St Woolos Cathedral, Newport

Legend has it that Gwynllyw (Woolos is an English corruption of his name) founded the Cathedral in c. 500. Little is know for certain about this saint, but according to medieval tration, he was a feared warlord and raider who knew King Arthur. He was married to Gwladys, daughter of Brychan (or Brecon) and it is through her piety, and that of their son Cadoc, that Gwynllyw was converted to Christianity. Chroniclers tell how Gwynllyw was told in a dream to search for a white ox with a black spot on its forehead and to build a Church there, as an act of penitance. He died in the arms of his son on 29th March A.D. 500, the day on which the festival is traditionally observed to this day. The mud and wattle structure subsequently erected became his grave, the foundation for a succession of churches built on the site at the top of Stow Hill. The extant Galillee Chapel (now called St. Mary’s Chapel) still bears evidence of its early Celtic foundation, although the main construction is Norman.