Canolfan Owain Glyndwr CentreCYMRAEG  

Owain Glyndŵr's Wales


During the summer of 1404 a unique meeting took place in Machynlleth. Representatives of communities from many parts of Wales and dignitaries from France, Scotland. and Castile (Spain) came to the coronation of Owain Glyndŵr as prince of an independent Wales. At his coronation, Glyndŵr had his government around him with people such as John Byfield, Bishop of Bangor and John Trefor, Bishop of St Asaph.

Why did the coronation take place in Machynlleth?

Although we cannot be absolutely sure why this location was chosen, there are many pointers as to why Owain chose Machynlleth:-

• The river Dyfi formed a natural border between North and South Wales.

• Llywelyn the Great had called other Welsh princes to a meeting at Aberdyfi in 1216 in order to secure their allegiance to his son. Aberdyfi is 9 miles from Machynlleth.

• Machynlleth is in mid Wales and had no English castle.

• A few miles distant, at Pennal, Glyndŵr and his government drew up their famous letter to the King of France in 1406. Glyndŵr recognised the Avignon Papacy and in return asked the King of France to recognise his ambition to establish two Welsh universities an independent church and an independent Welsh Government.

Machynlleth and the Clock Tower
Image © Copyright Chris Denny and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

In Glyndŵr’s day, Machynlleth was already a market town of some importance, though not apparently a borough, a Welsh foundation of the late 13th century. Heol Maengwyn is known to have existed in 1597 but is likely to be much older. The Parliament House is a medieval stone building located on this main street running through the centre of the town.

Machynlleth is located within a strongly Welsh part of Wales and is recognised as a cultural tourist destination. It has excellent train and bus connections and is within easy travelling distance of the other Glyndŵr destinations of Pennal and Aberystwyth Castle, and is not too far south of Harlech Castle.

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