Cymraeg ardal@ardal-wales.co.uk

Royal Courts

The Royal Courts of the Kingdom of Gwynedd

Castell Deganwy

The early Kings of Gwynedd would normally have a main preferred palace, while the heart of the kingdom of Gwynedd would always remain at Aberffraw through the ages; the location dating back to the Roman period, where the dynasty had all began.

The Royal Court of Gwynedd was continually moving from one centre to another, its journey known as a circuit, with each commode having its own Royal Court or Maerdref. This was the main centre of administration that controlled its own regional issues, such as tax collection and justice.

Nowadays, most sites of the Royal Courts of Gwynedd are virtually unknown, lost in time, either covered by fields or built upon by later farmsteads or villages after the conquest of King Edward I.

Below is a list of all the known Royal Courts in the area

I have included an O/S number on all historical sites to enable everyone to locate using an O/S map.

Anglesey

Llys Rhosyr (photo by K F Banholzer) Rhosyr 2Llys Rhosyr Welsh Royal Court

Llys Aberffraw – the main Royal Court, the Royal Seat of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of Malltraeth – Aberffraw SH353689

Llys Llanfaes – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref  of Dindaethwy – Beaumaris SH607775

Cae Llys Rhosyr – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (site discovered in 1992)Maerdref of Menai  – Newborough SH430651

Caer Gybi – early Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (situated on the site of the Roman Fort) – Holyhead SH247827

Cemaes (Cemais) – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of Talybolion (possibly situated near the site of Llanbadrig church) – Cemaes SH375946

Talebolyon (Tal-y-Bolion) – early Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (site unknown) – Llanfaethlu SH313869

Penrhos (Penrhoslligwy) – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of Twrcelyn (site unknown, believed to have been situated on the site of Plas Lligwy) – Moelfre SH497859

Gwynedd

 Aber Garth Celyn  Pen y Mwd

Llys Caer Segont – early main Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of Cantref Arfon (early court based at Segontium, and later at the site of Caernarfon Castle ) – Caernarfon SH485623

Cantref Arfon – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of Cantref Arfon (probable court based at the site of Caernarfon Castle (the Welsh regained the motte & bailey castle, in 1115AD) – Caernarfon SH476626

Dolbadarn – early Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (of Merfyn Frych) – Llanberis SH586598

Castell – Norman motte & bailey (possible Welsh Medieval court) (earthwork) Rhiwlas SH569655

Llys Dinorwig – Royal circuit Court of the Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd – Brynrefail SH632562

Llys Aber – Garth Celyn – late Royal Court of the Princes of Gwynedd – Abergwyngregyn SH658732

Pen y Mwd – (site of a motte and a debated site of Llys Aber)Abergwyngregyn SH656733

Deganwy Castle (Din-Ganwy) – early main Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Maerdref of  Conwy –Deganwy SH782794 (see Castles)

Llys Rhun, Caer-Rhun (Caer Ganwy) – The Royal Palace of King Rhun (named after Rhun, his preferred palace, based at Canovium Roman Fort) – Caerhun SH776703

Trefriw – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (possibly situated on the site of Ebenezer Church) – Trefriw SH780631

Bodysgallen – early Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd ( linked to Cadwallon’s early reign) Llandudno SH799792

Rhos – early Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd (possibly situated at the site of Bryn Euryn) – Llandrillo –yn-Rhos SH832798

Rhuddlan – Royal Court of the Kingdom of Gwynedd – Cantref of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (situated on the site of Twthill Castle motte & bailey rems) – Rhuddlan SH026776

 Castell Deganwy (view of motte)Deganwy Castle (part of a wall)Castell Deganwy (the wall)

(Some early dates are c. (circa) meaning around that time)
Some areas may be on private land and permission to roam may be required.
 There are public footpaths leading to most places.
Safety and care must be taken at all times, as some areas are difficult to get to due to hills and slopes that may lead away from paths.