Llandaff Cathedral - Back from the Ashes

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), April 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

Llandaff Cathedral - Back from the Ashes


LIKE those in Reims, Coventry and Ypres, Cardiff - or to be more precise, Llandaff - had a great cathedral which suffered appallingly during war.

Unlike Coventry, Cardiff's ecclesiastical showpiece did not suffer direct hits from a shower of bombs. The peril was a ticking timebomb. Literally.

In January 1941, Cardiff suffered one of the worst Nazi bomber blitzes Britain witnessed in the whole war.

On January 2, one raid left 156 people dead and 500 others seriously injured.

One bomb - known as a land mine - fell close to the cathedral. Days later, it exploded, causing extensive damage and a fire at the cathedral.

Windows were shattered, the nave roof caught fire and collapsed and decorative work by John Wood of Bath in the late 18th century went up in flames.

The bomb damage was the second major blow to hit the cathedral in 200 years. In the 18th century huge storms caused the south-west tower to collapse, and the nave roof to cave in.

At the end of World War II, architect George Pace was given the task of restoring Llandaff Cathedral. …

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