Petition for Wales to purchase Owain Glyndŵr’s ancestral home launched
A petition has been launched urging the Welsh Government to purchase Sycharth, the ancestral home of Owain Glyndŵr.
Nestled in countryside of north Montgomeryshire, south of the village of Llansilin, it was the manorial home of the princes of Powys Fadog and the home, and most probably the birthplace, of Owain Glyndŵr – the last native-born Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales, who led a led a 15 year-long Welsh War of Independence in the late Middle Ages.
The site, featured in Iolo Goch’s poem, ‘Llys Owain Glyndŵr’, was burned to the ground in May 1403 by the English prince, Henry, during Glyndŵr’s Uprising.
Sycharth is a scheduled monument protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, and currently in private ownership with visitor access by agreement with the Llangedwyn Estate. The site has previously received funding from the Welsh Government’s historical environmental service, Cadw.
Between 2009 and 2011 Cadw ran a project to investigate and conserve historic sites associated with the native princes of Wales. This included archaeological investigative work and conservation at Sycharth.
The cost at the time was £155,000, and also covered installation of a car park, interpretation signage and public access.
However, recent years have seen increased criticism of the condition and lack of enhancement in the site, and earlier this year, Penri Roberts, founder of Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn, called for a public takeover of Sycharth.
This most recent petition, launched yesterday (November 23) by Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn, calls for the public purchase of the site, and has already gained significant support – almost reaching the required level of signatures to be discussed by the Senedd Petitions Committee.
The petition has been endorsed by local Plaid Cymru politicians, who have long pressed for greater investment and increased accessibility to the site.
Bryn Davies, Plaid Cymru councillor on Powys County Council said: “Sycharth’s place in Welsh and British history cannot be understated. However, despite the integral role it plays in our nation’s heritage, the site has long been neglected by authorities – and is increasingly falling into disrepair and dereliction.
“I welcome this petition and believe the Welsh Government should be doing much, much more to rightfully promote this site of historic significance.”
Cefin Campbell MS, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales added: “As part of the Co-Operation Agreement, earlier this month Plaid Cymru secured that Welsh history would be a mandatory part of the school curriculum in Wales for the first time in 150 years.
“However, if we are serious about promoting our history and heritage for future generations, it’s vital that sites of enormous historical significance, such as Sycharth, are also safeguarded – and I welcome the aims of this petition, and efforts to enhance the site.”
Elwyn Vaughan, Plaid Cymru leader on Powys County Council concluded: “Whilst some work has been done by Cadw to Sycharth over recent years, it remains neglected and overlooked. It is a site so closely interlinked with our culture, history and identity in Montgomeryshire and Wales as a whole, and I have no doubt the Welsh Government should be investing in the site for future generations.”
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