Behind the scenes: influence of Rhys ap Gruffydd
The Norman invasion of Wales in 1066 was a hugely significant chapter in our history. With their mighty military machine, the Normans crushed any signs of resistance. A series of bloody rebellions followed as the Welsh fought to regain control of their lands.
The fire power and political prowess of Rhys ap Gruffydd made him the acknowledged leader of the Welsh. By 1165 England and Wales had been at war for over a century. Both sides wanted peace and Rhys positioned himself at the heart of the negotiations.
In the process he bagged himself the role of Justiciar, of south Wales. But Rhys wanted to be remembered for more than his political achievements. Under his patronage, he established what many think of as Wales’ first ever Eisteddfod at his castle in Cardigan.