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Talfolwern Castle

Powys, Mid-Wales

Map link for Talfolwern Castle

Mike Salter 1991

The low-lying motte between Afon Twymyn and Afon Rhiw Saeson (which may have been dammed to form moats) was probably built by Owain Cyfeiliog, who was granted Cyfeiliog commote in 1149 by his uncle Madog ap Maredudd. When the latter died in 1160, his relatives quarrelled among themselves and in the confusion Cyfeiliog was taken over by Owain Gwynedd. However, the castle, which formed the chief seat of the commote, was captured in 1162 by Hywel ap Ieuaf, Lord of Arwystli. Owain raided Arwystli, defeated Hywel, and rebuilt Talfolwern Castle. By 1165 he had returned it to Owain Cyfeiliog, but the latter was expelled from all his lands when he renewed his former allegiance with the Normans. The castle was briefly held by Rhys ap Gruffydd but was recaptured by Owain Cyfeiliog with Norman help. It was occupied by Owain's son Gwenwynwyn in the later 12th century and is last mentioned when Owain's grandson Gruffydd was isolated there in 1244 by a Welsh army because of his support for Henry III, and John le Strange wrote to the King urging his help.

 


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