Known as Y Berfeddwlad (middle country), throughout medieval times the power and influence of the native Welsh rulers and their Saxon, Norman and English rivals to the east, ebbed and flowed like a pendulum across the region, which long provided a key arena of military, political and cultural turbulence.
Rhuddlan seems to have been the main seat of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (d.1063), the only Welsh king ever to rule of the entirety of Wales, whilst Dafydd ap Llywelyn (d.1246), Prince of Gwynedd, was born at Castell Hen Blas in Bagillt.
Fortifications of the princes of Gwynedd and Powys (Caergwrle, Dinas Brân, Ewloe and Ruthin, for example) are dotted amongst two bastions of Edward I’s conquest of Gwynedd at Flint and Rhuddlan, in addition to the castles constructed by Marcher Lords at places such as Chirk and Denbigh. It was attacks on the "English" towns of North East Wales which provided the initial focus for Owain Glyndŵr's revolt in September 1400.
Image: Courtesy of Vicky Perfect