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Sycharth

Sycharth

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Encyclopedia
Sycharth is a small hamlet in the community
Community (Wales)
A community is a division of land in Wales that forms the lowest-tier of local government in Wales. Welsh communities are analogous to civil parishes in England....

 of Llangedwyn
Llangedwyn
Llangedwyn is a village in Powys, Wales at .It lies in the Tanat Valley near to the Wales/England border. It is approximately five miles from the small town of Llanfyllin and ten miles from the Shropshire market town of Oswestry. The Berwyn mountain range is nearby, as is Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall...

 in Powys
Powys
Powys is a local-government county and preserved county in Wales.-Geography:Powys covers the historic counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, most of Brecknockshire , and a small part of Denbighshire — an area of 5,179 km², making it the largest county in Wales by land area.It is...

 in eastern Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 near Llansilin
Llansilin
Llansilin is a village and local government community in Powys, Wales, about 6 miles west of Oswestry. The community, which includes Llansilin village, a large rural area and the hamlets of Molfre and Rhiwlas as well as the remote parish of Llangadwaladr, had a population of 648 at the 2001...

, 7 miles west of Oswestry
Oswestry
Oswestry is a town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, close to the Welsh border. It is at the junction of the A5, A483, and A495 roads....

.

Location


Sycharth sits in the valley of the River Cynllaith, a tributary of the Afon Tanat
Afon Tanat
Afon Tanat is a river in northern Powys, Wales. Its source is close to the Cyrniau Nod mountain, to the north of Lake Vyrnwy. The river flows in a generally east-south-east direction until it joins the River Vyrnwy near Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. For a short distance prior to its confluence it...

. Sycharth Castle, just to the north, was the birth place of Owain Glyndŵr
Owain Glyndwr
Owain Glyndŵr , or Owain Glyn Dŵr, anglicised by William Shakespeare as Owen Glendower , was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales...

.

Glyndwr's Home


It was here that Glyndwr lived with his wife Margaret Hanmer
Margaret Hanmer
Margaret Hanmer , sometimes known by her Welsh name of Marred ferch Dafydd, was the wife of Owain Glyndŵr and was thus, technically, Princess of Wales for the time her husband was known by the title of Prince of Wales...

 and their children.

Today the site is a flat topped mound or motte
Motte-and-bailey
A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle, with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade...

 some eight metres high, with remaining defensive earthworks.

Iolo Goch's Description


Iolo Goch
Iolo Goch
Iolo Goch , , was a medieval Welsh poet or bard who composed poems addressed to Owain Glyndŵr, among others.- Lineage :...

 the Bard and himself a Welsh Lord, has left us a fascinating description of the Glyndwr estate and lifestyle prior to the turmoil and destruction of the rebellion.

He describes it as a "Barons palace, this mansion of generosity, the magnificent habitation of the chief Lord of Powys, entered by a costly gate, Gothic arches adorned with mouldings, every arch alike, a tower of St Patrick in the elegant antique order, like a cloister at Westminster, every angle united together with girders, a compact noble golden chancel, concatenated in linked orders like an arched vault, all conjoined in harmony. A Neapolitan building of eighteen apartments, a fair timber structure on the surmount of the green hill reared towards heaven on four admirable pilasters, on the top of each of these firm wooden supports is fixed a timber floor of curious architecture, and there four pleasant and elegant floors connected together, and divided into eight chamber lofts, every part, and stately front covered with shingles, and chimneys to convey away the smoke. Nine halls of similar construction and a wardrobe over every one, neat clean and commodious well furnished warehouses, like shops in London. A quadrangular church, well built and whitewashed chapels, well-glazed, plenty on every side, every part of the house a palace - an orchard and a vineyard well fenced, yonder below are seen herds of stags feeding in the park, the rabbit warren of the chief Lord of the Nation. Implements, mettlesome steeds in fair meadows of grass and hay, well ordered cornfields, a good corn mill on a clear stream and a stone turret for a pigeon-house, a deep and spacious fish pond with pikes and mearlings and other fish in plenty. Three tables furnished with the best breed of peacocks and cranes. All necessary tools of every sort and instruments for every work. The best Salopian ale, choice wassail and braggets, wines, all kinds of liquors and manchets. And the cook with his noble fire in the kitchens.

I am blessed with her politeness, with wines and with meads, a charming female of noble extraction, liberal and of an honourable family. His children come in pairs, a beautiful nest of Chieftains. A lock or latchet is seldom seen within his mansion, or a doorkeeper or porter. Refreshments are never wanting, hunger, thirst, want or reproach are never known in Sycharth.

The proprietor of this domain is hardy and valiant, the best of Britons, a tall, handsome, accomplished gentleman owns this most delightful palace".

Archaeological Evidence


Excavations in the early 1960s revealed the presence of two timber halls on the flat topped mound, one being 43 metres in length and provided evidence of the site being burned, as it was by Harry of Monmouth, later to become King Henry V when he was present to oversee the total destruction of the site in May 1403.

Destruction


He wrote to his father King Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

 on May 15th 1403 that "we took our people and went to a place of the said Oweyn, well built, which was his principal mansion called Saghern, where we supposed that we should have found him if he had been willing to have fought in the manner as he said, but upon our arrival we found no one; hence we caused the whole place and many of his other houses of his tenants in the neighbourhood to be burnt and then went directly to his other place of Glyndourdy (Glyndyfrdwy
Glyndyfrdwy
Glyndyfrdwy , or sometimes Glyn Dyfrdwy, is a village in the modern county of Denbighshire, Wales. It is situated on the A5 road half way between Corwen and Llangollen in the Dee Valley .-Owain Glyndwr:...

) to seek for him there. We caused a fine lodge in his park to be burned and all the country therabout and we lodged at rest there all that night..."

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