Newport Cathedral, also known as St Woolos Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Monmouth. The name 'Woolos' is an English corruption of Gwynllyw, the 5th-century Welsh saint who first founded a religious establishment on the site.

An early wooden church is known to have stood on the site from sometime during the Welsh Age of the Saints. This was rebuilt in stone in the 9th century indicating the importance of the cult of Saint Gwynllyw and the wealth of the shrine, as stone buildings from this period are very rare. Sections of the present building date from Early Medieval times and part of this stone building is now incorporated into the present building as the Galilee chapel located at the western end of the cathedral. A pirate attack circa 1050 left the structure in ruins.

In about 1080 the Normans built a new nave to the east of the Saxon ruins, and a lean-to south aisle, building a new entrance archway through the Saxon wall. Circa 1200 the Saxon church was repaired so the Norman entrance became an internal archway.

It was badly damaged in 1402 when Newport was attacked by the forces of Owain Glyndŵr and underwent a major rebuilding including the addition of the tower.

It also seems to have been damaged in the English Civil War period when a statue above the main entrance representing a benefactor of the church seems to have lost its head. It is either Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, or Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham as both helped rebuild it after Glyndwr's attack.

The cathedral has been partially rebuilt or extended in every period up to the 1960s.



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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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aileen kearney (3 months ago)
St Woolos Cathedral has been a site of worship since the early 6th century. According to legend, the soldier-prince Gwynllyw was converted to Christianity when he was told in a dream to search for a white ox with a black spot on its forehead and, when he found it, to build a church as an act of penitence. Gwynllyw’s church, founded on Stow Hill, was almost certainly made of mud and wattle and has therefore been lost. The modern church dates back to the Norman period including the arched entrance and nave, constructed 1140-1160. The present building consists of a 12th century Norman church enclosed within a later mediaeval structure, restored in Victorian times and with a recent east end extension. In 1921 the diocese of Monmouth was created and the church was designated a cathedral and the east end was enlarged in 1960.
Chris Kaye (5 months ago)
I am not religious but enjoy going to cathedrals for the history and the architecture. This one didn't score well on either front (note that we weren't able to go inside) and from the outside was no more impressive than many churches.
Colin Walsh (6 months ago)
A wonderful and peaceful place
Rosemary Kenny (8 months ago)
St Cathedral has been like a second home to me over the years, with its wonderful Gothic architecture and even more welcoming and friendly clergy and congregation, many of whom have become long-term great friends of myself over the years. Fully supporting the community through fund-raising events, it continues to thrive and continue with spiritually uplifting services (also broadcast online on YouTube as Newport Cathedral), despite social distancing and Covid-19 regulations over the last year. All are welcome and it's certainly become a mainstay of my life over the past 15+ years I've been worshipping there. I hope to see you there, whether as part of the choir (including a voluntary one in happier times), Mother's Union, 30 Something's and other social groups - even the bell ringers welcome new members - there's so much to recommend about this peaceful and blessed Anglican Church building that you really should come up (Stow Hill) and join us sometime!
Bob Pollard (12 months ago)
The Cathedral, which dominates the Newport skyline, is very well maintained and managed. A very good place of worship to celebrate Christmas Day and New year.
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