and by the nineteenth century was described as reduced to a mere village... It consists of little more than two short streets of cottages, not lighted or paved, terminating in a square, into which the great gateway of the old palace formerly opened, and where are still several genteel houses.[2]

Historically Llandaff was informally known as a "city" because of its status as the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff. This status was never officially recognised, largely because the community did not possess a charter of incorporation.[3]

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