It’s Saint Deiniol’s day today, 11th September, St.Deiniol was the founder of Bangor and the 1st Bishop in Gwynedd

Deiniol (a Celtic form of the name Daniel), born in the early 6th century, was an important figure in the development of Christianity in North Wales. The son of a Celtic chieftain, Deiniol settled in Bangor (known at the time as Bangor Fawr) on the Menai Straits where King Maelgwn of Gwynedd gave him lands to establish a monastic Cathedral, he founded two monasteries, both named Bangor, one of which was close to the modern town (city) of that name. These were flourishing houses, allegedly with a total of over 2000 monks; many were to perish near Chester at the hands of a pagan king of Northumbria.

The statute of St.Deiniol above the door of Bangor Cathedral.

The statute of St.Deiniol above the door of Bangor Cathedral.

Deiniol himself is regarded as the first bishop of Bangor. There are numerous dedications to him in North Wales (including the famous library which the Prime Minister Gladstone established in his country seat at Hawarden, near Chester), but few in the South. In 545 he and St. Dyfrig, who worked in the border country, took part in a synod with St. David which settled many matters regarding the discipline of penance (something over which Celtic Christians enthused); this suggests that Deiniol was regarded as David’s equal.

Though he died at Bangor Fawr on 11th September 584, his body was taken to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) to be buried. The Cathedral at Bangor (Fawr) is still dedicated to him today.

The statute of St.Deiniol can be seen in the photo which is above the door of Bangor Cathedral.