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LLANDAFF, a city of Glamorganshire, Wales, on the Taff Vale railway, 149 m. from London. Pop. (1901) 5777. It is almost entirely within the parliamentary borough of Cardiff. It is nobly situated on the heights which slope towards the southern bank of the Taff. Formerly the see of Llandaff was looked upon as the oldest in the kingdom; but its origin is obscure, although the first two bishops, St Dubricius and St Teilo, certainly flourished during the latter half of the 6th century. By the 12th century, when Urban was bishop, the see had acquired great wealth (as may be seen from the Book of Llandaff, a collection of its records and land-grants compiled probably by Geoffrey of Monmouth), but after the reign of Henry VIII. Llandaff, largely through the alienations of its bishops and the depredations of the canons, became impoverished, and its cathedral was left for more than a century to decay. In the 18th century a new church, in debased Italian style, was planted amid the ruins. This was demolished and replaced (1844-1869) by the present restored cathedral, due chiefly to the energy of Dean Williams. The oldest remaining portion is the chancel arch, belonging to the Norman cathedral built by Bishop Urban and opened in 1 1 20. Jasper Tudor, uncle of Henry VII., was the architect of the north-west tower, portions of which remain. The cathedral is also the parish church. The palace or castle built by Urban was destroyed, according to tradition, by Owen Glendower in 1404, and only a gateway with flanking towers and some fragments of wall remain. After this, Mathern near Chepstow became the episcopal residence until about 1690, when it fell into decay, leaving the diocese without a residence until Llandaff Court was acquired during Bishop Ollivant's tenure of the see 1840-1882). For over 120 years the bishops had been nonresident. The ancient stone cross on the green (restored in 1897) is said to mark the spot on which Archbishop Baldwin, and his chaplain Giraldus Cambrensis, preached the Crusade in 1187. Money bequeathed by Thomas Howell, a merchant, who died in Spain in 1540, maintains an intermediate school for girls, managed by the Drapers' Company, Howell's trustees. There is an Anglican theological college, removed to Llandaff from Aberdare in 1907. The city is almost joined to Cardiff, owing to the expansion of that town.

Llandaff Court, already mentioned, was the ancient mansion of the Mathew family, from which Henry Matthews, 1st Viscount Llandaff (b. 1826), was descended. Another branch of this family formerly held the earldom of Llandaff in the Irish peerage. Henry Matthews, a barrister and Conservative M.P., whose father was a judge in Ceylon, was home secretary 1886- 1892, and was created viscount in 1895.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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