One of the best known figures in Welsh history and one of its most enigmatic.
OWAIN GLYNDWR, OR OWAIN AP GRUFFUDD (b c. 1354--d. c. 1416), last native prince of Wales whose rebellion against England was the last major Welsh attempt to throw off English rule. He became a national hero upon the resurgence of Welsh nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Owain Glyndwr was in an almost unique position in Wales at the end of the fourteenth century in that he was an independent landowner who could claim descent from the Royal Welsh Princes. He is reputed to have studied law at the Inns of Court in London and is known to have been a soldier of some repute in service of the English crown, he served with the forces of Henry Bolingbroke, an opponent of King Richard II and afterward King Henry IV. Back in Wales he found that England's oppressive rule had crippled the Welsh economy and aroused popular resentment.
What started as a land ownership dispute in 1399 with a neighbour, Lord Grey of Ruthin, escalated, after getting nowhere trying to settle the matter before the courts in London, within a few months into a campaign for an independent Wales with Owain Glyndwr being declared Prince of Wales in september 1400. He was the first independent ruler since Dafydd ap Gruffudd, who reigned briefly after the mysterious death of his elder brother Llewelyn the Last in 1282.
In general Owain Glyndwr was a master of guerrilla warfare. Recognizing the shortcomings of his army of followers against the might of the forces of the English Crown, Owain usually avoided direct confrontation with the enemy. However he did fight two notable battles during his campaign and the sites of both are within walking distance of Glyndwrs Way.
Glyndwr's Way is a 128 mile (206 km) walking route that runs through some of the finest scenery in Mid Wales.
The route starts in Knighton on the English border where it links with Offa's Dyke Path before heading westwards into the Radnorshire Hills. It visits the remote settlement of Abbeycwmhir before heading northwards into the former county of Montgomeryshire and the market town of Llanidloes (Church of Saint Idloes). It then heads north-westwards along the shores of the Clywedog Reservoir and climbs to its highest point near Foel Fadian before descending to the focal point of the route at Machynlleth. Where Owain Glyndwr held his parliament in 1404. Glyndwr's Way leaves Machynlleth heading eastwards back across Mid Wales before turning northwards to visit the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy. The final leg of the journey heads southeastwards through farmland, ending at the border market town of Welshpool.
More Information on Owain Glyndwr and Glyndwr's Way can be found:
Knighton tourist Information Centre
Machynlleth Tourist Information Centre