Archaeology at the Cathedral School, Llandaff

The Cathedral School, Llandaff, occupies site on the southern side of Llandaff rich in Medieval and Post-Medieval archaeology. Recent construction work undertaken as part of the expansion of the school has enabled new insights into the development of the area.

The site includes an area of medieval occupation close to Bishops' Castle (the residence of the Bishops of Llandaff from the late 13th to 15th centuries), which includes a defensive ditched compound, possibly occupied during the building of the castle. The backfill of the ditch included a major deposit of kiln wasters of ridge tiles and pottery in "Vale Ware" dating to the 14th century. The kiln site is presently unknown, but deposits of suitable clay crop out within 30m of the dump.

The school site is bisected by the line of the former Cardiff to Llandaff road, which was diverted to the west when Admiral Matthews built Llandaff Court (the core of the school's buildings) in the 1740s. The road formed a hollow-way, now backfilled with the spoil from the foundations of the mansion, which ran northwards through the school grounds and along the western side of the castle. To the east of the road lay the Matthews former house, Bryn-y-gynnen, demolished when Llandaff Court was built and which probably dates back to at least late medieval times. The exact site of this earlier mansion remains uncertain, but geophysical survey tentatively suggests it lies beneath the school playground.


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