Gruffydd, Llywelyn ap

 Born     Born At  
 Died  11 Dec 1282   Buried At  
In 1255 Llywelyn ap Gruffydd became the most powerful Welsh leader in the north west of Wales. It was not long before he had the support of the other Welsh lords and in 1258 became the 'Prince of Wales'.


Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.

1255   Llywelyn rules North Wales
 Llywelyn ap Gruffudd declared himself ruler of North Wales. 
1256 Sep  The Welsh invade the coastal plains
 Under their leader, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the welsh invaded the northern coastal areas that had agreed to English rule. Edward (I), who had been given the areas to administer himself by his father Henry III asked his father for help but Henry refused. 
1257   Henry and Edward reclaim the Lost Territories
 Henry III relents to his son's demands for assistance to fight the Welsh and joins him on a campaign to retake the territories lost to the Welsh under Llywelyn. 
1258 Mar  Llywelyn becomes 'Prince of Wales'
 Llywelyn received the support of the native lords in Wales and declared himself the 'Prince of Wales'. Under him, a united Welsh nation was ready to defend itself from the English. 
1260   Tenby Castle attacked
 Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the 'Prince of Wales' attacked the castle at Tenby. 
1267   Treaty of Shrewsbury
 Agreement between Henry III and Llywelyn, Prince of Wales. Henry recognised Llywelyn's position as Prince of Wales in return for a regular payment. Also known as the Treaty of Montgomery. 
1275   Revolt of Llywelyn of Wales
 Llywelyn had consistently failed to do homage to Edward. He had been paying sums of money to the English crown as agreed in the Treaty of Shrewsbury drawn up in 1267 but after the death of Henry III the payments had stopped. Edward's repeated demands for a meeting with Llywelyn were ignored. In an attempt to stir up internal problems in England Llywelyn sent to France for Eleanor de Montfort who had been promised to him as a bride for his support of Henry III in the Baronial revolt against the English King. Eleanor was captured by the English on the journey and was then held prisoner by Edward. Edward finally had to accept Llywelyn as a rebel and so began his war on the Welsh. Feudal levies were called for June 1277. This meant that an army was to be raised via the feudal system to supports the King's war with the Welsh.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1276   Edward's war with the Welsh begins
 Before the main army could be assembled Edward ordered that the Marchers and the smaller permanent forces attached to the royal household were to be sent out in three detachments. Although not much headway was made in the north the south and central districts abandoned their allegiance to Llywelyn. Roger Mortimer was able to force Llywelyn to retreat from Powys northwards. It was soon clear that the only area the Llywelyn had any control over was the north of Wales.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1277   Aberystwyth Castle rebuilt
 Reconstruction of the castle at Aberystwyth was begun by the English during Edward I's conflict with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.[2] 
   Dafydd granted Ruthin Castle
 King Edward I of England granted Ruthin to Dafydd, the brother of Prince Llewelyn ap Gruffudd in return for his help against his brother who have been attacking English interests in the north of Wales. Construction of Ruthin Castle may have begun under the direction of Edward or Dafydd himself. 
 Jun  Feudal levies
 Edward I called for feudal levies to be collected to pay for his war against the Welsh prince who had repeatedly refused to pay him homage.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
 Nov 10  Edward defeats Llywelyn
 Llywelyn was cut off from supplies and an escape route so had to accept defeat. Edward demanded payment of £50,000 and all of Llywelyn's territories. Llywelyn was left only with the Isle of Anglesey which he had to pay rent of £1,000 a year. Edward also demanded that Anglesey should be handed in the case that Llywelyn died without a male heir. Llywelyn swore fealty to Edward at Rhuddlan on November 10th and again at a ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1278 Oct 13  Llywelyn marries Eleanor
 With peace between Edward and Llywelyn, the marriage between Llywelyn and Eleanor de Montfort was allowed to continue. The marriage took place at Worcester and was attended by Edward.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1282 Easter  Another Welsh Uprising
 David, Llywelyn's brother, rose up in revolt. Llywelyn, even though he had sworn fealty to Edward, joined his brother in the fight against the English.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
 Nov 6  English defeated
 Luke de Tany, on the side of the English, had taken control of Anglesey. The plan was attack the Welsh rebels from the north and so a bridge of boats was constructed across the Menai Straits that separate Anglesey from Wales. The Welsh were waiting for the English in force and the English plan failed. Many of the English knights drowned when the boat bridge was destroyed.[1]

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
 Dec 11  Llywelyn killed
 Whilst fighting in the south of Wales Llywelyn was killed. He had moved to the rear of his army feeling secure with the way the war was progressing. A detachment of English found a way across the river Wye which Llywelyn was using for protection and moved around the rear of the Welsh army where the Prince was. Before Llywelyn could rejoin his army he was cut down and killed. His head was cut off and taken to the King Edward. Llywelyn's brother David carried on the fight against the English for another six months.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  
1283 Jan  Dolwyddelan Castle captured
 After the death of Lleweyln Edward was free to occupy all the previous strongholds of the Welsh Princes. In 1283 Edward attacked and captured the Welsh castle at Dolyyddlan.

Episode: Edward I and Wales  

View walkthroughs of the TimeRef Virtual Medieval Abbey reconstruction.

Village Life

Talk to a medieval girl about her life in a medieval village

Talk to Villager


Please note that this area should be showing an interactive map of events. This area will not show if you are currently using an older version of web browser. The map viewer viewer has been tested on IE9 and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.