Village of Gelligaer in 1318

Cwm a Mynydd, the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Rural Development Programme, in collaboration with the Gelligaer Historical Society have been working on a project that will see a new information board in the village of Gelligaer that will focus on how the village looked in 1318 at the time of a forgotten hero – Llywelyn Bren.

In  1316, during a terrible famine which affected all of Europe, the people of this area were dying of starvation and unable to pay the rents claimed by the Normans. Llywelyn decided to rebel, and hundreds of people came to join him.

The rebellion failed, but when the Welsh were surrounded by their enemies, Llywelyn chose to surrender, in order to save his followers' lives. This action won the respect and admiration of his enemies. Several of the Norman leaders begged the king to spare Llywelyn's life.

But all in vain: in1318 Llywelyn was executed in front of Cardiff Castle. He suffered the dreadful death of a traitor. He was hanged, drawn and quartered.

Dr Elin Jones, a local prominent historian has played a vital role in this project. Dr Jones has for some time been passionate about the creation of a memorial to this brave and heroic Prince and called upon the Cwm a Mynydd team to help.

An illustration of how Gelligaer would have looked in 1318 has been created by Chris Jones-Jenkins and will feature on the board, the original of this illustration will hang in the Gelligaer Health Centre for all to see. 

Councillor Nigel George, Cabinet member for Environment and Neighbourhood Services said:  It is wonderful to see recognition of a home grown hero being created by a local historical society who are passionate not to have his story lost and to have this memorial placed in his own land is very special.

The new board will be unveiled in Gelligaer on Friday 24th January and will overlook Twyn y Castell, the remains of the Motte and Baily castle that was the home of the local princes.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.