is this very same remoteness and the seemingly impregnable position
of the fortress which precluded it from ever playing a major role
in the affairs of the English nation. However, with regard to
those of my own, it certainly did.
In 1250 the castle fell to
the forces of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd during his rebellion against
the English crown. The struggle to secure it was both bloody and
bitter, for many of his men were cut down by arrows fired from
the ramparts. The castle was eventually taken after Llywelyn made
a frontal attack against the main entrance on the eastern side.
During the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr the castle was once again
in the forefront of national events. On the night of July 4th
1403 Owain, having crossed the watershed of the river Usk on his
march west from the town of Brecon with 8,000 men, lay at rest
in the castle of Dryslwyn prior to a planned attack on Carreg
Cennen and the castle of Dinefwr. A one John Scudamore, the English
Castellan of the castle, knowing that with Owain being in the
vicinity he could expect an attack at anytime visited him that
night under a flag of truce. The purpose of his visit was to seek
safe passage away from the castle, for his wife, children and
other members of his family before an attack began. However, having
been awakened from his slumbers, when they met in the castle's
great hall, Owain was in no mood to grant such an assurance. A
few hours after Scudamore's visit a successful attack did take
place; there were no survivors.
Prior to both the attentions of Llywelyn and Glyndwr, the castle
was captured and for a short while garrisoned by the forces of
the sons of Lord Rhys of Deheubarth, it was during the time of
conflict with their father. Upon the death of Lord Rhys the castle
was bestowed to his son Rhys Gryg, while in the Twyi valley itself
the castle of Dryslwyn was bestowed to Maredudd ap Rhys another
walls of the castle have also reverberated to sounds other than
of war. I seem to recall great peals of laughter echoing out across
the Cennen valley when wandering Jesters or musicians called.
The entertainment being enjoyed by both the lord of the castle
and his serfs, who lived on small tracts of land below the hilltop
The castle also served as a jail and court house, although
as for being a jail: well no one survived for long when found
guilty in those days. The south wall high above the valley was
a well known place for dispensing justice. One push, it was a
long long way down and the bed of the river was no cushion.
Ah well as to the days of the castle, of much more I could tell, but
time is of an essence my friends as I have other pages upon which
to dwell. So wherever in the world you may be, think of me and
you will think of Wales; for it is a green and pleasant land.