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Dernio is Edeyrnion, the valley stretching from Bala Lake to Corwen. Domesday Book tells us that Rainald the Sheriff, a "man" of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, held two "fines" in Wales, Chenlei and Dernio, that is, Cynllaith and Edeyrnion.' Towards the end of the 11th century there must have been a Norman castle at Kug in Edeyrnion, as it was to this place that the earls of Chester and Shrewsbury enticed Griffith ap Cynan, the rightful ruler of Gwynedd; they then sent him prisoner to Chester for twelve years. Very likely the castle of Dernio, which Henry II. was putting into a state of defence in 1159, was at RUG, 1 miles from Corwen, where there is still a motte in some private grounds, and there was formerly a bailey also. The place was the seat of an important family in later times. At any rate, the castle was in Edeyrnion, and shows that Henry was holding the northern part of Merionethshire.
HODESLEY; undoubtedly "The Rofts" near Gresford, a motte with remains of a bailey, on a headland above the river Alyn. It is in the former lordship of Hoseley."
WREXHAM, the Wristlesham of the Pipe Rolls (Fig. 40).- Henry was paying for the custody of this castle and that of Hoseley in 1160 and 1161. Both castles are in the district of Bromfield, which was one of the early acquisitions of the earls of Chester. Mr Palmer remarks
1 D. B., i., 255a.
2 Life of Griffith.
3 3 Pipe Roll, 1159-1160. £4, 3s. 4d. paid to Roger de Powys "ad custodiam castelli de Dernio"; "In munitione turris de Dermant £6, 4s. od.” It cannot be doubted that these two names mean the same place.
Arch. Camb., iv., 1887.
At the time of the Survey the manor of Gresford (Gretford) was divided between Hugh, Osbern, and Rainald. mill grinding the corn of his court (curiæ suæ). to this castle. D. B., i., 268. It was waste £3, 5s. od.
Osbern had 6 hides and a
that this district was probably ceded to the princes of Powys, in return for the help which they often rendered to the English king against other Welsh princes, as it is found as part of Powys at a later period.' There are no remains of any castle at Wrexham itself, but about a mile off, in Erddig Park, there is a motte and bailey of considerable size (though the motte is reduced) showing that a castle of some importance once stood there. There were formerly some remains of masonry. Wat's Dyke has been utilised to form one side of the bailey. It is probable that the importance of the two Bromfield castles, Wrexham and Hoseley, was lost when the princes of Powys built their castle on Dinas Bran.
*RUTHIN. This important castle, defending the upper valley of the Clwyd, was probably in existence long before Henry II. repaired it in 1160, and may perhaps be attributed to Earl Hugh of Chester. The plan shows distinctly that it was once a motte and bailey, though the castle is now transformed into a modern house.3
CHIRK, or Crogen, in the valley of the Ceiriog.Henry was paying for the custody of this castle in 1164, and was provisioning it in 1167.* King John paid for the erection of a bretasche there, possibly after some destruction by the Welsh. Probably the first castle of Chirk did not stand in the commanding situation now occupied by the castle of Edward I.'s reign, but is
1 "On the Town of Holt," by A. N. Palmer, Arch. Camb., 1907.
2 Beauties of England and Wales, North Wales, p. 589. I am glad to find that Mr Palmer, in the new edition of his Ancient Tenures of Land in the Marches of Wales, confirms the identifications which I have made of these two last castles, pp. 108, 116, 118.
3 Arch. Camb., 5th ser., iv., 352. Camden's statement that this castle was founded in Edward I.'s reign shows that he was unacquainted with the Pipe Rolls.
Pipe Rolls, 1212-1213.
represented by a small motte in a garden near the Ceiriog stream, and close to the church. An AngloNorman poem of the 13th century attributes the first building of this castle to William Peverel, Lord of Whittington and Ellesmere, and says he placed it "on the water of Ceiriog." No doubt it defended the passage of the stream, and an important road into Shropshire.
PRESTATYN.-This castle defended the coast road from Chester to Rhuddlan. Henry II. granted it to Robert Banaster for his services in 1165.2 It was destroyed by Owen Gwynedd in 1167, and does not appear to have been rebuilt. A low motte with a halfmoon bailey, and a larger square enclosure, still remain. [B. T. S.]
Mr Davis has remarked that John was more successful in extending his authority over the British Isles than in anything else. In 1211 he led an expedition into the heart of Wales, and reduced his son-in-law Llywelyn ap Jorwerth to complete submission. As usual, the expedition was marked by the building or repair of castles. The Earl of Chester restored Deganwy, which shows that the English frontier was again advanced to the Conway; he also repaired the castle of Holywell, which the Pipe Roll shows to have been recovered from the Welsh about this time. These Rolls also show that in 1212-1213 John was paying for works at
1 "Sur l'ewe de Keyroc," History of Fulk Fitz Warine, edited by T. Wright for Warton Club.
2 Victoria County History of Lancashire, i., 369.
3 England under the Normans and Angevins.
4"Ad recutienda castella de Haliwell et Madrael £100." Pipe Rolls, 1212-1213.
the castles of Carreghova, Ruthin, and Chirk, as well as at the following castles, which have not been mentioned before.
MATHRAVAL, Madrael in the Pipe Rolls (Fig. 40), near Meifod in Montgomeryshire, defending the valley of the Vyrnwy.-Here was the chief royal residence of Powys; but the castle was built in John's reign by Roger de Vipont. It occupied 2 acres, and the motte is in one corner of the area, which is square,2 and surrounded only by banks; though ruined foundations are found in parts of the castle. John himself burned the castle in 1211, when the Welsh were besieging it, but the Pipe Roll (1212-1213) shows that he afterwards repaired it. [D. H. M.]
EGLOE, or Eulo, called by Leland Castle Yollo.On the Chester and Holywell road, about 8 miles from Holywell. The mention in the Pipe Roll of pikes and ammunition provided for this castle in 1212-1213 is the first ancient allusion to it with which we are acquainted. It is a motte-and-bailey castle, with additions in masonry which are probably of the reign of Henry III. The keep is of the "thimble" plan, a rare instance.* [B. T. S.]
*YALE.-The Brut tells us that in 1148 (read 1150) Owen Gwynedd built a castle in Yale. Powell identified this with Tomen y Rhodwydd, a motte and bailey on the road between Llangollen and Ruthin. Yale, however, is the name of a district, and there can be little doubt that the castle of Yale was the motte and
1 Wade Evans, Welsh Mediaval Law, vol. xii.
2 It has in fact every appearance of a Roman camp.
3 Brut, 1211.
The castle of Hawarden, which is only about 2 miles from that of Euloe, is not mentioned in any records before 1215; but it is believed to have been a castle of the Norman lords of Mold. It also is on a motte.
bailey at Llanarmon, which for a long period was the caput of Yale.1 Yale undoubtedly belonged to the Normans when Domesday Book was compiled, and it is therefore not unlikely that these earthworks were first thrown up by the Earl of Chester. The castle was burnt by Jorwerth Goch in 1158, but restored by John in 1212. One of the expenses entered for that year is "for iron mallets for breaking the rocks in the ditch of the castle of Yale." This ditch cut in the rock still remains, as well as some foundations on the motte,* which is known as Tomen y Vardra, or the Mount of of the demesne."
How long the two last-mentioned groups of castles continued in Anglo-Norman hands we do not attempt to say. North Wales, as is well known, reaped a harvest of new power and prosperity through the civil war of the end of John's reign, and the ability of Llywelyn ap Jorwerth. Our task ends with the reign of John. We have only to remark that until the Pipe Rolls of Henry III.'s reign have been carefully searched, it is impossible to say with certainty what castles of North Wales, or if any, were still held by the English king.
1 I am indebted for this identification to the kindness of Mr A. N. Palmer of Wrexham.
2 D. B., i., 254. The manor is called Gal. It had been waste T. R. E., but was now worth 40s.
3 Pipe Roll (unpublished), 1212-1213.
4 Whereas there is no rock in the ditch of the neighbouring motte of Tomen y Rhodwydd. Pennant (and others following him) most inaccurately describe Tomen y Rhodwydd as two artificial mounts, whereas there is only one, with the usual embanked court. See Appendix K.
"The Maer dref [which Vardra represents] may be described as the home farm of the chieftain." Rhys and Brynmor Jones, The Welsh People, p. 401.