The Revolt of 1136

Warfare was nearly constant in Wales both before and after the Norman conquest.  Of course, the Normans didn’t actually conquer Wales–only parts of it–until the final defeat of Llywelyn in 1282. In the years since[…]

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Simon de Montfort

Simon de Montfort led a rebellion, successful for a time, against King Henry III of England, and paid the ultimate price at the battle of Evesham, falling in defeat to the forces of Edward (at the[…]

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The Kingdoms of France

You might ask, and reasonably so, why a blog about medieval Wales would be posting about the kingdoms of France in the Middle Ages. The main reason is that it’s hard to understand the Norman[…]

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Brecon Castle

Brecon Castle was begun in 1093 by Bernard de Newmarch, when (as my book ‘Welsh Castles’ puts it) ‘he established his lordship of Brecon.’  The Normans had only come to Britain in 1066 and it[…]

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A Medieval Siege

Besieging a castle was a far more common form of warfare than a fight on an open battlefield.  Sieges had the element of surprise and required fewer men than battle too, such that a ruler[…]

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Viking Raids

Last year a story came out about 51 headless Vikings unearthed at a site in Weymouth, England.  http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03/12/viking.olympics/index.html “On Friday, officials revealed that analysis of the men’s teeth shows they were Vikings, executed with sharp[…]

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Gerald of Wales

Gerald of Wales was born in in Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire (Dyfed), South Wales in 1145 or 1146. His father was a Norman Knight, William de Barri. His mother was Angharad, granddaughter of Princess Nest, a[…]

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