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St David's and the Cathedral Close, more commonly known as St David's, ( ), is a city and community in Pembrokeshiremarker, Walesmarker. With a population of 1,797 in 2001, it is the smallest city in the United Kingdommarker. Lying on the River Alynmarker on St David's peninsula, the city is the de facto ecclesiastical capital of Wales and the final resting place of Saint David, the country's patron saint.

History and attractions

The area was originally known in the Welsh language as Mynyw and in Latin as Menevia, and was later renamed in honour of David. The city is built around St David's Cathedralmarker, which in the Middle Ages was a popular place of pilgrimage. Next to it, the 14th-century Bishop's Palace is a ruin maintained by Cadw and open to visitors. St David's was once a marcher borough. In 1603 the antiquarian George Owen described it as one of five Pembrokeshire boroughs overseen by a portreeve.

Tradition states that Saint David was born to Saint Non at what is now St Non's, a ten minute walk south of the city, in about AD 500. It is also said that he was baptised at Porthclaismarker, now the city's port, and that he founded the city in around 550. Pope Calixtus II decreed that two pilgrimages to St David's were equivalent to one to Rome. Because of this a vast income was raised from visiting pilgrims in the Middle Ages. Saint Non's Well overlooks the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and St Brides Baymarker. The Cambrian cliffs make this a popular spot for walkers and kayakers.

In addition to the cathedral, attractions in the city include the 13th century Tower Gate, the Celtic Old Cross and a number of art galleries. St David's is also a popular base for walking and water sports. It has several hotels and a youth hostel, and a number of pubs.

The Flag of Saint David (Baner Dewi Sant)
St David's is the only city in the United Kingdom to lie entirely in a national park, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Parkmarker, and it lies near the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

The St David's lifeboat, located at St Justinian, has saved numerous lives since the first lifeboat was located there in 1869; and a number of heroic lifeboatmen here have perished in the cause of saving others. Particular local marine perils are the treacherous reefs and formations off the coast together with the unpredictable Irish Seamarker conditions.

The entire coastline around St David's forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Parkmarker.

Local agriculture has declined in recent years, with the once important crop of Pembrokeshire first early new potatoes having largely died out due to pressure from the supermarkets.

St David's Eco City Group aims to make St David's the first carbon-neutral city in the world.

  • The City is also twinned with Naasmarker in the Republic of Ireland

Sport and leisure

St David's is home to rugby union team St. Davids RFC.

St David's hosted the National Eisteddfod in 2002.

People from St David's

Henry Hicks (born 1837-died 1899), a Welsh physician, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), President of the Geological Society and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). He studied the Precambrian rocks of Angleseymarker, Caernarvonshire and Pembrokeshiremarker, the Devonian rocks of Devonmarker and Somersetmarker, and cave deposits in Denbighshire. He was born on 29 May 1837 at St David's, followed in the footsteps of his father Thomas Hicks and studied medicine at Guy's Hospitalmarker, and then practised at St David's from 1862 until 1871. The musician David Gray was a pupil at St David's School. Footballer Simon Davies was also a pupil at the school.

See also


External links

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