Bangor Cathedral is an ancient place of Christian worship situated in Bangor, Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It is dedicated to its founder, Saint Deiniol.
The site of the present building of Bangor Cathedral has been in use as a place of Christian worship since the 6th century. The cathedral is built on a low-lying and inconspicuous site, possibly so as not to attract the attention of raiders from the sea.
The Synod of Westminster in 1102 is recorded as taking measures to restore Bangor Cathedral, but the earliest part of the present building was built during the episcopate of Bishop David (1120–1139) with the assistance of the king of Gwynedd, Gruffudd ap Cynan who donated money towards the project and was buried by the high altar on his death in 1137. This was a cruciform building in the Norman style, about 130 feet in length. Gruffudd’s son, Owain Gwynedd was also buried here, as was his brother Cadwaladr. Giraldus Cambrensis escribes a service held here in 1188 when the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrated mass.
In 1211, the Cathedral was destroyed by the army of the English king John on a raid into Gwynedd.
In the 13th century the original apse was removed and the choir was extended to its present length. The church was badly damaged when King Edward I of England invaded Gwynedd in 1282, and in 1284 the Dean and Chapter were given £60 in compensation for the damage. There was extensive rebuilding in this period, under the first Bishop Anian, with the transepts and crossing rebuilt. The nave was rebuilt in the late 14th century.
The cathedral was said to have been burnt to the ground in 1402 during the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, but there is no contemporary evidence for this, though it may well have been damaged. There certainly was extensive reconstruction from the end of the 15th century, completed in 1532. There is a Latin inscription over the tower doorway recording that Bishop Skevington built the tower in 1532, though it was not complete when Skevington died in 1533. Some work was done during the 18th century and £2,000 was spent on repairs in 1824, followed by the altering and refitting of the interior in 1825 at a cost of a further £3252.
The building as seen today is the result of extensive work carried out under the supervision of Sir Gilbert Scott in 1868. Scott’s design originally called for a high central tower and spire, but this was never completed as cracks appeared which were thought to indicate subsidence of the foundations. The tower was therefore left as a low structure.