Hydref witnesses two important anniversaries in English/British history that on October 21st being the 200th anniversary of the Sea Battle of Trafalgar 21 October, then on 14 October the Battle of Hastings 1066. Every one born in the British Isles, including most Welsh People over 14 will have heard of both these battles. Majority of people will of course not possess full knowledge regards these very important events in "British History" but they will never have been denied knowledge of such, as much as 'Y Cymry' are often denied knowledge of their history. Thus most peoples of Britain will if asked about Hastings or Trafalgar will have a bit of a clue & come up with some sort of reply. However ask the majority of Cymry about the Battle of Crug Mawr 1136 & few will have any clue at all, thus our campaign on behalf of Welsh Battlefields is as much to with providing information & education as it is to "PRESERVE & PROTECT".
The Battle of Crug Mawr 1136.
10th Hydref 1136. The Cymry won the Battle of Crug Mawr, Abertiefi thus winning the short war of 1136. The war had began on 1 Ionawr of that year when Hywel ap Maredudd of Brycheiniog stormed across the 'Brecon Beacons' to give the Normans of Gower a good thrashing at Llwchwr, the annals speak of the Wolves & Ravens having a fantastic new year feast upon the rotting Norman corpses. Meanwhile 'Y Cymry' went on to ravage Gwyr & it's Flemish settlements. On the down side it was during this war that Princess Gwenllian was defeated in battle, captured she was immediately executed by a 'Cymro', yes! a Cymro and to make matters worse he volunteered to do the job for his Norman mates. The Battle of Crug Mawr 1136 is a very important battle in our history for the outcome of a Cymric Victory was to me momentous in many ways, not least of course in that it ensured the survival for another 146 years the existence of a pura wallia; a "Cymru Rydd" of native principalities rather than the "Occupied Wales" of Marcher Walia. The consequences of which were profound regards allowing time for native laws & culture to flourish rather than be over run by possible Norman - Flemish Conquest & Colonisation, if this had been the case then an "Anglicised" pura Wallia may have been a greater & speedier reality. The Battle of Crug Mawr 1136 is certainly up for a "What If" interpretation of our history & along with the Battle of Mynydd Carn 1081 & Battle of Hirwaun 1093 are major turning points in our history. What's that? did i hear you say MEMORIALS, of course not these are "Cymric Battlefields" best forgotten & may be despoiled (See below). However,I suggest if you want an October outing why not take a trip to Aberteifi in search of the Battle site of Crug Mawr, information on which you will find in the Town Museum down by the Harbour. Further, do use the web to seek out information as examples following:
In 1110 Gilbert Fitz-Richard, Earl of Clare was granted all the lands of Ceredigion by Henry I if he could conquer them from the Welsh. Gilbert de Clare rebuilt the castle, (probably a wooden motte and bailey construction), and established the town nearby. He is also credited with building the first wooden bridge. Gilbert de Clare appointed a Norman called Stephen to be Governor of Cardigan, and he was succeeded by his son Robert Fitz-Stephen. In 1136 Robert de Clare, son of Gilbert, was granted control of his father's lands and it was in this year that a Welsh Army led by Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr (about 1 mile north of Cardigan at Penparc). During the battle many were killed and the old bridge at Cardigan collapsed under the weight of the fleeing Normans. Hundreds were drowned until their bodies formed a 'bridge' for the others to cross. The castle, however, did not fall and remained in the hands of the Normans until 1165 when Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd conquered Cardigan for the Welsh. He let all the Normans go free except Governor Robert Fitz-Stephen, whom he imprisoned. From CardiganTown Web Site History Trail which also informs us that in 1136 The Welsh led by Gruffydd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr defeated the Normans at the battle of Crug Mawr here at Penparc, The Normans fled back to Pembrokeshire across the old wooden bridge at Cardigan in such numbers that they caused it to collapse. Cross the footbridge adjacent to Cardigan Bridge. The original wooden bridge was further upstream, close to the Church at Gloster Row. It is said to have once famously collapsed under the weight of soldiers fleeing from the battle of Crug Mawr (1136) when the victorious Welsh drove the Normans back across the river. The present bridge was partly re-built in 1726 and originally had seven arches, but it is likely that a bridge has occupied this site since the 13th century. The name Canllefaes (pronounced KAN-KLEV-ICE) is derived from Cant Llevas or Cant Llevarvas which, we are told, is translated as "The hundred cries on the field" - a battle or war cry. (Search Web for Canllefaes Cottage).
A Forgotten Border War?
In the year 1055, the thirteenth year of the reign of Edward the Confessor, Griffith ap Llewellyn, Prince of North Wales, having been excited and assisted by Algar, Earl of Chester, assembled his forces, attacked the English, and made an inroad into Herefordshire. When within two miles of Hereford he was opposed by Ralph, Earl of Hereford, who had raised what troops he could to stop his progress. The consequence was that a battle was fought, the issue of which was for some time dubious, but at length the Welsh were successful; a tumultuous pursuit took place, and the two armies entering the city together, the whole became a scene of pillage and slaughter. This battle took place on the 24th day of October, and the inhabitants of the district of Kington assisted the Welsh, who were at that time their countrymen, on this memorable occasion. FROM KNIGHTON TOWN WEB SITE.