Bishop's Palace

sights / Historic

Bishop's Palace information

adult/child £3.50/2.65
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Across the river from the cathedral, this atmospheric ruined palace, run by Cadw (the Welsh historic monuments agency), was begun at the same time as the cathedral, but its final, imposing form owes most to Henry de Gower, bishop from 1327 to 1347.

Its most distinctive feature is the arcaded parapet that runs around the courtyard, decorated with a chequerboard pattern of purple and yellow stone blocks. The corbels that support the arches are richly adorned with a menagerie of carved figures – lions, monkeys, dogs and birds, as well as grotesque mythical creatures and human heads. The distinctive purple sandstone, also used in the cathedral, comes from Caerbwdy Bay, a mile southeast of St Davids.

The palace courtyard provides a spectacular setting for open-air plays in summer.