Ike goes to St David’s, Pembrokeshire

Today Ike visited the smallest city in the UK and found out all about the Patron Saint of Wales: St David. 

The population of St David’s is approximately 1841 (according to the 2011 census).  St David’s was given city status in the 12th Century but lost this status in 1886, however at the request of Queen Elizabeth II it was reinstated in 1994.

Most famously it is the final resting place of St David, the Patron Saint of Wales, and the only Patron Saint in the UK to come from the county that they are a patron of.  St Andrew was not Scottish, St George was not English, and St Patrick was Welsh. 

Aujourd’hui, Ike a visité la plus petite des grandes villes du Royaume-Uni et a tout découvert sur le saint patron du Pays de Galles: St David. La population de St David’s est d’environ 1841 habitants (selon le recensement de 2011). St David’s a reçu le statut de ville pendant le 12ème siècle, mais a perdu ce statut en 1886, cependant à la demande de la reine Elizabeth II, il a été rétabli en 1994.C’est le dernier lieu de repos de Saint David, le saint patron du Pays de Galles, et le seul saint patron au Royaume-Uni à venir du pays dont il est originaire. St Andrew n’était pas écossais, St George n’était pas anglais, et St Patrick était gallois.

Heute besuchte Ike die kleinste Großstadt Großbritanniens und entdeckte alles über den Schutzpatron von Wales: der Heilige David. Die Bevölkerung von St David’s beträgt ungefähr 1841 (nach der Volkszählung von 2011). St. David’s erhielt im 12. Jahrhundert den Status einer Großstadt, verlor diesen Status jedoch 1886, erhielt aber auf Wunsch von Königin Elizabeth II. ihn 1994 wieder. Die Großstadt ist die letzte Ruhestätte des heiligen David, des Schutzpatrons von Wales, und der einzige Schutzpatron im Vereinigten Königreich, der aus dem Land kommt, von dem er Schutzpatron ist. St Andrew war kein Schotte, St. George war kein Engländer und St. Patrick war kein Ire, sondern Waliser.

Translation by Sharon Williams at Languages For Living.

St David is said to have been born just to the south of the city in what is known as St Non’s in about 550AD.  He was said to have been baptised in Porthclais, the city’s harbour and educated at Whitesands by St Paulinus.   

St David went on to found a monastery on what is believed to be the site of the present cathedral.  The rules on the monastery were very strict, monks had to pull ploughs themselves, drink only water and eat only bread with salt and herbs.  No personal possessions were allowed.  His last words to his followers were:

“Arglwyddi, brodyr, a chwiorydd, Byddwch lawen a chadwch eich ffyd a’ch credd, a gwnewch y petheu bychain a glywsoch ac y welsoch gennyf i. A mwynhau a gerdaf y fford yd aeth an tadeu idi”

“Lords, brothers and sisters, be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed, and do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. And as for me, I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”

This has led to the motto at the local secondary school, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, being: “Be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things”.

“Soyez joyeux, gardez la foi et faites les petits gestes.”  

“Seien Sie fröhlich, bewahren Sie den Glauben und tun Sie die kleinen Dinge.”

St David’s Cathedral: there has been a religious site here since the 5th Century.  The present cathedral was begun in 1181 by the Norman bishop Peter de Leia.  The previous cathedral was destroyed in one of the many raids by the Vikings.  The site was seen as such an important place of pilgrimage that Pope Callixtus decreed that two pilgrimages to St David’s were equivalent to one to Rome.  The complete history of the site and the religious importance can be found here.

And here’s the old Bishop’s Palace. A site currently run by Cadw, the Welsh Heritage organisation:

Next Ike went to see Porthclais, a small nearby harbour where St David is said to have been baptised.  Note the lime kilns in the background, an important part of the industrial heritage of Pembrokeshire:

And then Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi where Languages Cat’s Dad Gareth is Head of Humanities:

Ike’s final stop on this day was to Whitesands Beach, a popular tourist destination and surfing spot:

One Reply to “Ike goes to St David’s, Pembrokeshire”

  1. The Welsh language is quite difficult to learn. I enjoyed reading about St David and to learn how religion shaped this little town over the millennia. It is wonderful to see how the cultural association between the landscape and its people has been preserved. Many thanks Ike and companions.

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