Friday, 26 August 2011

THE BATTLE OF HYDDGEN SPRING 1401 REVISTED Embassy Glyndwr Field Research Awst 2011.

Battle of Mynydd Hyddgen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cached
The Battle of Mynydd Hyddgen is considered the first victory in the field won by OwainGlyndŵr (1359–c. 1416), leader of the Welsh revolt and it could be ...

Recently went on a Glyndwr Ramble on the Northern side of Mynyddoedd Pumlumon as approached via Machynlleth to Bontfaen/Forge, keeping to the road in direction of Aberhosen. Turning off towards Cefncyfrifol proceeding on foot through Nant Cwm yr Erw:

Pic:  Nant Cwm y Erw

Continuing towards Rhosygarreg picking up on Bridleway continue between Ffridd Esgair y  Llyn and Ffridd Rhosygarreg (local tradition speaks of a Llywbr Ystablau in this area, used to bring pack horse supplies to Milwyr Glyndwr) and you will soon come upon a broader track. To the left you will see a crevice running up the the slopes of Foel Esgair y Lyn and beyond is Glaslyn. Note that the more you study maps and look at excellent Pumlumon websites the more you will become very familier with the lay of the land and do because it's a none too easy area to go just taking a casual walk in, so observe must do's before going out into this 'Welsh Wilderness' aka the 'Green Desert' soon to be further desecrated by windmills of mass destruction as at Mynydd Gorddau near Talybont.

Mynydd Gorddu windfarm, near TalybontCeredigion - Cached
Mynydd Gorddu windfarm, near TalybontCeredigion. Wind turbines, Mynydd Gorddu. Looking NW from the centre of the wind farm. The hill is about 290m high. ..

Pic: Shows in background to left Ffirdd Esgair y Llyn and in foreground to right Ffirdd  Rhosygarreg and between the two the track to Cwm y Cwarchae.

This leads towards the looming screed sides of Tarren Bwlch-gwyn marked by two crevises as a 'V' marking out the larger Rhaeadr Du to right and smaller Rhaeadr Wen to left. 

Pic: Cwm y Cwarchae Rhaeadr Du and Rhaeadr Wen running to a 'V' clearly seen.

To one side will be Llechwedd y Cwm, the Cwm in question to where I am directing you, local information tells me that despite fact this Cwm is not named on map it is known locally as  Cwm y Cwarchae, pictures below and above:

Pic: Looking Direct into Cwm y Gwacrhae, Rhaeadr Du and Rhaeadr Wen (not seen) other crevice is not named but a brook runs down from atop Tarren Bwlch-gwyn. 

To the one side there is another crevis running down from Tarren Bwlch-gwyn which is not named, seen to right in picture above. To the left is Tarren Gesaill from which there is another but difficult route from Glaslyn and Buguilyn area down into Cwm y Cwarchae (I will put a link below descibing this route but note it could be hazardous). 

Valley below Tarren Bwlch-gwyn Tarren Bwlch-gwyn is part of the ... - Cached
14 Mar 2011 – The hill in the distance is Pumlumon. ... with high moorland along the south (Tarren Bwlch-gwyn) and east (Tarren Gesail) and the grassy ...

Again local information told us that this is where Glyndwr had his camp in the spring of 1401 and it was here he was suprised by the Flemish who had   moved in on Glyndwr from direction of Aberhosen or further south. We can see how this Cwm then got it's name which translated referrs to a siege, before you reach the Cwm there is a large open space noted in my Google search named as Cadfarch, not to be confused with the community of that name closer to Machynlleth and name of the community council for this area. Cadfarch translated means Battle Horse, so now a picture is building up with Glyndwr camped in the Cwm protected on three sides by the mountains aforementioned, though the horses would have been put out to graze in that area described above. The whole area is well served by water supply of rivers and brooks plus near by over towards the west is a vast Cistercian estate, lands belonging to the Monastry of Strata Marcella in area around Mynachdy. For further information on much you will have read here, inc photos of Siambr Glyndwr do obtain this excellent booklet below:

 It was also through these Cistercian lands passed a major route between Gwynedd and Dehaeubarth and thus were ways which travellers and armies had traditionally used. For this reason it was possibly the case that Glyndwr set up a look out position at Siamber Trawsfynydd to watch this route way along which such has the Flemish might have approached. 

Siambr Trawsfynydd - Cached
29 Jun 2011 – The hill in the distance is Pumlumon. 886 m ...

Siambr Trawsfynydd aka Siambr Glyndwr may be reached a number of ways, the one way I failed to find and that is the footpath south of Rhiw Gam and possibly a Bridle Path via Clipyn Du under Tarren Bwlch-gwyn. However, note both tracks are lost in parts during the summer with fern growth, the footpath is degraded by collapse of pathway in parts also beware very boggy. Not really advisable and to attempt one would need to be really familier with orienteering and well organised, the attempt well planned and individuals well prepared (Do see advice and disclaimers in Glyndwr's Ramblers blog). Best advice is take the longer routes to Siambr Glyndwr directly via Bugeilyn or indirectly via road from Forge to Talbontdrain into the Forestry Commission Woods across 'Bont Glyndwr' reached via Mynachdy. 

After some while walking through Forestry Commission Woods before and under Mynydd Bychan turn towards Esgair y Ffordd through private woods passing Cairn (Where bodies of the Battle of Hyddgen dead were bueried, possibly by the Monks?) and yes note that it appears to have been disturbed by tree planting no doubt, requiring some time an Embassy Glyndwr Tarian Glyndwr Registration Protection Order to be placed on it. Coming out of these woods you will be close to Siambr Glyndwr, refer to link above.

Cairn at Esgair y Ffordd:: OS grid SN7992 :: Geograph Britain and ... - Cached
8 May 2011 – Tradition has it that the cairn marks the burial ground of ...

Local tradition places the 'Battle of Hyddgen' or maybe better described as the great 'breakout' as being closer to Aberhosen near Cefngwyrgrug, although what could also be considered as a first Battle of Hyddgen? Unfortunatly, I do not have at hand the excellent book The Battle of Hyddgen Glyndwr's First Victory to compare information therein with what I am now writting, so do compare.

Glyndwr's First Victory by Ian Fleming, published by Y Lolfa - Cached
The battle of Hyddgen (1401) was Owain Glyndwr's first great victory - crucial in the success of the famous rebellion. Ian Fleming explains lucidly the ...

To conclude: Another valuable piece of local knowledge is the suggestion that Pumlumon and in particular the parts mentioned above where not simply a matter of Glyndwr and the Battle of Hyddgen  alone being all in an account of Hanes Glyndwr. There is every reason to believe that following on the Battle of Vyrnwy 24 Medi 1400 and Glyndwr's retreat to Eryri for the Winter. There then was a subsequent skirmish with Hotspur in the Spring of 1401 on Cader Idris after which Glyndwr moved on to Mynyddoed Pumlumon possibly for a number of reasons. The one being that these lands were then in the Cantref of Cyfeiliog, they were also lands that unified Gwynedd, Dehuebarth and Glyndwr's ancestral lands of Powys. The unifying of these former Royal Houses of Wales being a major part of Glyndwr's strategy to win the war and make of Wales a nation. 

Pumlumon - Cached
Pumlumon Pumlumon Fawr (or Plynlimon) - the source of the Severn, Rheidol and Wye rivers. ...

It was also an area in which large numbers could hide out and be sustained with regular  pillaged supplies of raids and campaigns throughout Wales. It was also a natural fortress with the convienience of being an excellent base allowing the Welsh  to strike out for many parts of Cymru/Wales with then sufficient territory throughout Mynyddoedd Pumlumon to keep rustled Horses and Cattle as well as places to store other supplies of war.

Not least take into consideration that the sympathetic cistercians would have been of assistence regard getting pillaged good out to sell or barter with in various markets or even enemy borough towns, be mindful here that salt amongst a number of supplies was a priority requirement to obtain. Keep in mind that Edward I in his last war with Llywelyn III had banned the sale of salt to the Welsh as a means of limiting their war effort by economic as well as military warfare.

Then of course monks were herbalists and gardeners as well as providing hospice care for the wounded and otherwise ailing amongst Glyndwr's followers who may have been considerable in number and have included the aged, Women and Children. 

For further information on Hanes Glyndwr see:

Owain Glyndwr Communicates. - Cached
10 Aug 2011 – Owain Glyndwr Communicates. Promoting an interest in the history of Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh Son of Prophecy, his life, times and society 

For Information on Glyndwr's Ramblers, including Gwerin Owain 'Red Stag' Land Ranging Mynyddoedd Pumlumon, see blogs below:


17 Aug 2011 – Following they the 'Barefoot Welsh Doggis'- Glyndwr's Peasant Army who the Wars end with their families became 'Y Gwerin Owain'. To Post ...



  1 - 7 JUNE 2012 Great Escape From Royal Jubilee.

A proposed Expedition into Mynydd Pumlumon with a number of Camps Glyndwr First week June 2012, seems to me that Cwm y Cwarchae be one ideal location if permissable for the more young and hardy Gwerin Owain? Other locations considered being over in area of Ardal Afon Hengwm as approached via Bont Glyndwr as suitable for not so young and hardy Pobl Glyndwr with familes perhaps. Plus I shall be looking into Cwm Gwerin in area of Lluest y Graig and Graig y March, if permissible to camp in such locations of course? Info on all these locations and associated Glyndwr Land Ranging Trails will be available in Glyndwr Ramblers blog in due course, in meantime plan and prepare well. Study Back Packing and camping in the Wilderness and orienteering etc, note even local people will tell you it's easy to get lost on Mynyddoed Pumlumon. last but not least be mindfull that this endeavour is all part and parcel of what will be a long term campaign to resist the Windmills of Mass Destruction desecrating these our 'Sacred Hill'. Further Info on campaign in blog below.

7 Aug 2011 – Mudiad Tarian Glyndŵr campaigns against oppression of our people and expropriation of our land and its natuural resources. ...

PS: Forget to mention but Cwm Y Cwarchchae is haunted by one of Glyndwr's soldiers, perhaps a wounded soldier left behind perhaps? Said to be seen in location of the ruin foundations just across the ford out of the Cwm:

For up date news from Embassy Glyndwr, see:

6 Aug 2011 – GALWAD GLYNDŴR. This blog is meant to unite all that believe in the just cause of Owain Glyndŵr, Owain IV, our past, present and future ...

Late Addition:

Found the book, do consult this author favours the tradional battle site and I am not going to argue with his research and sound informed detail. This leaves the local information as to a Battle at Cefngwyrgrug a mystery unless we accept there might have been two battles? Whatever, suggest you buy this book as also included are walks associated with the battle:


Glyndwr's First Victory by Ian Fleming, published by Y Lolfa - Cached
The battle of Hyddgen (1401) was Owain Glyndwr's first great victory - crucial in the success of the famous rebellion. Ian Fleming explains lucidly the background ...