I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Owain Who?

We all know the stereotype of the estate agent that embellishes a bit on the history or quality of a property they want to sell, but when it comes to McCartneys Estate Agents in Knighton, Powys they may well be able to argue that their apparent blunder is no more than another Western Mail mess up.

In the Western Mail story today we find out that McCartneys are selling Castle Hill for a client of theirs. Local tradition has it that King Arthur was married on the mountain. The Western Mail's report also tells us that:
These days there’s not much to separate it from thousands of other grassy hills that dot rural Wales – other than the buried remains of a Norman castle destroyed by Owain Glyndŵr’s forces...the Normans built a castle on the hill as a way of keeping the troublesome local population in check. But it was unsuccessful in its design, and was consigned to ruin after Owain Glyndŵr’s forces laid waste to it in 1262.
Problem is of course Owain Glyndŵr never saw Knucklas Castle, let alone destroy it. How do I know this? Owain Glyndŵr was not born in 1262, and not for another 95 or so years!

A quick history check tells us that it was Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf's men who destroyed the Castle, led by his general Owain ap Madoc!

What makes the mistake even more careless is that it quotes the Estate Agent's description of the property:
Available evidence suggested that Knucklas Castle was of a square construction with substantial stone walls and a circular tower at each corner. Its purpose was to remind the more or less hostile Welsh population who was in charge. It was attacked in 1262. The castle is last mentioned in contemporary records in 1316.
This description is taken nearly word for word from the Castle Wales' entry on Knucklas Castle:
...available evidence suggested that Knucklas Castle was basically a square construction with substantial stone walls and a circular tower at each corner. Its purpose was to remind the more or less hostile Welsh population who was in charge..The castle is last mentioned in contemporary records in 1316...
The next half of that last sentence on the Castle Wales website reads:
...it is very unlikely it was anything more than a ruin by the time of Owain Glyndwr's revolt in 1402.
Good old Western Mail, as trustworthy as always!

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