Monday, April 12, 2010

Garth Celyn

While preparing a couple of other blog posts, I thought I'd break off to mention Garth Celyn.
'Who'? or 'What'? you might justifiably ask. Like me, you may have come across it in Sharon Kay Penman's novels Here Be Dragons and The Reckoning, or Edith Pargeter's Brothers of Gwynedd novels, but it probably won't have registered beyond the moment of reading.
Even for me, when it cropped up again via a couple of Facebook acquaintances, I am ashamed to say that at first it passed me by. At one point I was even under the mistaken impression that it was a person! My excuse for this is my very busy schedule and I hang my head and apologise. Belatedly I came to realise that Garth Celyn is perhaps the most important historical sites in Wales and the place where Llewelyn Fawr (Llewelyn the Great) built his royal palace, overlooking the Menai Strait. That palace still stands today and is in the custody of the Gibson family who bought it all unknowing as a chicken farm in 1988.
Here are some urls to some excellent articles about Garth Celyn and it would be mad for me to spend a couple of hours typing out the contents when readers can go to them with a single click, so here are some web pages that you might find very interesting. I know I did once I'd been shaken awake! The other matter to note is that Garth Celyn could so easily have been lost to developers in the 1990's and now there is a campaign to preserve this unique and wonderful site for posterity. Please do join if you feel it's appropriate.


Lesley Haycock said...

I did visit the site following the last SKP Welsh novel, and was overwhelmed by the significance too.

I'll certainly be joining any fight to keep this incredible place.

Jules Frusher said...

Great to see it mentioned here too, Elizabeth :-). The more awareness/exposure the importance of this place gets, the better for all lovers of history.

Deb Dawson said...

Thank you for helping Kathryn spread the word about this amazing historical site. Garth Celyn must come from the shadows and be recognized for the amazing historical treasure it is.

Anonymous said...

The "Garth Celyn" that stands today is not the same one as built by the Welsh Princes. It is not even the same site although it is very close. Dendrochronology tests have proven this as have previous excavations by the Gwynedd Archaeological trust!

Anonymous said...

The excavations of Autumn 2010 show that the Llys of the princes was in the area near the Mwd, not at Pen-y-Bryn, renamed Garth Celyn

Kathryn Pritchard Gibson said...

The promontory Garth Celyn (with the house now known as Pen y Bryn) is definately the site of the Welsh palace -what was the home of the Llywelyns. Research by Paul Martin Remfry (published January 2012) agrees with the earlier studies by the Professors T. Jones Pierce, Ogwen Williams, Caerwyn Williams and David Austin. Archaeologists confirm that the structure on the valley bottom near the mill was a workshop / barn.