Promoting an interest in the history of Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh Son of Prophecy, his life, times and society and his great Welsh War of Independence;also promoting causes today in Glyndwr's spirit and promoting the flying of the Glyndwr flag on Sept 16 Glyndwr Day.

Friday, March 09, 2007

1407: Castell Aberytwyth under Seige, the beginning of the end?

The Siege of Castell Aberystwyth:

Owain Glyndwr had captured the Castle of Aberystwyth in 1404. Later, it was placed under the commandership of Rhys Ddu ap Gruffydd of Ceredigion, a local 'Arwr Glyndwr' whom is very much ignored by local Aberystyth Patriots today - despite our calls for a local 'Llwybr Rhys Ddu' to be developed and for memorial markers and commorative plaques to be placed to indicate where this hero had, once, locally resided and how he had defended Castell Aberystwyth. However, to date nothing has been done - not even in 2004 to commemorate the capture of the Castle by Glyndwr! Hopefully though this year, we really hope that local patriots will mark the 600th anniversary of the siege of Castell Aberystwyth and that they will follow on this by working with Ceredigion Patriots now living in London to mark and memorialise Rhys Ddu's execution which took place there in 2010.

By 2007, the Welsh were in retreat, the English had launched a major military offensive which by May of 1407 had brought Prince Henry, his best commanders, a vast army plus a number of cannons to the gates of Aberystwyth Castle to begin a long eventful siege which would last into 1408.

For a full history of this siege, refer to good 'Hanes Glyndwr' books. There's a really good choice out there now and of course a web search for Aberystwyth Castle will reveal a great deal. Suffice here for me to mention a few important facts such as:

*Aberystwyth Castle: First ''British Castle'' to suffer assault by Cannon.

* Glyndwr relieved the castle with a 1000 men.

* The bad Winter of 1407 - 8 broke Welsh resolve; many died within the Castle.

* Spring 1408 witnessed the English return in great force.

* Summer 1408, English launch a devastating full frontal attack on Castell Aberystwyth.

* Gwylim Gwyn ap Rhys Llwyd of Cydweli is beheaded by a cannon ball.

* In the early Autumn the Welsh surrendered - with terms - allowing them to march away.

The English quickly move north to begin the siege of Castell Harlech ''Citadel Glyndwr'', which holds out untill 1409.
A sad but very important part of the Glyndwr history but the question now is... Is Aberystwyth Pobl Glyndwr and other patriots up to organising a 'Rally for Glyndwr' at the castle? Surely, there must be a small group of patriots there to lead the way and to lobby the council to erect the aforementione commemmorative plaque? In any case, we would suggest that 'Pobl Glyndwr' from all parts of Cymru might like to organise a day trip to Aberystwyth this year to raise their own 'baner Glyndwr' at the castle in rememberance of 'Rhys Ddu and the other Welsh that perished there. If you do, we would welcome your photographs.

Note: We have suggested to a number of Patriotic Pro - Active Welsh Independance Groups such as the organisers of http://independent-wales.blogspot.com that they organise an Independence 'Statement of Intent' event at the castle on May day. If possible, why not a Glyndwr March from 'Sgwar Glyndwr' to the Castle, good patriotic potential there.
1404, Dark clouds of retreat over Castell Aberystwyth, but, in 2004 maybe a Patriotic revival?

Post Script: Advance Announcement.

Rhys Ddu ap Gruffydd Memorial Memo.

Rhys Ddu was captured in 1410, whilst participating in the last great raid into Shropshire. He was taken to London and imprisoned in the Tower of London, and later dragged to Tyburn tied to a hurdle. There he was executed by being hung, drawn and quartered. His head was later displayed on London Bridge and four parts of his body was distributed to four towns of the realm of England. If any Pobl Glyndwr and other patriots, especially those who live in London - and especially those of Ceredigion descent are up for it? Why not organise a Rhys Ddu Rememberence Rally at Marble Arch (see photo 1 below, where Sian is standing) following where individuals may place tributes at the execution site, marked by the plaque (see photo 3) in the traffic Island opposite Marble Arch (see photo 2). Please note, this is at a very busy road system so, I suggest the ''Rememberence Rally'' is held early on a Sunday morning at the recommended location (See photo 1) as I doubt very much if the police will be happy with a rally being held on the traffic Island but would, no doubt, allow individuals to lay wreaths/flowers/Ivy. I do suggest you contact the local police for their permission and assistence as well as any other neccessaery authorities. Following the above, a good long ''Sponsored Fund Raising walk'' to London Bridge would be a good idea to carry out a ceremony there also with Wreaths/flowers/Ivy tributes being placed at a suitable spot. As I have no date for the execution of Rhys Ddu then maybe the ''London Welsh'' would consider doing this as part of their 'Dydd Glyndwr' 16 Medi 1400 Commemorative celebrations. Note, I shall post up more information soon on Rhys Ddu and other 'Arwyr Glyndwr'. Do get in touch if keen to help.

Juratus Oweyn.

This posting was by Gethin ap Gruffydd, Research Director for Embassy Glyndwr.