The coming of the Normans in 11th century Wales.
The Norman Invasion of Wales
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
We will never know what Harold Godwinson's long-range plans for Wales were (see previous article). In the brief time between his accession and his defeat at the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror, Harold gave no sign that he was intending to take personal control of Wales by force.
None of these leaders were able to rest easy. In a bewildering series of internecine battles and betrayals, all these men were dead by 1081. The two rulers left standing when the dust cleared were Rhys ap Tewdwr in Deheubarth and Grufudd ap Cynan in Gwynedd. But the Welsh had other worries than their internal enmities.
The early Norman castles were simple motte and bailey affairs; basically an earthen mound surrounded by a wooden palisade. These wooden castles were gradually replaced by more massive - and more easily defended - castles of stone.
Hugh's cousin Robert took much of Grufudd's lands, and the Normans seem to have regarded Gwynedd as a part of their kingdom. But the threat to Welsh territory did not stop at Gwynedd.
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