Ilkeston Cam On Holiday In North Wales 2000

Part Three - Bangor

A Tranquil Refuge In A Small But Busy City
"Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went to Bangor" was a line in a song that was in the pop charts in December 1979. I believe the town Fiddlers Dram were singing about in their hit "Day Trip To Bangor" was in Ireland but the words could just as easily have described our visit to the North Wales university city of the same name.
Standing at the northern end of the Menai Straits, traffic has only restricted entry to the central area where there is a thriving shopping precinct.

A prominent feature of this central area is the clock tower (left) which, according to the inscribed plaque (right) was presented to the city by "Alderman Thomas Lewis J.P. during his Mayorality as a token of his interest in the welfare of the city 1886-7".

At the opposite end of the main street to the clock tower stands Bangor's cathedral - the Church of Saint Deiniol.

The Cathedral is thought to be the oldest in Britain in continuous use having long been a Celtic centre for Christianity.

The building itself has seen continuous development since Norman times and still shows much evidence of continuing development. This owes much to Sir Gilbert Scott, who, in 1866, commenced restoration with an eye to the past.

The photo left shows the approach to the Cathedral.

It was about the year 525AD that Deiniol first settled on this site enclosing the area with a fence. The fence was constructed by driving poles into the ground and weaving branches between them. This was known as a "bangor" hence the origin the the town's name.

Deiniol and his followers were missionaries and soon built a church on the site. As the town grew a Celtic monastery or Clas was formed.

By the middle of the sixth century, Deiniol's church had become a cathedral but in 631 Bangor was sacked.

Over 400 years later it was the turn of the Vikings to rob and burn the cathedral but about 1130 rebuilding of the cathedral was commenced. King John's men again destroyed the cathedral in 1211 but it rose again from the ashes well before the end of the century.

And so the rise and fall continued. In 1309 the central tower burnt down and it was not until 1480 that rebuilding began in earnest. Sir George Gilbert Scott's restoration took place between 1870 and 1880 although the central tower was not completed. This was eventually raised and capped with its pyramid in 1966.

Further major restoration commenced in 1987 and continues to this day. As in St Deiniol's day, a friendly welcome awaits anyone who crosses the threshold into the Cathedral.

These two views above illustrate the nave (left) and the impressive vaults of the presbytery (right) and the others below illustrate many of the other features within the building. 

The altar cloth forms a focal point in the cathedral.

Choir Stalls
But there's much
more to be seen.

Stained Glass

Magnificent Arches

The Nave

The Presbytery
 All of the photos of Bangor and the Cathedral Church of Saint Deiniol were taken in August 2000. As we entered the building, we were handed a leaflet from which much of the above information has been gleaned with grateful thanks.

Continued in Part 4 - Llyn Ogwen & Llanfair

Other parts in this series:
1- Llandudno & Llanrwst; 2 - Betwys-y-Coed; 5 - Caernarfon & Blaenau Ffestiniog;
6 - Bodelwyddan & Rhos-On-Sea; 7 - Conwy Bridges & Smallest House; 8 - Conwy Quay & Town;
9 - The Great Orme & 10 - Llandudno Town.

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