St Davids Bishops Palace is a ruined medieval palace located adjacent to St Davids Cathedral, one of the most important ecclesiastical sites in Wales. The site dates back to the 6th century, although the building that stands today dates largely from the late 13th and 14th centuries.
The original monastery that stood on the site was established in the 6th century and, over the succeeding four centuries, was ransacked at least 10 times by Norse raiders. The arrival of the Normans in the 11th century brought some stability. They appointed a Norman bishop and attempted to protect the site by building a motte and bailey fort and, later, a stone defensive wall.
In 1284, King Edward I visited St Davids on a pilgrimage and this visit may have inspired some earlier work because Bishop Thomas Bek, who served from 1280–93, was among his former statesmen. Bishop Bek was responsible for construction of the chapel in the south-west corner, the hall, the private apartments and the gate.
The man responsible for much of the site that can be seen today was Bishop Henry de Gower (1328–47). He carried out major works in the cathedral itself, built the Great Hall with wheel window in the east gable, the distinctive arcaded parapet and the porch. Gower's main legacy is the two great ranges. The east range – the simpler of the two – was the first to be built. The much grander south range was built for entertaining.
The beginning of the Reformation also heralded the decline of the Bishops Palace. In 1536 Bishop William Barlow stripped the lead from the roof. Legend has it that he used the money to pay for the dowries of his five daughters. However, as he had no daughters at that time, and the first marriage of a daughter did not occur until about 25 years later, the story was probably fabricated by his many enemies. He made so much money from this that a sixteenth-century account said that more than twelve years revenue of the bishopric would have been needed to cover the cost of replacing it, and the building fell into disrepair. Bishops stayed less at St Davids and, by the middle of the 16th century, the chief episcopal residence had been relocated to Abergwili, Carmarthenshire. In 1616, Bishop Richard Milbourne applied for a licence to demolish some of the buildings. By 1678, when another licence for demolition was sought, the palace was considered beyond repair.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.