St Davids Bishop's Palace

Top choice in St Davids (Tyddewi)

This atmospheric ruined palace was begun at the same time as St David's Cathedral, adjacent, but its final, imposing Decorated Gothic form owes most to Henry de Gower, bishop from 1327 to 1347. The most distinctive feature is the arcaded parapet that runs around the courtyard, adorned 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 – animals, grotesque mythical creatures and human heads.

Interesting displays within the basements and ruined rooms bring each part of the palace to life. 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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St Davids (Tyddewi) attractions

1. St David's Cathedral

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Hidden in a hollow and behind high walls, St David's Cathedral is intentionally unassuming. The valley site was chosen in the vain hope that the church…

2. Oriel y Parc

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Occupying a bold, semicircular, environmentally friendly building on the edge of town, Oriel y Parc is a winning collaboration between the Pembrokeshire…

3. St Non's Bay

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Immediately south of St Davids, this ruggedly beautiful spot is named after St David's mother and traditionally accepted as his birthplace. A path leads…

4. Whitesands Bay

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This mile-long sandy beach is a popular surfing, swimming and strolling spot. At extremely low tide you can see the wreck of a paddle tugboat that ran…

5. St Davids Head

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This atmospheric heather-wreathed promontory, formed from the oldest rock in Wales, was fortified by the Celts. The jumbled stones and ditch of an Iron…

6. Ramsey Island

3.16 MILES

Ramsey Island (Ynys Dewi) lies off the headland to the west of St Davids, ringed by dramatic sea cliffs and an offshore armada of rocky islets and reefs…

7. Blue Lagoon

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8. Garn Fawr

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