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.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.