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Issue No. 7 [Back Issues]
24th August 2004

The Battle for Wales 1403 in Shrewsbury and 2004 at Goodrich Castle


In conjunction with the BBC Tele-vision series, 'Battlefield Britain,' the 'Battle for Wales' was fought again at Goodrich Castle over the weekend of 21st / 22nd August.

The Plantaganet Society arranged a fun packed weekend in the grounds surrounding Goodrich Castle. There were many stalls, selling anything from mead to medieval clothing. Colourfully dressed musicians, 'Nonimus' (making a name for themselves) entertained on contemporary instruments. Genuine jousting tournaments and foot combat took place between the knights of Henry IV and the French, to the cries of 'Kill the Frenchman!', a children's drill and a heuristics display on medieval timekeeping.

 
Battle for Wales
  The Battle for Wales. Ref: DSC_3138 More photographs of this event are available by clicking here.

During the 1390s, King Edward III annexed Wales, building castles throughout the country and the Welsh people were treated as slaves. One 'Owen Glendwer', a farmer in North Wales had his land stolen so he raised a rebellion and declared himself, 'Prince of Wales,' raised an army and defeated the English at the Battle of Penrith. An English leader tried to defeat Glendwer, failed and got captured by the Welsh but eventually married Glendwer's daughter, changing sides in the conflict. As he had friends in England, he recruited an army of both Welsh and English which included, 'Hotspur'. By this time, Henry IV was England's King. Henry IV tried to suppress Glendwer, tried to recapture Wales but failed and a long guerilla war ensued. In 1403 there was a long battle at Shrewsbury. The English won, Hotspur was killed and Henry IV's son, Prince Hal, later to become Henry V was injured in the face by an arrow. It is this battle which was re-enacted at Goodrich Castle.

Later the Welsh invaded England, occupying a hill near Worcester but were eventually starved into submission. Glendwer's wife and grandchildren were taken to the Tower but it is uncertain what happened to Glendwer himself.

There are not many naval architects that one could wake up in the middle of the night with a phone call and ask for details of what happened at the 1403 Battle for Wales - and, without hesitation but in a sleepy voice, get the full story dictated straight off the top of his head. Thanks, Dad! (My Oracle.)


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