Corwen is famous for its connections with the legendary Owain Glyndwr. For six years he fought the English Crown, in what was nothing short of a battle for full Welsh independence. His superb military tactics and fierce charisma near unified a nation behind him, fighting the English to a standstill. Ultimately, however, his uprising was unsuccessful, though he was never caught, and to this day his ultimate fate is unknown. His disappearance has become a source of profound myth, and his name is near ubiquitous in the Corwen area. There have been recent suggestions that the whereabouts of his resting place is known to his descendants, but it remains a closely guarded family secret.
Glyndwr’s Mount is where it all began in 1400. Slighted by Baron Grey de Ruthyn, a landowning neighbour, Glyndwr called his followers to war at the Mount, some 300 of his best and began his raids on Ruthyn’s lands. The revolt spread quickly through Wales, until even Welsh students at Oxford left their studies to join with this Prince of Wales.
The Mount is still an impressive and imposing sight, and it is clear that it would have had a commanding presence in the valley. It stands proud beside the River Dee, overlooking the sacred waters. While there is evidence that the Mound was ditched, there is no evidence of other defensive works associated with a motte, such as a bailey. A moat, still retaining water on its north east side has been identified in the field to the east, surrounding a triangualr mound. This then would likely have been the site of one of Glyndwr's manor homes, and while it may seem a little odd to have a manor house associated in such a fashion with a motte, there is evidence of such a relationship elsewhere in the area, including Rug. The 16 year old Henry of Monmouth (the future Henry V) laid waste to the area in 1403, burning to the ground Glyndwr's hall and, presumably the castle, along with Glyndwr’s home in Sycharth, before engaging rebels at Shrewsbury later that year.
The moat sited some 180m to the east of the mound, still retaining water on its north east side, along with what has been identified as a cup-marked stone.
Curiously, on the edge of the water to the north east of the moat, what has been identified as a cup-marked stone is to be found. Dating from long before the mound, moat and manor were built, where it has come from is entirely unknown. A fascinating odditity, to be sure.
Park in a small layby opposite the Mount and take care in crossing the busy A5. There is a stile to a permissive path which leads up to the Mount. There is a small information panel which gives some detail about the Mount, while also pointing to other areas associated with Owain Glyndwr.