The ancienttown of Montgomery is preparing to turn back the clock 750 years to celebrate the signing of a famous treaty which saw Welsh power at it’s zenith.
On September 29, 1267, King Henry III of England met Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Gwynedd and signed the Treaty of Montgomery at Rhydwhyman Ford, Caerhowell, which was a key crossing point of the River Severn at the time.
The treaty recognised Llywelyn as the Prince of Wales, giving him territories in Wales and England. In return, he swore loyalty to Henry. It was the first time that an English ruler had recognised the right of a Welsh prince to rule over Wales.
To mark the 750th anniversary on Friday, September 29, there will be a short re-enactment of the treaty signing at Rhydwhyman Ford with local schoolchildren taking part.
Later in the evening, there will be a Medieval Banquet and entertainment in the Town Hall, tickets for which will be available shortly. Montgomery’s award-winning brewery, Monty’s Brewery, will commemorate the event with a celebratory brew which will be available throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, September 30, there will be a medieval encampment based at Montgomery Castle. The camp will allow visitors to learn about life in the 13th century and to see clothing, food and weaponry from the period.
Children will have the opportunity to dress up and handle weapons safely and there will be mock tournaments and skirmishes.
The celebrations are being organised by Montgomery Town Council and partners.
In 1265, England was in the throes of a civil war.
After winning the Battle of Lewes in 1264 the mighty Simon de Montfort, sixth Earl of Leicester held Henry III as a prisoner and ruled England with a council of nobles until his death at the Battle of Evesham in 1265.
Llywelyn had aligned himself with de Montfort and eventually married his daughter Eleanor, but would not fight beyond the borders of Wales, which some historians believe could have been a fatal mistake.
After the Battle of Evesham, Llywelyn reached agreement with Henry III at Montgomery.
Many of the conditions of the treaty had been anticipated by the Treaty of Pipton in 1265 between Llywelyn and de Montfort.
The 1267 treaty gave Llywelyn Builth, Brecon and Gwerthrynion in Mid Wales and Whittington Castle, previously held by his grandfather in the 1220s.
He also received an assurance that no castle would be built at Hawarden for 60 years by Robert of Mold, securing the north-eastern border of Wales.
The treaty allowed for the reinstatement of Llywelyn’s brother, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, into Welsh society after his defection to England in the early 1260s.
After Llywelyn’s death in 1282, Dafydd would become the last Prince of Gwynedd and Wales, eventually executed in Shrewsbury in 1283, after his capture..
Though the treaty required Llywelyn to pay homage to the King of England for the land, it was an acknowledgement of the power and authority of the prince.
But, following the succession of Edward I as King of England in 1272, relations between England and Wales deteriorated and Edward declared war on Llywelyn in 1276.
The Treaty of Aberconwy of 1277 superseded the Treaty of Montgomery and severely curbed Llywelyn’s power. In December 1282, 15 years after the original treaty, Llywelyn was killed in a surprise attack in Cilmeri, near Builth Wells and the dreams of an independent Wales, died with him.
See full story in the County Times