Woolos, King & Confessor
Stow Hill, Newport NP20 4EA
Cathedral Office and contact details:
Newport NP20 4EA
Tel: 01633 212077
It was probably during the late 470s that the soldier-prince Gwynllyw answered God's call to a life of prayer, and he built his "cell" here on Stow Hill. He died, according to ancient tradition, at the end of March in the year 500AD, but he was held in such honour that a wooden church was at once built over the site of his grave nearby. Indeed, because this became a place of pilgrimage, when the old wooden church was burned down, it was rebuilt in the Saxon times in stone. This actually remains as the present "Galilee Chapel" at the West end of the Cathedral. Later the Normans added their massive Nave - and then, later still, the "Norman Jewel" was given its "Gothic Casquet" in the 15th century. Finally, the Chancel was extended by the architect Alban Caroe in the early 1960s.
In 1929 St Woolos became the Pro-Cathedral of the new Diocese of Monmouth, attaining full cathedral status in 1949. With the Enthronement of Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Wales in February 2000, the Cathedral became the Metropolitan Cathedral for Wales for the third time in its life. The Cathedral continues to serve Wales, the diocese and the City of Newport; it also serves as a large parish. In this place, the work of prayer continues every day for God's people everywhere as it has done for 1500 years.