Hen Castell

Hen Castell is a medieval, moated fortification near the village of Llangattock, Crickhowell. “Hen Castell” means “Old Castle” in Welsh. The name could apply to pretty much any of the castles we’ve ever visited, but in this case also indicates how little we know about the site and its origins. Cadw, the Welsh historical society, investigated the site and calls it “the remains of a well-preserved medieval moated homestead.” At one time it is likely the mound, which is about three meters high, was rectangular, and it is surrounded by a flat-bottomed ditch. The land on which it stood was generally considered part of the domain of the nearby castle at Crickhowell, which would have been visible from the site when it was a complete fortification. Crickhowell was controlled by a succession of Norman lords, including the Tubervilles, the Mortimers, Read more…

Wigmore Castle

Wigmore Castle is a medieval fortress located in the March in northwest Herefordshire. It was built initially after the Norman conquest of England by the first earl of Hereford, William FitzOsbern, who also built Chepstow Castle. Fitz Osbern rebelled against William the Conqueror in 1075, however, in what has been called the ‘Revolt of the Earls’, prompted by William’s refusal to allow the marriage of Fitz Osbern’s daughter to the Earl of East Anglia. At their subsequent defeat, and FitzOsbern’s death, King William seized Wigmore and gave it to one of his faithful followers, Ranulph de Mortimer, and from then on it was the seat of the Mortimer earldom in the March. The castle has gone through many reconstructions over the centuries, most of which took place in the 12th-14th centuries, before the decline of the Mortimers after the execution Read more…

The First Welsh Parliament

The first Welsh parliament was established by Owain Glyndwr (Owain Glendower) in 1404 in Machynlleth, a small town on the northwest coast of Wales, not far from Harlech Castle, which was his seat. “In 1404, Glyndwr assembled a parliament of four men from every commot in Wales at Machynlleth, drawing up mutual recognition treaties with France and Spain.”  http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bowen/owainglyndwr.html The Owain Glyndwr Centre exists now on the site of the building where this was established and Owain was crowned Prince of Wales.  http://www.canolfanglyndwr.org/ Background: “Glyndwr was a member of the dynasty of northern Powys and, on his mother’s side, descended from that of Deheubarth in the south. The family had fought for Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in the last war and regained their lands in north-east Wales only through a calculated association with the powerful Marcher lords of Chirk, Bromfield and Yale Read more…