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ABERLLEINOG-CARNARVON-ABER

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Carnarvon, one at Bangor, and one in Merioneth. The motte at ABERLLEINOG, near Beaumaris, still exists, and the half-moon bailey is traceable, but the curious little round towers and revetting wall in masonry on the motte were probably built to carry guns at the time of the Civil War, when this castle was besieged by the Royalists. At CARNARVON the magnificent castle of Edward I. has displaced all former erections, yet some evidence for a motte-and-bailey plan may be found in the fact that the northern portion of the castle has evidently been once separated by a ditch from the southern, and is also much higher. On the hills above Bangor, Pennant thought he had discovered the remains of Earl Hugh's castle, but having carefully examined these walls, we are convinced that they never formed part of a a castle at all, as they are much too thin; nor are there any vestiges of earthworks. We are disposed to think that instead of at Bangor, the castle of Earl Hugh was at ABER, often spoken of as ABERMENAI in the Chronicles, and evidently the most important port on the Straits. At Aber there still remains a motte which must have belonged to an important castle, as it was afterwards one of the seats of Llywelyn ap Jorwerth, Prince of Gwynedd. The castle in Merioneth cannot be certainly identified.

In one of the invasions of William Rufus, which both the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Brut describe as so unsuccessful, we hear that he encamped at Mur

1 Mr Hartshorne in his paper on Carnarvon Castle (Arch. Journ., vii.) cites a document stating that a wall 18 perches long had been begun round the moat (possibly motam; original not given). He also cites from the Pipe Rolls an item for wages to carriers of earth dug out of the castle.

2 This ruined wall runs in a straight line through the wood on the ridge to the east of the town; at one place it turns at right angles ; at the back of the golf pavilion is a portion still erect, showing that it was a dry built wall of very ordinary character.

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Castell, a place undoubtedly the same as what is now called TOMEN-Y-Mur, a motte standing just inside a Roman camp, on the Roman road leading from Shropshire into Merioneth and Carnarvon. This motte is surrounded by a ditch ; there are traces of the usual earthen rampart round the top, now mutilated by landslips.? We may, with great probability, assume that this motte was thrown up by William Rufus, and that the Roman camp served as a bailey for his invading host. Whether it was garrisoned for the Normans we cannot say, but it evidently formed an important post on a route often followed by their invading armies, as Henry I. is said to have encamped there twice. It is one of the few mottes which stand in a wild and mountainous situation, and its purpose no doubt was purely military.

The earls of Chester did not retain the sovereignty of Gwynedd ; on the death of Rufus, Griffith ap Cynan returned, and obtained possession of Anglesea. He was favourably received at the court of Henry I., and gradually recovered possession of the whole of Gwynedd. In 1114 Henry had to undertake a great expedition against him to enforce the payment of tribute ;* from which, and from the peaceful manner in which Griffith seems to have acquired his principality, we may infer that this tribute was the bargain of his possession. It very likely suited Henry's policy better to have a tributary Welsh prince than a too powerful earl of Chester.

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1 Roman masonry has been exposed in the bank of the station.

Life of Griffith ap Cynan; Brut, . 3 Arch. Camb., iv., series 296 and 911.

4 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates this expedition in 1114, and says that Henry caused castles to be built in Wales. The Brut mentions the large tribute, 1111.

NORMAN ADVANCE IN POWYS

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The reigns of the three first Norman kings were the time in which Norman supremacy in Wales made its greatest advances. With the accession of Stephen and the civil war which followed it came the great opportunity for the Welsh of throwing off the Norman yoke. Powys appears to have been the only province which remained faithful to the English allegiance, under Madoc ap Meredith. The history of Norman conquest in Powys is more confused than that of Gwynedd, but Domesday shows us that Rainald, the Sheriff of Shropshire, a vassal of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, was seated at Edeyrnion and Cynlle, two districts along the upper valley of the Dee.” Robert of Rhuddlan held part of his grant of “Nort Wales," namely the hundred of Arwystli, in the very centre of Wales, under Earl Roger. Professor Lloyd remarks, “Earl Roger claimed the same authority over Powys as Earl Hugh over Gwynedd, and the theory that the princes of this region were subject to the lords of Salop survived the fall of the House of Montgomery.” :

We have already spoken of Earl Roger de Montgomeri and his brood of able and unscrupulous sons.* The palatine earldom of Shrewsbury lay along the eastern border of central Powys, and must soon have proved a menace to that Welsh kingdom. Domesday Book shows us that Earl Roger had already planted his castle of Montgomery well within the Welsh border at that date. But the ambition of Earl Roger and his

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1 Brut, 1149. Madoc ap Meredith, with the assistance of Ranulf, Earl of Chester, prepared to rise against Owen Gwynedd, son of Griffith ap Cynan.

3 D. B., i., 255a. Professor Lloyd says, “Maelor Saesneg, Cydewain, Ceri, and Arwystli came under Norman authority, and paid renders of money or kine in token of subjection.” “Wales and the Coming of the Normans,” Cymmrodor. Trans., 1899.

4 See page 130.

3 Ibid.

sons stretched beyond their immediate borders. It is probable that they used the upper Severn valley, which they fortified by the castle of Montgomery, and possibly by the castle of Welshpool, as their road into Ceredigion, for we find Earl Roger named by the Brut as the builder of the castle of Cilgerran,' and some say of Cardigan also. Possibly he was helping his son Arnolf in the conquest of Pembroke.

In 1098 we find his successor, Earl Hugh, allied with the Earl of Chester in the invasion of Anglesea.

MONTGOMERY. - This castle is named from the ancestral seat of its founder. The motte-and-bailey plan is still very apparent in the ruins, though the motte is represented by a precipitous rock, only a few feet higher than the baileys attached, and separated from them by a ditch cut through the headland. The masonry,

, the chief part of which is the shell wall and towers on this isolated rock, is none of it older than the reign of Henry III., when large sums were spent on this castle, and it is spoken of in a writ as “the new Castle of Montgomery.” Yet even then the whole of the defences were not remade in stone, as bretasches of timber are ordered in a mandamus of 1223. The four wards are all roughly rectilateral. The castle was never recovered permanently by the Welsh, and after the forfeiture of Robert Belesme, the third Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1101, the Crown kept this important border fortress in its own hands throughout the Middle Ages.

Although Montgomery Castle is the only one mentioned in that region at the same date, there must have been many others, for in 1225 Henry III. ordered

Brut, under 1107. The castle is called Dingeraint by this chronicler. 2 “Ipse comes construxit castrum Muntgumeri vocatum." D. Bm i., 254. 3 Montgomery Collections, x., 56.

4 Close Rolls, i., 558b.

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MONTGOMERY_WELSHPOOL

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all who had mottes in the valley of Montgomery to fortify them with good bretasches without delay;' and the remains of these mottes are still numerous in the valley. It is quite possible that the mottes at Moat Lane and Llandinam were thrown up to defend the road into Arwystli; but this is conjecture.?

WELSHPOOL, alias Pol or Pool (Fig. 40), is also called the Castle of Trallung.-In Powell's History of Wales (p. 137) it is stated that Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, when Henry I. took Cardigan from him, retired to Powys, and began to build a castle here. Powell's statements, however, have no authority when unconfirmed, and we are unable to find any confirmation of this statement in the more trustworthy version of the Brut. And as the House of Montgomeri was firmly established in the valley of Montgomery as early as 1086, it seems more probable that the two motte-and-bailey castles at Welshpool, lower down the Severn valley, are relics of the early progress of that family, especially as one of these castles is only about a mile east of Offa's Dyke, the ancient border. This latter motte is partly cut into by the railway, and diminished in size, but the bailey is nearly perfect. The other one is in the park of Powys Castle, and is an admirable specimen of its class. The breastwork round the top of the motte remains. [H. W.] It seems probable that this was the precursor of Powys Castle, and was abandoned at an early period, as the newer castle was known by the name of Castell Coch, or

1 “Firmiter precipimus omnibus illis qui motas habent in valle de Muntgumeri quod sine dilatione motas suas bonis bretaschiis firmari faciant ad securitatem et defensionem suam et partium illarum.” Close Rolls, ii., 42.

2 Mr Davies Pryce has suggested that the Hen Domen, a very perfect motte and bailey within a mile of the present castle of Montgomery was the original castle of Montgomery, and that the one built by Henry III. was on a new site. This of course is quite possible, but I do not see that there is sufficient evidence for it. See Eng. Hist. Rev., XX., 709.

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