Battle of Crogen

The Battle of Crogen took place in a field in Powys adjacent to Offa’s Dyke and marked by a 1200 year old oak tree. History has recorded this battle as occurring 1165 between a combined Welsh force that included Owain Gwynedd, his nephew, the Lord Rhys, and the sons of King Madog of Powys, for once fighting with Owain instead of against him. They were opposed by an invasion force led by King Henry II, who was attempting to curb the power of the Welsh. To that end, he brought the largest army the Welsh had ever faced: 30,000 men. Henry also hired upwards of 2000 woodcutters to cut a path through the forest. But when the English army tried to force its way through a gap in Offa’s Dyke, the Welsh rained thousands of arrows down upon them from Read more…

Pen y Castell

Pen y Castell has been called “a primitive castle of unknown history”. It is located in North Wales, about 7 miles upstream from the town of Conwy, on the east bank of the Conwy River, near Cadair Ifan Goch and above the village of Maenan. During the medieval period, it would have guarded an important river crossing. The castle was constructed similarly to that of Garn Fadryn on the Llyn Peninsula. In his 12th century chronicle, Gerald of Wales indicates that in 1188 Garn Fadryn was newly built, likely by the sons of Owain Gwynedd. It is possible that Pen Y Castell was built by them at the same time. Still visible today, if you beat a path through the woods, are the remains of walls and a keep, all almost entirely overgrown with vegetation. It is particularly beautiful in Read more…