St. Deiniol of Bangor: First life
St. Deiniol was a Celtic chieftain of North Britain, who founded two monasteries at Bangor Fawr and Bangor Iscoed. The monks at Bangor Iscoed totalled over 2000 before they were routed in battle by the pagan King of Northumbria. According to Bede, it had been the most famous monastery of British Christianity. St Deiniol was regarded as the first Bishop of Bangor, comparable in status with St. David and St. Dyfrig. Several churches in North Wales are dedicated to St. Deiniol, which is perhaps why the great Liberal prime minister W.E. Gladstone dedicated his famous library to him at Hawarden.
As for the library, Gladstone’s Library, known until 2010 as St Deiniol’s Library, is a residential library in Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales2. It is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial Library and the national memorial to William Ewart Gladstone2. The library was founded by Gladstone in 1894 and is open to anyone who wishes to use its collections and services3.
St. Deiniol was a saintly man who established himself in Gwynedd in the early 6th century. He settled in Bangor Fawr on the Menai Straits where King M?lgwn of Gwynedd gave him lands to establish a monastic Cathedral. He later refounded the monastery at Bangor-Is-y-Coed under the patronage of his uncle, King Brochfael Ysgythrog of Powys. Deiniol attended the Synod of Llandewi Brefi where he was consecrated Bishop of Bangor (Fawr) by St.Dewi himself. Upon his return, he is said to have founded churches at Llandeiniol in Dyfed and Llanfor and Llanuwchllyn near Lake Bala. Though he died at Bangor Fawr on 11th September 584, his body was taken to Ynys Enlli to be buried. The Cathedral at Bangor (Fawr) is still dedicated to him today.
Source: Conversation with Bing, 10/12/2023 – Summary of Celtic and Old English Saints – 10 December (celticsaints.org)
Reference: – Celtic and old English saints – 10 December (2023) Celticsaints.org. Available at: https://celticsaints.org/2023/1210a.html (Accessed: December 10, 2023).
Image .1 Attribution Alan Fryer / Deiniol Sant Cadeirlan Bangor Cathedral St Deiniol / BY-SA 2.0
Image 2. Attribution Alan Fryer / Cadeirlan Bangor Cathedral / CC BY-SA 2.0