Ewloe Castle, Clywd
1 mile Northwest
Ewloe Castle is located in dense woodland, in medieval times known as the great Forest of Ewloe. It stands about a mile from the River Dee, near the top of a north-facing slope above two deep ravines where two small brooks meet. The southern and eastern sides of the castle are defended by rock-cut ditches. Despite both its man-made and natural defences, the siting of the castle, overlooked by the higher ground to the south, is far from ideal. Llywelyn the Great is recognised as the builder of the Tower at Ewloe, whilst Llywelyn the Last its Castle, 'in the corner of the wood'.
~ History ~
1094 - With the Norman advances into north Wales, the quarrelsome Welsh unite against their common enemy and inflict a series of major defeats on the Normans.
1114 - Three armies under King Henry I converge on north Wales and temporary halt the expansion of the Welsh under the leadership of Gruffudd ap Cynan.
1157 - Gruffudd's son, Owain, ambushes Keng Henry II at a roadblock near Coleshill. Henry escapes and pushes his forces forward until Owain sues for peace.
1165 - An English invading army is defeated by appalling weather conditions in the Berwyn mountain.
1170 - Owain dies, his lands are divided among his surviving sons. Thirty years of family feuds follow.
1201 - Owain's grandson, Llywelyn, rises to power 'like the swirl of a great windstorm'. He sweeps aside uncles and cousins and secures recognition of his position from King John of England.
1205 - Llyweyln marries King John's illegitimate daughter, Joan.
1211 - Relations between Llywelyn and his father-in-law are again strained by Llywelyn's continuous insubordination. The King leads two invasion forces into north Wales, penetrating with devastating effect deep into Llywelyn's lands.
1212 - King John assembles a huge army intent on complete conquest of Llywelyn's lands. At the last moment, the King abandons the campaign, with rumours of a threat against his own life.
1216 - On King John's death, Henry III acquires the earldom of Chester and with it a foothold into north Wales.
1240 - Llywelyn the Great dies. Within a year his son Dafydd is driven out by King Henry III.
1246 - Dafydd dies. His nephews Owain and Llywelyn (the Last) have no option but to agree to the Treaty of Woodstock. All of north Wales to the east of the Rover Conwy is now in royal hands. King Henry III grants the earldom of Chester to his eldest son, Edward (later King Edward I).
1250's - Llywelyn the Last, in common cause with the rebellious English Baron, recovers much of North Wales from King Henry III, including his family's manor of Ewloe.
1257 - Llywelyn the Last begins building a new castle around the Llywelyn the Great's Tower at Ewloe. He later captures and destroys the nearby English castle at Hawarden.
1258 - The native 'magnates of Wales' swear an oath of allegiance to Llywelyn. He assumes the title of 'Prince of Wales'.
1267 - After almost 7 years of conflict with both his barons and Llywelyn, King Henry formally recognises the title of Prince of Wales and Llywelyn's rule over most of North Wales.
1272 - King Henry III dies, whilst his heir, Edward I, is away on crusade.
1273 - Llywelyn fails to swear fealty to the new King of England.
1274 - At the King's formal coronation Llywelyn again snubs Edward with his absence.
1275 - King Edward I journeys to Chester to receive homage from Llywelyn, but he fails to turn up.
1276 - Negotiations give out and Edward's patience finally snaps and he prepares for war.
1277 - In June Edward's campaign begins. Ewloe castle quickly falls to the English, never again to be used as a fortified stronghold.
1282 - Llywelyn the Last is killed in a skirmish. His brother Dafydd is hunted down and executed the following year, effectively ending Welsh resistance.