The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"LLANDAFF, a parish and city in the hundred of Kibbor, county Glamorgan, South Wales, 3 miles N.W. of Cardiff, and 162 from London.' It is a station on the South Wales railway. The situation of this titular city is one of uncommon beauty, on the steep slope of a declivity close to the southern bank of the river Taff, which is here crossed by a stone bridge. The parish is intersected by the Glamorganshire and Cardiff canal, and comprises, besides the city of Llandaff, the hamlets of Canton, Ely, Fairwater, and Gabalva. Llandaff, though called a city by courtesy, because the site of a cathedral, and the town from which a bishop's see derives its title, is, in fact, nothing more than a straggling village, interspersed, with a few good houses. Land for building purposes fetches a very high price. There was formerly a market, but it has fallen into disuse. Petty sessions are held in the town. The principal object of attraction is the cathedral, which is said to have been originally founded in the 5th century by King Myric or St. Tewdric the Martyr.' This building, which was only 28 feet by 15, was destroyed at the Conquest. In 1120 the present structure was begun by Bishop Urban, a great benefactor of the see, and was finished in 1200. It was enlarged by Bishop John of Monmouth, in 1296, and was anciently more extensive than at present, a new front having been built in 1751 across the nave, and the old front allowed to perish. The more ancient part of the building is of Saxon architecture, with an occasional intermingling of Norman, but the prevailing style is early English. The western front is ornamented with some fine lancet windows of various sizes; and over the principal entrance at this end is a projecting tablet, with the figure of a bishop, supposed to represent one of the earlier bishops of the see, probably St. Dubritius, or St. Teilo. On the N. side is a massive tower, with heavy buttresses, built in 1485, by Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, who received from Henry VII. the lordship of Glamorgan. The building, after having been much disfigured by the incongruous intermixture of Grecian architecture, has been partly restored since 1839, mainly through the exertions of Dean Knight, after designs by Prichard and Wyatt. The restoration of the nave has Just been completed, and produces an admirable effect. The length of the whole structure is 270 feet, and its greatest breadth 65 feet, or 80 including the chapels. Anew organ, built by Gray and Davison, has lately been opened. At the eastern end of the cathedral is St. Mary's, or the Welsh chapel, 58 feet by 25, lately restored, where Divine service is occasionally performed in Welsh; and on the S. side stands the chapter-house, a square room, the roof of which is supported by a single pillar, from which arches diverge to the several sides of the apartment. It contains monuments of bishops Dubritius, William de Braose, Bramfeld, John of Monmouth, Pascal, and several of the Matthews family of Llandaff Court, now the bishop's palace, and called Bishop's Court. Adjoining the church is the gateway of Bishop Urban's palace, which was damaged by Owain Glyndwr, and now belongs to the Romilly family. Houses of residence have been built for the dean, the canons residentiary, and the minor canons. Two registry offices, one for civil, the other for ecclesiastical purposes, have been built from designs of Mr. Prichard, and greatly ornament the city. New National schools, also from designs of the same architect-one for 30 orphan girls, another for 30 boarders and day scholars-have been built from the funds of the Howell charity, administered by the trustees, at a cost of £20,000. In the village is an ancient stone cross. The cathedral serves as the parish church, and is dedicated to St. Peter, or, according-to others, to St. Teilo. Llandaff gives name to a diocese, archdeaconry, and deanery. The first includes the greater part of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, and is comprised within the province of Canterbury. This see was once filled by Mareluith, the composer of Bowel Dha's code, Bledri the Wise, Morgan, who translated the Bible into Welsh, and Watson. The chapter consists of a dean, four residentiary canons, chancellor, precentor, treasurer, five non-residentiary canons, and two minor canons. There are several Dissenting places of worship, and three schools. A pleasure-fair is held on Whit-Monday."
"CANTON, a district parish in the parish of Llandaff, hundred of Kibbor, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles from Cardiff, its post town. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Llandaff, value £140, in the patronage of the bishop."
"ELY, a hamlet in the parish of Llandaff, county Glamorgan. The river Ely passes through it on its course to the Severn."
"FAIRWATER, a hamlet in the parish of Llandaff, county Glamorgan, a short distance from the city of Llandaff."
"GABALVA, (or Cabalva), a hamlet in the parish of Llandaff, county Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles N.E. of Llandaff. The river Taf flows through this neighbourhood.
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018