The Royal Courts of the Kingdom of Gwynedd
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.
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
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