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MAES MOYDOG; MAES MADOG BATTLESITE, CEFN DIGOLL, NEAR MONTGOMERY

Site Details



NPRN 403416

Map Reference SJ20NE

Grid Reference SJ26490579

Unitary (Local) Authority Powys

Old County Montgomeryshire

Community Forden

Type of Site BATTLE SITE

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Medieval

Site Description To inform the consideration of The Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Wales , a phased programme of investigation was undertaken on the 1295 battle of Maes Moydog. Detailed reports of these investigations are available and comprise documentary and historical research (Chapman), and non-invasive and invasive fieldwork (Archaeology Wales).

The battle of Maes Moydog on the 5th March 1295 marked the end of the most significant rebellion in Wales following the completion of the conquest of Gwynedd by Edward I a decade earlier. Here, Madog ap Llywelyn, leader of the rebellion in the north was defeated by an army led by the Earl of Warwick.

The battle is well attested in chronicles and annals. The three most useful contemporary narrative accounts are in the chronicle of Nicholas Trivet , a Somerset-born Dominican Friar (d. c. 1334), the anonymous analysis of Worcester and the Anglo Norman Chronicle of Hagnaby Abbey, Lincolnshire. Royal Pay Accounts composed by the king’s clerk John Sandell which record Edward I’s expenditure in the winter of 1294-5 also provide valuable information (Chapman).

The location of the battle has long been a matter of speculation. It seems most likely to have taken place in the Parish of Castle Caereinion, Powys (around SJ 1706 0800) three miles to the west of Welshpool on land owned by the abbey of Ystrad Marchell (Strata Marcella) (Edwards, 1931). Here, the place name ‘Moydog’ is preserved in the names of several extant farms and dwellings to this day suggesting that the battle takes its name from the area in which it was fought and not a corruption of the name of the leader of the revolt who was defeated there. Metal detector survey in 2014 over part of this area recovered only a small finds assemblage, which contained no finds contemporary with the battle (Archaeology Wales).

RCAHMW (Battlefields Inventory), Jan 2017

Bibliography
Archaeology Wales, 1295 Battle of Maes Moydog, Welshpool, Powys: Battlefield Survey (2012).
Chapman, A., Maes Moydog 5 March 1295: Documentary and Historical Research Report (2013).
Edwards, J. G., ‘The site of the battle of “Meismeidoc”’, English Historical Review 46 (1931), 262-5