very heart of today's village sits upon an old Roman fort that
once occupied the site, upon that fort the great Royal Court was
built. Sadly nothing remains above ground to indicate where it
once stood. However,
the earliest evidence of man in Aberffraw belongs to the Mesolithic
period around 7 000 BC. This evidence comes from excavations in
the village which found primitive tools and other artifacts and
has been confirmed by carbon dating. It was Cunedda The
Burner who first established a court on the Island. A Celtic
chief, he came south to the island from a region around Strathclyde
in Scotland to remove Irish Celts who had made a decision to settle
there. However, It was his grandson Cadwallon who, in a pitched
battle in AD470, finally defeated them.
The Royal estates of the Princes of Aberffraw were governed from
the Llys, or the Royal court, and as Aberffraw was the central
one, so the palace grew. It was from it that the officials of
the princes court sallied forth to gather taxes and rent from
the surrounding commotes. The land on all of the commotes was
fertile rich and many a heavy grain crop was recorded after a
hot Summer sun had ripened the fields of corn, and it was those
that lived in the commotes, usually in payment of taxes, which
did the harvesting. They were also required to work on the Llys
as well, repairing the manor house and outhouses.
was the granary of Gwynedd, it not only fed the population but
also any army that took to the field, and on many occasion through
history it was proved that whoever controlled Anglesey, controlled
both those that lived in the mountains and Gwynedd itself.
By 1086 the Norman lord Robert of Rhuddlan had advanced west from
Chester and established himself on the east bank of the river
Clwydd. Within the next four years with the assistance of his
cousin Hugh of Avranches; the Earl of Chester, he had crossed
the marsh to the west of Rhuddlan, captured Gruffydd ap Cynan,
constructed castles at Deganwy, Bangor, Caernarfon and Aberlleniog
on Anglesey. The Royal Court now became abandoned and soon began
to fall into disrepair. The roof was the first to cave in, then
the elements began to do there worst.
initial Norman advance into Gwynedd was a short lived one. Gruffudd
on succeeding in his escape from Rhuddlan in 1094, helped by his
mother's Irish relations, drove the Normans out after many bloody
and bitter battles. For the next seventy years Gwynedd remained
free from Norman occupation, as first Gruffudd then his son Owain
ap Gruffudd; Owain-Gwynedd, ruled the kingdom.
Having forced the Normans to quit all but one of their gains in
the north Owain, after succeeding to Gwynedd after the death of
his father, began the reconstruction of Aberffraw. Stone was quarried
from the east coast of the island, while slate came down from
Snowdonia and shipped across the Menia straits. Soon it was a
palace of splendour once again, but it was the Vikings which were
a problem, for they often used the island as a place to restock
there ships. Many times Owain was forced to call his men to arms
as they raided the north Wales coast.
As time passed
so Owain sort closer ties with that of the kingdom of Deheubarth,
indeed his daughter was none other then the mother of the great
Rhys of Deheubarth.