Tomen y Mur - Sarah Woodbury

Tomen y Mur

  • Tomen y Mur is one of those special places whose history covers thousands of years, with one chapter being the era of Robert of Rhuddlan.
  • The site has been fortified for two thousand years
    • Local people were there first
      • Welsh mythology references the place with a story of Lleu and Blodeuwedd in the Mabinogion.
    • Romans
      • 78 AD and abandoned it in 140 AD.
      • Built walls, a fort, barracks, baths, parade ground, and small amphitheater—one of the few for just military personnel but an indication of the hardship of the posting.
      • The reason for the fort was because in the 50s AD, the Ordovices had wiped out a Roman legion
      • Roman response was to move into the area in force and almost eliminate the entire people.
      • Tomen y Mur was built to oversee the remaining few and protect the crossroads of a particularly lawless area (from the Roman perspective) of Wales.
    • Welsh occupied it next after the Romans left
      • earthworks date from that time.
    • Normans starting in the 1090s threw up the earthen motte that still exists today.
      • Tomen y Mur, which means Mount in the Walls.
      • One of many in the era of Robert of Rhuddlan The motte itself is a near-circular steep-sided mound, about 36m in diameter and 6.5m high with an embanked ditch runs around the foot of the mound. It was built of stone blocks taken from the fort ruins and may conceal a standing Roman gate.
      • Site occupied by the Normans for only a short while before the Welsh took it over again, around 1094.
    • The last mention of Tomen y Mur is in 1114 when Henry I stopped there in his aborted attempt to conquer this portion of Wales.
    • Site continued to be used as a farm and the rail line for the slate mines cut right through the middle of the ampitheatre

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