Bishop Marshall Panel returns to Llandaff

One of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures has returned to Llandaff following six years away for restoration.

The Bishop Marshall Panel was painted in 1480 for the throne of Bishop John Marshall, Bishop of Llandaff from 1478 to his death in 1496. He is buried on the north side of the sanctuary and his will specified that a book of psalms should be chained there.

The panel is all that remains of the Bishop’s throne and is an important survival of late medieval painting. It portrays the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and features Bishop Marshall himself in the bottom right-hand corner.

In the rebuilding of the Cathedral in the 18th century the panel was re-used as part of the tester over the altar. The panel features an inscription from this time: “Part of Bishop Marshall’s Throne/ done in the year 1480 and set here/ in ye year 1736…”. In the post-1945 restoration, the panel was set in a wooden sedilia by the architect George Pace.

Of the four remaining medieval bishop’s thrones that exist in the UK, none have their painted coatings, making the Bishop Marshall Panel uniquely important. The panel was restored by Rachel Howells and it is now on the wall next to the Chapter House on the south side of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Chapter are delighted to see it return home to Llandaff and are grateful for the funding received which enabled it to be restored. The Friends of Llandaff Cathedral committed £44,000 to the project and funding was also granted by The Leche Trust, The St Andrew’s Conservation Trust and The William & Jane Morris Fund of the Society of Antiquaries in London.