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Magnificent medieval palace that rivalled its cathedral for glory

There was only one top job for an ambitious cleric in medieval Wales: Bishop of St Davids in Pembrokeshire.

A 12th-century pope had decreed that two trips to St Davids were equal to one to Rome – turning it into a centre of pilgrimage for the entire Western world. Thousands flocked to see the shrine of St David in the newly built cathedral.

But the bishop’s home was no match for this magnificence. Enter Henry de Gower. Between 1328 and 1347 he turned a building only fit for ‘servants and animals’ into an immense palace.

The east range was his private domain. The south range was for show and ceremony. It was here in the great hall that Bishop Henry dispensed justice, held feasts and welcomed distinguished pilgrims.

The Reformation marked the beginning of the end. In fact William Barlow, first Protestant Bishop of St Davids, may well have stripped the lead from the roofs himself to spark a slow decline. But even as a ruin this palace beside its glorious cathedral remains an awe-inspiring space.

A reconstruction drawing of the palace and cathedral around the mid-fourteenth century.

Artist impression of St Davids Bishop's Palace and cathedral
© Crown copyright (2023), Cadw. Illustration by Terry Ball, 1999.

How to visit

•    purchase your admission tickets on arrival (or book online)*
•    view our opening times and prices below
•    check Welsh Government health & safety advice before visiting.

*pre-booked tickets are non-refundable.

More about St Davids Bishop's Palace

Opening times

Daily 9.30am–5pm

Last admission 30 minutes before closing

Daily 9.30am–6pm

Last admission 30 minutes before closing

Daily 9.30am–5pm

Last admission 30 minutes before closing


Daily 10am–4pm*

Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January

*St Davids Bishop's Palace will be closed on 15, 16 & 17 January due to unforseen circumstances. 

Please note: during extreme weather conditions we may need to close monuments at short notice, please check our social media channels before visiting to ensure the site is open and safe to visit.

Facebook @CadwWales | Twitter @cadwwales

Prices & Tickets

Category Price
Member - Join now
Disabled person and companion
Juniors (Aged 5-17) / Students
Seniors (Aged 65+)

*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children 

All children under 5 receive free entry.

Blue Light Card holders and HM Armed Forces & Veterans receive 10% off admission (not available online).


Access guide icon Baby changing icon Bike storage icon Pay and Display car park icon Dogs welcome icon Exhibition icon Gift shop icon Guidebook icon Drone policy icon No smoking icon Picnic tables icon Portable hearing icon School visits icon Toilets icon Venue hire icon Water refill station icon

Please read our accessibility guidance for information on how to plan your visit.

St Davids Bishop's Palace — Access Guide

Toilets available with baby changing facilities.

Bike storage area available in car park or close to the monument.

Principal car park (Merivale) is a short walk along surfaced road, with some slopes. (approx. 300 metres) 

Approx. space for 100 cars and several disabled car spaces. 

Parking outside monument is not restricted but becomes very busy, particularly during school holidays and on Sundays.

However, it can be used as a drop off point.

Dogs on leads welcome to access ground floor levels of the site.

On-site exhibition within monument.

Gift shop at this site offering a range of products and guidebooks.

Site guidebook available to purchase online and in selected visitor centres.

Please read our policy information about flying drones at Cadw monuments: read the guidance

Smoking is not permitted.

Picnic benches and /or tables are available for visitor use.


A portable induction loop is available.

To book your free self-led education visit to this site, go to our self-led education visits section.

While you're there, check out our free learning resources to help with your time travel adventure!


Toilets are located on site and are at ground floor level — including an accessible cubicle with a ramp.

This site is available to hire for events, filming and exhibitions.

Water refill station available at this site.


A487 to St Davids, minor road past Cathedral.
25km/16mls, Haverfordwest Rail Station, on the Milford Haven route.
250m/270yards, route No 411 Haverfordwest - St Davids/Fishguard. Route no 413 Fishguard - St Davids.
NCN Route No.4 On route.

Postcode SA62 6PE.

For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 0000 or National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50.

Contact us

Telephone 03000 252239


St Davids Bishop's Palace
The Close
St Davids
Pembrokeshire SA62 6PE

For contractors, educational visits and deliveries please ring 01437 720517
Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh.