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LLECH-Y-CRAU; BATTLE AT LLECHRYD BRIDGE, LLECHRYD

Site Details


NPRN 404478

Map Reference SN24SW

Grid Reference SN218436

Unitary (Local) Authority Ceredigion

Old County Cardiganshire

Community Llangoedmor

Type of Site BATTLE SITE

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Medieval

Site Description It seems agreed that a battle between Rhys ap Tewdwr and the sons of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn was fought at Llech-y-crau or Llychcrei. The place has not been identified but two possible locations are Llechryd (Bridge) in Cardiganshire and (Cwmbach-) Llechrhyd near Builth Road in Radnorshire (nprn 404479). The date too is uncertain but various sources quote 1087, 1088, 1089 or 1090.

1088: And then Rhys ap Tewdwr was expelled from his kingdom by the sons of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, that is, Madog, Cadwgan and Rhiddid. And he fled to Ireland, and forthwith after that he assembled a fleet and came back again. And then the battle of 'Llychcrei' took place, and the sons of Bleddyn were slain; and Rhys ap Tewdwr gave immense treasure to the seamen, Scots and Irish, who had come to his aid.
Source: Thomas Jones, The Chronicle of the Princes, 1955, p.31.

In 1088 [Rhys ap Tewdwr] was attacked by the sons of Bleddyn, who now ruled over Powys; at first defeated and forced to take refuge in Ireland, he speedily returned with the aid of a Danish fleet and overthrew his rivals in a battle in which Madog and Rhiryd ap Bleddyn fell, their brother Cadwgan escaping with his life.
Footnote: The name of the place at which the battle was fought is not to be recognised in the corrupt forms which have come down, viz. 'penllecheru' (Ann. C. MS. B. in Trans. Cymr. 1899-1900, 176), 'perilethereu' (MS. C. 177) and 'llychcrei' (Bruts, 270); 'llech ryt' (B. Saes. s.a. 1087), though adopted by Powel (88) and others, does not seem a happy conjecture.
Source: J.E.Lloyd, A History of Wales, 1912, vol II, p.398.

"Llechryd . . . is by some historians supposed to have been the scene of a sanguinary engagement which took place between Rhys ab Tewdwr, sovereign of South Wales, and the three sons of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn who, in a previous insurrection, had compelled that sovereign to seek refuge in Ireland. Rhys returning thence, in 1087, with a powerful army to recover possession of his dominions, landed on the neighbouring coast, and was met at a place called LlĂȘchryd by the sons of Bleddyn, who resolved to give him battle before his army should be increased by the number of his friends who were hastening to join him; and an obstinate and severe battle was here fought, in which the sons of Bleddyn were totally defeated, and two of them slain on the field.
A place of this name in Radnorshire has been generally reputed the scene of this engagement, to which opinion Mr. Jones, the historian of Brecknockshire, has afforded some negative sanction by deriving its name from a stone which may have been raised there to the memory of Riryd, one of Bleddyn's sons who fell in the encounter. But there are numerous a circumstances which conspire to give the greater degree of probability to the former opinion, among which, the situation of LlĂȘchryd in Cardiganshire, in the direct route of this sovereign's march through his own territories, where he might reasonably expect the assistance of his friends, in his progress towards the seat of his government at Dynevor or Carmarthen is not the least important."
Source: Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1833.

B.A.Malaws, RCAHMW, 20 June 2006.