A petition has been launched urging the Welsh Government to purchase Sycharth, Owain Glyndwr’s ancestral home in Montgomeryshire, has reached its target of 10,000 signatures.
Nestled in countryside of north Montgomeryshire, south of the village of Llansilin, it was the manorial home of the princes of Powys Fadog and the home, and most probably the birthplace, of Owain Glyndŵr – the last native-born Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales, who led a led a 15 year-long Welsh War of Independence in the late Middle Ages.
The site, featured in Iolo Goch’s poem, ‘Llys Owain Glyndŵr’, was burned to the ground in May 1403 by the English prince, Henry, during Glyndŵr’s Uprising.
Sycharth is a scheduled monument protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, and currently in private ownership with visitor access by agreement with the Llangedwyn Estate. The site has previously received funding from the Welsh Government’s historical environmental service, Cadw.
However, recent years have seen increased criticism of the condition and lack of enhancement in the site, and earlier this year, Penri Roberts, founder of Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn, called for a public takeover of Sycharth.
This most recent petition, launched in November by Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn, calls for the public purchase of the site – and has received backing from politicians including Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Labour’s Geraint Davies MP and local Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales, Cefin Campbell. Having now reached 10,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for a debate in the Senedd.
Responding to the news, petition organiser, Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn said:
"It's amazing to see the support this petition has gained – reflecting the public interest in safeguarding this site of crucial historical importance.
I'm determined to see Sycharth developed for the benefit of our nation and future generations - making the site easier to reach, better to walk, and that there are more resources available to tell the story of Glyndŵr properly. I hope this will be the basis for other important places for the history of Wales to be developed and celebrated."
Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales added:
"I'm delighted that the petition calling on the Welsh Government to buy Sycharth has now gained 10,000 signatures and will now be considered for a debate in the Senedd. Sycharth’s place in Welsh and British history cannot be understated. However, despite the integral role it plays in our nation’s heritage, the site has too often been neglected by authorities.
As part of the Co-Operation Agreement, Plaid Cymru secured that Welsh history would be a mandatory part of the school curriculum in Wales for the first time in 150 years. However, if we are serious about promoting our history and heritage for future generations, it’s vital that sites of enormous historical significance, such as Sycharth, are also safeguarded and promoted.”
Earlier this month, the Welsh Government announced that Cadw had taken ownership of Llys Rhosyr, situated near Newborough, on Ynys Mon. The court of the medieval princes of Gwynedd, who ruled Wales after the Romans was bought for £17,000 and has been designated as a scheduled monument.