June 28, 2012 by

Dryslwyn Castle

10 comments

Categories: Research, Tags: , , , , , ,

Dryslwyn Castle is built on the same ridge as Dinefwr Castle. It is likely that Lord Rhys, the ruler of Deheubarth in the 12th century, maintained a stronghold in both places, although both castles were rebuilt in stone by later rulers.

Dryslwyn Castle as it exists today “stands on top of a hill overlooking the Tywi valley. Its date of construction is unknown but the similarity between it and neighbouring Dinefwr Castle suggest that it was built at a similar time and possibly by the same person. The most likely builder was Rhys Gryg who occupied Dinefwr in the early 13th century, or possibly his son Maredudd, who inherited Dryslwyn from his father.

By the late 13th century the castle at Dryslwyn had developed into the largest native Welsh castle in South Wales. In 1277 the English king, Edward I sent an army into Wales to defeat Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. Maredudd’s son, Rhys, who had inherited Dryslwyn after his fathers death in 1271, surrendered without a fight and was allowed to keep his castle. Dinefwr Castle was not as quick to surrender and as a result was forfeited by the king. Dryslwyn now had an English neighbour, a situation that was not well received by Rhys who felt he had a claim to the lands. In 1287 Rhys, enraged by years of border disputes with his English neighbours, captured the castles of Dinefwr,Carreg Cennen and Llandovery. The English response was swift and an army of 11,000 men recaptured the castles and defeated Rhys after a three week siege at Dryslwyn. Rhys escaped but was eventually captured and executed for treason.” http://www.castlexplorer.co.uk/wales/dryslwyn/dryslwyn.php

Can anyone say irony.  During the 1282 war, Rhys found allegiance to Edward better suited his needs and did not support Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in his quest to maintain and independent Wales.  Whoops.

10 Responses to Dryslwyn Castle

  1. Venkata P.

    Why do I get the feeling, that when we meet Hywel in the 4th book,
    he is going to be a dislikable brat like Dafydd(Llwellyn’s brother)

    (Note: ARRRRRGH! This is the ONE fact that i hate about Welsh culture:
    both heroes and villians share the same names.)

  2. Venkata P.

    Also, where are Daffydd’s sons (the Daffydd who’s Llewellyn’s brother)in the series? They were already born at this time, weren’t they, and still quite aliv?

    • Sarah Post author

      They are alive and quite young. Yes, Llywelyn has taken over Powys–he got the all of Wales after Prince of Time.

  3. Venkata P.

    And does this mean, that Llywelyn has taken over Powys, since Owain ap Gruffydd was reported to have fled from Wales in the 1285 war.

  4. Venkata P.

    Wow, and Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn is just as bad.
    And speaking of that old goat, where is he?
    Did he die in the 3 year gap?

  5. Venkata P.

    Irony.

    But is he the same Rhys who’s one of the lords didcussing whether David should go to a meeting with King Edward in Footsteps of Time?

    If he is, he changed his mind quick enough.

    • Sarah Post author

      He is Rhys ap Maredudd, mentioned with his cousin, Rhys Wynod, in the latter half of Footsteps in Time. In ‘real’ history, he was alone among the major Welsh princes not to support Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. I figured after the victory over Edward in the book, he would have seen the writing on the wall and switched sides 🙂

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