Sunday, March 25, 2012


That great organ of Welsh identity, the Western Mail (west of where?) is indulging in a series of articles to unearth the most historically important place in Wales. A snore of academics will argue the case for various locations, here's the list:

The soccer grounds of Wales - Professor Huw Bowen
Snowdon - Professor Chris Williams
Lodge Hill, near Caerleon - Dr Ray Howell
Llyn Fawr, in the Cynon Valley, and Llyn Cerrig Bach, on Anglesey - Professor Raimund Karl
Strata Florida - Professor David Austin
Aberlleiniog Castle, Anglesey - Dr David Wyatt
Ysbyty Ifan and the tomb of Rhys ap Maredudd, Conwy - Dr Madeleine Gray
Gower churches - Dr Helen Nicholson
Llangwm Uchaf (Mon) - Dr Alun Withey
Llantrithyd House - Dr Lloyd Bowen
Middleton Hall (National Botanic Gardens) - Dr Lowri Rees
Pumlumon/The Elenydd - Dr Martin Wright
The lower Swansea Valley - Professor Huw Bowen
Merthyr - Professor Chris Evans
Washburn Cemetery, Scranton, Pennsylvania - Dr Bill Jones
Talerddig cutting, Powys - Professor Iwan Morus
Cardiff Castle - Dr Andrew Richardson
Penallta Colliery, near Ystrad Mynach - Dr Ben Curtis
The Street - Dr Paul O'Leary
Tredegar - Dr Steve Thompson
Mametz Wood - Dr Robin Barlow
Barry Island - Dr Andy Croll

No Radnorshire entries of course, unless part of the county is included within The Elenydd - THE Elenydd? Do we say The Meirionydd?

Now I realise that this exercise is not really about finding the most important historical site in Wales. Rather it's an opportunity for our current crop of historians to address their particular interests before a wider audience than the "cloister of the learned journal." If it were a serious list then surely Pilleth - where Glyndwr, with the help of the men of Maelienydd, defeated a sizable English army in the field - would be high up the table.

Any more suggestions for Radnorshire sites that might qualify in a list of sites of real importance in our nation's story?


BuilthWednesday said...

No suggestions but some admiration for Professor Bowen's article yesterday. Attempting to debunk the rugby myth at the height of grand slam fever is a brave act indeed. Flies in the face of featherbrains everywhere. I expect to read of his being burnt as a heretic any day now.

Gwenddolen said...

Pilleth definitely. Wonderful to have you back blogging.

Fferllys said...

The Cistercian Abbey Cwmhir, with its long nave of 14 bays, longer than those of Canterbury and Salisbury and said to be twice as long St. Davids' nave. Its history and size speak of the strategic importance of this part of Radnorshire, and hints at objectives never achieved by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, as well as history yet to be fully understood and uncovered. To win and control Rhwng Gwy a Hafren was to win and control Wales. After all, it was through here that the last Llywelyn made his final fateful foray.