Dolbadarn Castle

Dolbadarn Castle is only 6 1/2 miles as the crow flies from the Menai Straits, and yet, the topography of the area is such that it was built by Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) to guard the mountain pass from Caernarfon to the upper Conwy Valley.  ‘Its position at the tip of Llyn Padarn allowed the garrison to blockade anyone’s movement through that part of the north, then as now a main link to the rest of Wales. The military worth of the spot was evidently recognized as early as Read More…

Eryri (Snowdonia)

Eryri, Snowdonia in English, was the place in Gwynedd to which the Princes of Wales retreated, and their final stronghold when the English pressed on them from every side.  Mt. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) has always been at its center, but it traditionally included the Carneddau range and essentially all the land west of the Conwy River. It is the land the Edward allowed Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to keep in the 1277 treaty.  Today, as a national park, it includes 838 square miles. From John T Koch, Celtic Culture: An Historical Read More…

Sharing some pics from Wales …

My husband has kept these hidden on his drive until now, so I hadn’t even seen them!   These two pictures were taken on a nothing of a road from Devil’s Bridge (east of Aberystwyth) through the Elan Valley to Cilmeri.  The road was protected by a cattle guard on either end, was really only one lane (albeit paved), and we saw two cars and a million sheep for the two hours we were on it.   The rock is broken over the English translation and at first I couldn’t Read More…

The Brothers Gwynedd

Once there were three brothers:  Owain, Llywelyn, and Dafydd … For more information about Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and his rule of Wales, as well as the difficulties posed by the Norman encroachments, see: 11 December 1282 Arwystli The Battle of the Menai Straits Betrayal in the Belfry of Bangor Biography of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Cymerau Dafydd ap Gruffydd Dafydd ap Llywelyn, Prince of Wales (d. 1246) The Death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Eleanor (Elinor) de Montfort Family Tree of the Royal House of Wales Gwynedd after 1282 Historiography of the Read More…