Tale of forgotten Welsh hero Ifor Bach resurrected in new book
If you’ve heard his name it’s probably thanks to the club in Cardiff, or the school in Abertridwr – but who was Ifor Bach?
Eurig Salisbury hopes to answer that question by bringing the story of Ifor Bach – or Ifor ap Meurig – alive in a new novel.
The story is based on what is known historically about one of Wales’ 12th century lords.
Ifor Bach lived in a period when the Normans had conquered England, but large areas of Wales were still under the control of the native Welsh Princes and Lords.
Ifor ap Meurig held land in Senghenydd, a region of Morgannwg which had not yet fallen completely, and came into conflict with the local Norman lord William, Earl of Gloucester, who held Cardiff Castle.
When Gloucester tried to take land that belonged to Ifor, he hatched a daring plot which involved scaling the walls of Cardiff Castle using his bare hands and kidnapping the Norman lord’s family.
“Since reading about Ifor Bach as a child I’ve had a great deal of interest in him both as a historical figure and as a man of flesh and blood,” Eurig Salisbury said.
“It was a bloody time in the history of Wales and that is reflected in the novel, but I hope there is heart-ache, love and some humour as well.”
The book which is aimed at young adults is illustrated with pictures by Jac Jones.
“I didn’t need to imagine anything with Eurig’s words, I just stole the words and let them run to the appropriate shapes,” Jac said. “It was a privilege to work on the book.”
Eurig Salisbury will be signing copies on the Eisteddfod field next week at 11am Thursday, August 8th at the Gomer stall.
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Ifor Bach was 2x great grandfather of Llewelyn Bren who lead the siege of caerphilly and was hung drawn and quartered at cardiff castle in 1318.
Also according to my family tree Ifor “bach” ap Meurig Fychan ap Cydifor ap Cydrich is my 26x great grandfather.
There is also a public house named after him in pantyscallog village dowlais …called …Y Pant cad ivor where it is said he met his end