Betrayal in the Belfry at Bangor

“And there was effected the betrayal of Llywelyn in the belfry of Bangor by his own men.”
Brut y Tywysogyon, Peniarth manuscript 20. (Chronicle of the Princes)

This comment is sandwiched between the description of the defeat of the English at the Menai Strait on November 6th, and the death of Llywelyn on December 11th. It is only found in the manuscript kept at the National Library of Wales, not the incomplete version at Oxford, which ends with the firing of Aberystwyth Castle on Palm Sunday (April, 1282). Here is the full record for the year 1282:

“In this year Gruffydd ap Maredudd and Rhys Fychan ap Rhys ap Maelgwn took the castle and town of Aberystwyth. And Rhys gained possession of the cantref of Penweddig and Gruffydd the commot of Mefenydd. On Palm Sunday took place the breach between Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and Edward Longshanks, king of England. And the autumn after that, the king and his host came to Rhuddlan. And he sent a fleet of ships to Anglesey, and they gained possession of Arfon. And then was made the bridge over the Menai; but the bridge broke and countless numbers of the English were drowned and others slain.  And then was effected the betrayal of Llywelyn in the belfry at Bangor by his own men.

And then Llywelyn ap Gruffydd left Dafydd, his brother, guarding Gwynedd; and he himself and his host went to gain possession of Powys and Builth. And he gained possession as far as Llanganten. And thereupon he sent his men and his steward to receive the homage of the men of Brycheiniog, and the prince was left with but a few men with him. And then Roger Mortimer and Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, and with them the king’s host, came upon them without warning; and then Llywelyn and his foremost men were slain on the day of Damasus the Pope, a fortnight to the day from Christmas day; and that was a Friday.”

The document is located here: http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=chronicleoftheprincespeniar

The question that springs to mind immediately as a result of this statement is–That’s it? What happened in the belfry? What does the author mean by ‘betrayal’?

It may well be that at the time, the answer was so memorable that the author didn’t feel the need to write it down, but since the English so effectively and systematically suppressed Wales after Llywelyn’s defeat, 750 years later, we don’t know the answer to that question.

Given that Llywleyn was cut down in Buellt on the 11th of December, only a few short weeks later, the statement begs for more information. But there isn’t any. Even the fabulous biography of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, written by J. Beverley Smith, has no answer for us. Such are the limits to history: if our ancestors didn’t write down what they knew, we have no way of recovering that information. For an event as momentous as the betrayal of Llywelyn, it seems amazing to know so much, and yet, so little.

 

The Battle of the Menai Strait

“And he sent a fleet of ships to Anglesey, and they gained possession of Arfon. And then was made the bridge over the Menai; but the bridge broke and countless numbers of the English were drowned and others slain.”    –Brut y Twysogion, Peniarth Manuscript 20  (Chronicle of the Princes).

On November 6th, 1282, the Welsh achieved an historic victory over the English, who had thought to surprise them by crossing the Menai Strait and driving down the coast to Aber (Garth Ceylyn), Prince Llywelyn’s seat on the Welsh north coast.

The Menai Strait is the narrow body of water that separates Anglesey from Gwynedd proper.  The river-like flow changes course according to the tide.  The rising tide approaches from the south-west, causing the water in the Strait to flow north-eastwards as the level rises. It then flows counter-clockwise around Anglesey until, a few hours later, it shifts, and begins to flow the opposite way.

At that point, the water runs through the Strait in a south-westerly direction from Bangor (on the mainland) and Llanfaes (on Anglesey).   It was Llanfaes where the English commander, Tany, held his troops, waiting to cross to attack.

By the time the tide reverses course, the tidal flow from the Caernarfon end has weakened, even if the tide continues to rise in height throughout the straight.   Thus, slack water between Anglesey and Gwynedd tends to occur approximately one hour before high tide or low tide.

On the day of the attack, the English hoped to cross near high tide, when the water would be it’s calmest.  They began at noon, with high tide at 1 pm.  But the Welsh swept down from the heights above the beach and stopped them. The ferocity of their attack forced the English soldiers back across the bridge, which then broke under the weight of the men, horses, and equipment.  By then, the tide was in full spate, moving west at 2.5 knots.

History records that 16 English knights, another 16 squires, and 300 footmen died that day.

Prince Llywelyn believed he could capitalize on this victory by leaving his brother, Dafydd, in charge of Gwynedd and going southeast to Powys to garner support among the other Welsh lords of Wales.  Unfortunately, he was lured into a trap at Cilmeri and killed only a month later, on 11 December 1282.

Mystery Blowout Sale!

Mystery Blowout Sale!
Get 12 books for free or 99 cents!Some friends and I got together for a massive 12-book sale on historical mysteries, from medieval times to modern, through Sunday November 4!
Scroll down for the links.

By Sarah Woodbury (me!)
99 cents! … Medieval to Modern
(containing The Bard’s Daughter)
FREE! … The Good Knight
99 Cents! … The Uninvited Guest
99 Cents! … The Fourth Horseman

By M. Louisa Locke
FREE! … Maids of Misfortune
FREE! … Pilfered Promises

By M. Ruth Myers
FREE! … No Game for a Dame
99 Cents! … Maximum Moxie

By Anna Castle
FREE! … Murder by Misrule
99 Cents! … Death by Disputation

By Libi Astaire
FREE! … Tempest in a Tearoom
99 Cents! … The Doppleganger’s Dance

The After Cilmeri Series Companion
Releasing November 6, 2018
Available now for preorder!
http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/the-after-cilmeri-series/the-after-cilmeri-series-companion/

Halloween in Wales

fallen princess blogAs I sit here munching candy corn (which my 14 year old declares ‘the best candy’–even better than chocolate–though he can’t have any because he’s allergic to corn), I’m thinking about the Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery, The Fallen Princess, which takes place at Halloween.  Except that during the Middle Ages, it was called ‘All Hallow’s Eve’, the day before All Saint’s Day, and it was less about candy and more about a belief in actual spirits.

All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween, has its roots in an older, pagan tradition, called Nos Calan Gaeaf , Welsh for Samhain, a Gaelic word meaning ‘Summer’s End’.  This is the most well-known Halloween tradition in Wales.   http://www.controverscial.com/Samhain.htm  The Welsh translation, interestingly, is ‘the first of winter’.

From the National Museum of Wales:  “A pagan holiday dating back to the Iron Age Celts, Samhain was considered to be the Celtic New Year. It was adopted by the Romans as their own festival when they invaded Britain. Many parts of this festival are echoed in our modern Halloween parties.

Jack O lanterns were originally made from turnips and used to guide the dead back to earth, and the Celts also dressed in costumes much as we do today, but they would use animal skins!  The Romans believed that monsters, gods and magic spells were all around them.”  http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/whatson/?event_id=3734

“November 1 was considered the end of the summer period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. It was also a time when the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in these ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favourable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century ad, they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.”  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/252875/Halloween

“November was also the month of death in the Celtic calendar, where animals were slaughtered to provide meat for winter. Indeed, the Modern Welsh for November Tachwedd literally means ‘The Month of Slaughter’. This often began with a feast on November 1st where pigs were slaughtered (part of this folklore is preserved in the Cymric (Welsh) legend of Arawn and Hafgan, as told in the Mabinogi of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed.”  http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/halloween-recipes.php

With the coming of Christianity, these traditions were converted to blend in more with the Christian calendar and Christian sensibilities. “In 601AD, Pope Gregory made an important directive. He announced that Christian missionaries were to take a new tack when attempting to convert pagans to the Christian religion. Christian missionaries he said, where possible, should incorporate the beliefs, festivals and sacred sites of pagan beliefs into the Christian religion. This directive meant that the important Celtic festival of Samhain had to be marked in a Christian manner.

In the year 609 AD, All Saints Day was officially designated a Church feast, which was celebrated in May and was later moved to November by Pope Gregory in 835 AD. The Christian Church may have intended that people would spend their time praying for the souls of the dead on an important holy day. However, the fact that this was a day off from work gave many people even more of an excuse to celebrate Halloween with more excitement and excess than ever.

In the eleventh century, a further festival was added to the church calendar; All Souls Day on 2 November. The three festivals of All-Hallows Eve, All Saints and All Souls were together known as Hallowmas.” http://suite101.com/article/halloween-in-medieval-times-a71922

“Despite the Church’s success in establishing a Christian foundation for the autumn celebrations, many of the ancient customs and traditions associated with them were still practiced by the population. The carving of gourds and the wearing of costumes and masks to scare away malevolent spirits are typical of the superstitions carried over from these celebrations into the All Hallows Eve observance.

The custom of “trick-or-treating” has its origins in a ritual wherein the elders of a village or town would go from house to house and receive offerings of food and gifts for the souls of dead friends and relatives thought to visit on this night. This practice evolved during the Middle Ages, when beggars would travel from village to village and beg for “soul cakes”. Villagers would offer prayers along with the cakes to those who had died in the past year for their transition to heaven.”  http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/all_hallows_eve.html

For more customs of Calan Gaeaf: 

The After Cilmeri Series Companion releases November 6, 2018!

Open a door to the world of the After Cilmeri series! With chapters on historical context, the Welsh language, characters, places in the books, and the writing process, and including hundreds of photographs, maps, timelines, and family trees, this guide highlights the characters, places, and worlds brought to life by the series’ first fifteen novels.

Release date: November 6, 2018

Get in paperback:
Amazon US   Amazon UK  Amazon DE

Worldwide Amazon Link to digital version: https://www.books2read.com/corneroftime

After November 6th, the book will be available in paperback at other Amazon stores as well as through payhip.com in a navigable PDF , which can be read across devices, including in the Kindle app, Google Play app, Adobe app, or other PDF readers on any smartphone, tablet, or computer.

I very much wanted the book available directly from retailers besides Amazon, but none of them are set up to sell high quality, fixed, photograph heavy epubs. Fortunately, all color tablets, smartphones, and computers support both PDFs and Kindle apps. I didn’t want to sell readers a book that I wasn’t happy with ? Hopefully everyone can find a product that works for them!

Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales

410px-Arms_of_Dafydd_ap_Gruffydd.svgDafydd ap Gruffydd was the younger brother of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of Wales who ruled portions of Wales, to a greater or lesser degree, since the death of his uncle (also named Dafydd) in 1246.  The younger Dafydd was born in 1238, at least a decade after Llywelyn.  This Dafydd spent the majority of his life in England, to which his family was forced to come when his father was imprisoned at the Tower of London by King Henry.  At the time, Llywelyn had refused to leave Wales with the rest of his family, and thus was on the spot, so to speak, when his uncle Dafydd died. The family itself, however, was not imprisoned, and Dafydd grew up as a close companion to Prince Edward himself, a fact which could explain much of his later behavior.

At that point, Dafydd ap Gruffydd was only 8 years old, and in no sense prepared to put forth a claim to his patrimony.  When later he did, Llywelyn refused, and the lands that he acquired were given to him by his older brother, Owain, who had split Gwynedd equally with Llywelyn.  In 1255, believing he deserved more, Dafydd conspired with Owain to gain control of all of Gwynedd for themselves and were defeated by Llywelyn in the Battle of Bryn Derwin.  Llywelyn imprisoned them both initially, but then accepted Dafydd back into his favor a year later and gave him lands in eastern Gwynedd centered around Denbigh,which Llywelyn had taken from the English during the Rising of 1256. Over the next five years, he brought Dafydd more and more into his confidence until suddenly, in 1263, Dafydd defected to the English (and Prince Edward). To this day historians have no idea why though various apologists for Dafydd have suggested that he was dissatisfied with what he’d acquired from Llywelyn for his five years of loyalty.

To say that Dafydd had a problematic relationship with Llywelyn is woefully understate the case. Llywelyn kept Owain Goch imprisoned until forced to release him in 1277, but he released Dafydd after Bryn Derwin and gave him lands, ultimately bowing to his younger brother’s rightful claim as a prince of Wales. He was also, throughout his life, Llywelyn’s sole heir, as Llywelyn never had a son in or out of wedlock. At the time, Llywelyn perceived Owain, the elder brother, as the greater threat.

From Brynne Haug:  “Dafydd’s choice to turn to Edward in 1263 and again in 1274 was self-serving in that he believed his chances better with the king than with Llywelyn. Llywelyn had little choice but to accept Dafydd back when he changed his mind: in 1267 Edward I stipulated it in the Treaty of Mongomery, and it was again a condition in 1277.”

What’s more, in late 1274, Owain ap Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn confessed to Anian, the Bishop of Bangor, a man, by the way, who was not an ally of Llywelyn and often opposed him, that he had conspired with Dafydd to assassinate Llywleyn, the attempt being thwarted by a snowstorm. As J. Beverly Smith writes:

“The fullest account comes from a letter which the dean and chapter of Bangor addressed to the archbishop of Canterbury in the spring of 1276. Much of the substance of the letter is, however, corroborated by two documents from the critical year itself and  by an entry in the Brut y Tywysogyon. The dean’s letter relates that Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn and his eldest son, Owain, plotted with Dafydd ap Gruffydd to kill Llywelyn.  The conspirators had agreed that  Dafydd should remain in his brother’s entourage until 2 February 1274 when Owain would bring armed men by night to accomplish the deed, but a snowstorm on the night in question confounded their plans.”

Gruffydd acknowledged his guilt and actually retained much of his lands. Owain was imprisoned, as hostage to his father’s good behavior. Dafydd’s part in the plot appears to have been unknown to Llywelyn until late in 1274, when Dafydd was called to account for his actions (which he denied). It was only after Dafydd fled to England that Owain confessed to the bishop the entire plan, and Llywelyn understood fully what had been intended (Smith 1998 p. 369-373). Given Dafydd’s behavior in the past and future, particularly his pride and unwillingness to take second to anyone, Smith argues that Dafydd was the true instigator of the conspiracy (p. 376).

What must have been  most aggravating to Llywelyn was that Dafydd was one of the impetuses for all of the wars against England:  in 1267 and 1277 when Dafydd fought against Llywelyn on the side of the English, and again in 1282, when he forced Llywelyn to throw his weight behind Dafydd himself after Dafydd launched an attack on Edward’s castles in Wales.

Whatever his motives, Dafydd did stay true to Wales after Llywelyn’s death. In June 1283, English soldiers captured Dafydd, took him to Shrewsbury, and, in October, executed him.  He was hung, drawn, and quartered, and his head displayed in the tower of London alongside Llywelyn’s.

Sources:

J. Beverly Smith, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd:  The Prince of Wales.

Brynne Haug, Captive Cymru: Llywelyn and Gwynedd in the Wars of King Edward.

Peniarth MS 20, The Chronicle of the Princes

The Vikings (Danes) in Ireland

Before I learned of the Danish role in the assassination of Anarawd, King of Deheubarth, I had no idea that the Danes had ever conquered parts of Ireland.

The Danes, as a group, were part of a vast migration of men of the North to other regions of the world, initially for plunder and eventually for settlement. Coming from regions that now make up Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, these men went a Viking, and created widespread settlements: to the south, in Normandy and Sicily; to the east into Russia; and to the west in England, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, and the coast of Newfoundland.

The Dublin Danes were part of that tradition, and Ottar and Brodar were real people as described in The Viking Prince, both ruling Dublin in the mid-twelfth century. Brodar and Godfrid were part of an extensive lineage of rulership of Dublin called the Mac Torcalls, whose hegemony was briefly usurped by Ottar, but then reestablished. Scholarship is confused about some of the specifics, but it is clear that members of their clan ruled Dublin until the arrival of the Normans under the leadership of Richard de Clare (Strongbow) and ultimately King Henry, who defeated the Danes and expelled them from Dublin for good in 1171 AD.

The ruling family of Gwynedd, as led for most of the twelfth century by Owain Gwynedd, had both Danish and Irish ancestry. Through Gruffydd ap Cynan, Owain’s father, Prince Hywel is descended from both Sitric Silkbeard, King of Dublin; and Brian Boru, High King of Ireland.

The character Godfrid, Prince of Dublin, makes his first appearance in the Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries in the first book, The Good Knight. He comes to Anglesey at the behest of Prince Cadwaladr of Gwynedd, but quickly realizes that the deal he’s made is not quite what he thought, and Cadwaladr is not worthy of his allegiance. He takes it upon himself to keep Gwen safe and gives her up to Gareth when he comes to Ireland in search of her.

He and Gareth grow to respect each other, and Godfrid returns to Gwynedd in The Fallen Princess, on a quest to find the Book of Kells, which has been stolen, and again in The Lost Brother, in search of allies in his conflict with Ottar of Dublin. In both instances, he ends up aiding Gareth and Gwen in their investigations.

It is the dispute with Ottar that, in the late 1140s, drives Godfrid and his brother, Brodar. They seek to overthrow Ottar, whom they believe usurped their father’s, and now Brodar’s, throne.

With the approach of the summer solstice and the coming thing, the great meeting of the Danes in Dublin, Godfrid is faced with a mystery of his own, which he must solve if his brother’s victory is ever to come to pass …

The Viking Prince is his story.
www.books2read.com/thevikingprince

My books are available in Audio!

All the books in both the After Cilmeri series and the Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries are available in Audiobook!

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If you have never listened to an audiobook or are not an Audible member, you can get any one of my books for FREE by signing up for a free trial (cancel within 30 days). Just click on the link below for the book you want:

Daughter of Time

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Winds of Time

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Crossroads in Time

Children of Time

Exiles in Time

Castaways in Time

Ashes of Time

Warden of Time

Guardians of Time

Masters of Time

Outpost in Time

Shades of Time

Champions of Time

 

The Good Knight

The Uninvited Guest

The Fourth Horseman

The Fallen Princess

The Unlikely Spy

The Lost Brother

The Renegade Merchant

The Unexpected Ally

The Worthy Soldier

The Favored Son

Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd

One of the greatest kings of Gwynedd was Owain Gwynedd, but his father Gruffydd ap Cynan can equally lay stake to such a claim.  His rule was certainly eventful.

Gruffydd ruled in Wales on and off since he was a young man, in between his flights to Ireland when the English—or other Welsh barons—ousted him from Gwynedd.  Gruffydd’s grandfather had been the King of Gwynedd once upon a time, and Gruffydd had claimed the throne as its lawful heir.

But staking his claim hadn’t been easy.  That first time, Gruffydd landed on Anglesey with an Irish and Danish, not Welsh, force.  After he defeated Trahaearn, the man who’d usurped his throne, Gruffydd led his army eastwards to reclaim territories the Normans had taken over during the unrest.  Despite the prior assistance given to him by the Norman, Robert of Rhuddlan, Gruffydd attacked and destroyed Rhuddlan castle.

Unfortunately for Gruffydd’s tenure on the throne, tensions between Gruffydd’s Danish-Irish bodyguard and the local Welsh led to a rebellion not long afterwards in Ll?n.  Trahaearn, the previously ousted King of Gwynedd, took the opportunity to counter attack—with a helpful Norman force—defeating Gruffydd at the battle of Bron yr Erw.

Not giving up, six years later in 1081, Gruffydd allied himself with Rhys ap Tudur, Anarawd’s grandfather, and tried again.  This time with a combined Dane, Irish, and Welsh force, he and Rhys marched north from Deheubarth to seek Trahaearn and his allies from Powys. The armies of the two confederacies met, Gruffydd and Rhys emerged victorious, and Trahaearn and his allied kings were killed. Gruffydd was thus able to seize power in Gwynedd for the second time.

But then the Normans counter-attacked, lured Gruffydd into a meeting near Corwen, and captured him.  They imprisoned him for sixteen years.  He finally escaped in 1197 and led a third invasion from Ireland.  After some ups and downs, and with the timely intervention of King Magnus of Norway, Gruffydd stumbled to victory, came to terms with the Norman Earl of Chester, and began to consolidate his power.   By the time his three sons were of age, he’d been King of Gwynedd for twenty years and had negotiated a peace with King Henry of England, who’d tried twice to conquer Gwynedd and failed.

This was the kingdom Owain Gwynedd inherited and the one he strived to defend and expand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruffydd_ap_Cynan  http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/gruffcgd.html

The Summer Solstice

June 21, 2018 is the summer solstice this year, celebrated at Stonehenge and across the globe, for the longest day of the year.  “Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning “sun” + “to stand still.” As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.”  http://www.chiff.com/a/summer-solstice.htm

Within Welsh mythology, there is very little discussion of the solstices or what holidays were celebrated within the celtic/druid year.  This is not the case of Stonehenge, which archaeologists and historians have studied extensively.

“When one stands in the middle of Stonehenge and looks through the entrance of the avenue on the morning of the summer solstice, for example, the Sun will rise above the Heel Stone, which is set on the avenue. If one stands in the entrance and looks into the circle at dusk of that day, the Sun will set between a trilithon.”

http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/Places-of-Mystery-and-Power/Stonehenge.html

There are a couple of stone circles in Wales (more than a couple, but many are ruinous and not properly documented).  One, Bryn Cader Faner, is a small cairn 8,5m (28ft) wide and less than 1m (3ft) high, with fifteen thin slabs leaning out of the mass of the monument like a crown of thorns, near Porthmadog.

http://www.stonepages.com/wales/wales.html

A second is Carn Llechart near Swansea.  It “is one of the largest ring cairns in Wales. It is an unusual circle of 25 stones leaning slightly outwards and surrounding a central burial cist. Aubrey Burl in his “The Stone Circles of British Isles” wrote that such rings were thought to be the first stage of development of stone circles, but that these cairns, however, are almost certainly too late to provide such an ancestry. The reverse seems likely, that the existence of stone circles elsewhere impelled people to place tall stones around the bases of their own round cairns, a fusion of traditions resulting in monuments like spiky coronets. Such cairns may be seen on North and South Uist, and in Wales at Carn Llechart and Bryn Cader Faner.  The circle is 12m (40ft) in diameter, and the central cist has its east side stone and capstone missing. It seems that there is no entry to the circle and no trace of covering mound. A possible date for the site is the 2nd millenium BC.  In the area there are also a Neolithic burial chamber and some Bronze Age cairns.”  (http://www.stonepages.com/wales/wales.html),

Archaeologists are of the opinion that these stone circles have more to do with burial sites than worship, giving them less kinship to Stonehenge than one might think at first.  This site (http://www.geodrome.demon.co.uk/megalith/stone.htm), however, argues strongly for a similar rationale for stone circles in Wales, in which the author has documented the alignment of a number of stone circles.

When we were in Ireland in 2016, we found that many of the barrows, burials, and circles were oriented to the sun, either the winter and summer solstices or the spring equinox in particular.

Welsh Lesson Two

Taken from Basic Welsh: A Grammar and Workbook by Gareth King

Welsh Lesson Two: Nouns and noun plurals

 

Nouns are sorted by whether the word denotes man or woman

Tad – father              mam – mother

 

When the two vowels in a word are a/e: feminine

When the two vowels in a word are o/y: masculine

 

Masculine endings:                          Feminine endings:

-ad      -iad                                         -aeth            -as

-der     -did     -dod                            -en            -es

-dra                                                     -fa

-eb      -edd

-had

-I         -iant

-ni

-rwydd

-wch   -wr

-ydd    -yn

 

Plural endings:
-au      -iau

-on      -ion

-i

-od      -ed      -edd    -oedd  -ydd

-ys (English loanwords)

 

Exceptions:

Words that change internal vowels:

Corff/cyrff     pabell/pebyll

 

Words that change internal vowels and endings:

Braich/breichiau

 

Total exceptions:

Dail – leaves/foliage            deilen – leaf

Moch – pigs                          mochyn – pig

 

Exercise 1: Plural or Singular (circle the plural words)

Siopao

Cath

Teipiadur

Ysgolion

Parseli

Ffenest

Llyfr

Llyfrgelloedd

Stafell

Babanod

Papurau

Gwasanaeth

Cwpan

Geiriaduron

Desgiau

Posteri

Gardd

Coeden

Mochyn

Carped

Crysau

Rhagolygon

Cyfieithwyr

Golygydd

Mynyddoedd

Tywysoges

Bysiau

Goleuadau

Eglwysi

Dannedd

Pysgotwyr

Geiriau

Teigrod

Rhufeiniaid

Bwrdd

Llewod

Brechdanau

Undeb

Rhieni

Plenty

Dynion

Merch

Ffenestri

Olwynion

Llun

Dwr

Fforestydd

Potel

Papur

Llewod

Dramau

Cadeiriau

Pontydd

Tan

Cyfrifon

Nodiadur

Gorsafoedd

Planhigion

Tren

Tapiau

Rhaglenni

Bwydlen

Llaeth

Sanau

stori

 

Exercise 2: Assigning Gender (circle the feminine words)

Bwydlen

cyfieithydd

mynedfa

mochyn

Swyddogaeth

toriad

tywysoges

terfyniad

Plentyn

teyrnas

coeden

rhaglen

Methiant

gyrrwr

tawelwch

awel

Undeb

drygioni

swyddfa

llofruddiaeth

Heddwch

dwyieithrwydd

cyfreithiwr

meithrinfa

Gwaeledd

saesnes

priodas

stafell

 

Welsh Lesson One

Taken from Basic Welsh: A Grammar and Workbook by Gareth King

Welsh Lesson One: Identification Sentences

hwn               this                       hwnna                    that

y rhain          these                    y rheina              those

e/o                 he                             hi                       she

 

hwn               this person (m)                       hon                              this person (f)

hwnna          that person (m)                       honna                          that person (f)

hwnnw         that person who                        honno                         that person who is out of sight (m)                             is out of sight  (f)

 

dw i               I am

 

Pwy               who                              Beth                       what

ydy                is/are                       athrawon                teachers

enw               name                       enwau                       names

prifddinas     capitol                          llyfr                       book

plant             children

 

Query sentences are constructed such that the reply is created by replacing the pronoun in the initial question with the answer to that question.

Pwy dach chi?                                  Who are you?

Taran dw i                                         I am Taran

 

Pwy ydy hwnna?                               Who is that?

Dafydd ydy hwnna                           That is David

 

Pwy ydy’r rheina?                             Who are those people?

Athrawon ydy’r rheina.                   Those people are teachers.

 

Beth ydy prifddinas Ffrainc?          What is the capitol of France?

Paris ydy prifddinas Ffrainc.          Paris is the capitol of France.

 

Beth ydy enwau’r plant?                     What are the children’s names?

Mair a Sioned ydy enwau’r plant    The children’s names are Mair and Sioned.

 

Exercise 1:

Who is that (m)?

Who is this (f)?

What is that?

What are these?

Who are those?

What is this?

Who is this (m)?

Who is that (f)?

 

Exercise 2: Fill in the blanks (rheina, ‘r, pwy, ydy, beth, llyfr, ydy)

 

  1. __________ ydy honna?
  2. Beth ydy ______ rhain?
  3. Pwy __________ hwnna?
  4. _________ ydy hwn?
  5. ________ ___________ hwnna
  6. Pwy ydy’r ____________

 

Exercise 3: Match the sentences

Beth ydy’r rhain?                              Who are these?

Pwy ydy hon ?                                    Who is that?

Beth ydy hwn?                                  What is this?

Pwy ydy’r rhain?                               What are these?

Beth ydy hwnna?                              Who is this?

Pwy ydy honna?                               What is that?