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The blog is about places where we have stayed and been able to pursue our main activities of walking & cycling. It is not intended as a guidebook or detailed description of places which we have visited.

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Walking into History at Llandovery

WalesPosted by normanbaker Sun, October 14, 2012 21:29:04

We stopped at Lllandovery , on our way to Pembrokeshire, staying at the superb Erwlon Campsite, situated just outside of the town on the A40.The full review can be seen at

Llandovery is an ancient historic market town, in the past being heavily dependent on the drovers and historical references can be seen throughout the town, such as the Black Ox Bank.

It also has a ruined medieval castle dominated by a superb statue of Llywelwyn ap Gruffyd Fychan who was a local landowner whose prominence came in 1401, with the arrival of Henry 1V of England at Llandovery, with his second army. Henry had taken the English crown from Richard 2nd in 1399 and spent most of his reign defending his crown from rebellions. One of the first he had to contend with was that of Owain Glydwr, who claimed himself as Prince of Wales in 1400, who then crushed Henry’s first army in 1401.

Later in 1401 Henry arrived at LLandovery and this is where our hero fits it. Henry cajoled Llywelwyn into helping him track down Owain Glydwyr but what happened is that Llywelwyn led Henry on a wild goose chase and thus allowing Gldwyr to make good his escape. In true medieval style Henry’s revenge was ruthless and he ordered that Llywelwyn be subject to the gruesome and lingering death of being disembowelled, hung, drawn and quartered.

Llywelwyn’s remains were pickled and then sent to various parts of the country as a reminder of the penalties for treason. Owain Glydwyr was never betrayed.

Rest assured, nowadays you will receive a warm welcome, no less than that received in the local tourist office who provided us with two local walks, the first involving the visit to the castle. The second, continueing our historical theme was the 8 mile circular walk via Llwynywormwood to Myddfai.

At the village centre you can learn of the ancient herbal remedies of the ‘physicians of Myddfai’ and even better you can get an excellent tea and homemade cakes or light lunch made by the volunteers. When we were there two coachloads of the local WI descended on the centre and with military precision were catered for, none the less impressive for the fact that they were expected. It was also great to hear them all talking in Welsh as they left to visit the local church.

In conclusion a great two night stay at a superb site, in an area of rolling hills with an attractive welcoming town and even complete with red kites, reminding us of our home in the Chilterns.

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