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Published: March 27th 2019
Gabby the motorhome is parked up on a very busy road in a very tiny layby. There is not much room for us. In fact if another car drew up and wanted to park it would be able to. We are in the tiny hamlet of Cilmeri. A handful of houses. Fields and little else , . So why on earth are we here?
Well there is a tale to tell. We are heading towards home but have a couple of stop offs before we end our short break. We have enjoyed being out in Gabby and sitting in the layby we understand why we love her. We get the freedom to do where we want, when we want and to hunt out unusual visitor attractions. So what is here in Cilmeri?
There is a gate leading to a mound. We can see plaques just outside the gate and we spy a large monolithic block of stone on top of the mound. There are flowers around the stone and the remains of a flag. This is an important site in the history of Wales and I doubt many know of its location.
We climbed out of Gabby and
walked carefully to the gates. The cars and lorries rushed by. It wasn't really a good parking spot. This is the village famous for being close to the spot where the last native Prince of Wales of direct descent not forced on us by the English monarchy was slain. Llewelyn ap Gruffudd was slain in a skirmish with soldiers in the service of Edward I . He was killed on 11th December 1282. The story went that when asked for a Bible the soldiers realised who he was and cut his head off, washed it in a stream and took it to London where it was displayed on a pike. A further story says he was separated from his troops and when he was dying he asked for a priest. This act gave the soldiers the clue to who he was.
Llewelyn the Last was Prince of Wales from 1258 until his death in 1282. He was the son of Gryffudd ap Llywelyn Fawr and grandson of Llewelyn the Great. The last sovereign prince of Wales before its conquest by Edward I.
We stopped to read the slate plaques and then climbed the bank to the monolithic grey
stone at the top Plain and very ordinary it had been produced in Snowdonia. We read the story boards around the site before going down the steps to the stream below the monument. We stood for a moment quietly thinking about the important of the site. The small well where the head was washed was now covered over by a metal grid. Lifting it up we put our hands in it. The water trickled past. When Llewelyns head was washed it must have run red with his blood.
After our visit we headed off for Machynlleth. We had found a place for the night. A massive car park in the middle of the town. Just one van and one large lorry parked up. We moved to a quiet corner and checked the camping contact book to make sure we could park up. The sign also suggested that we could park free overnight and even sleep in the van. Unusual for a town to allow us a free parking place and we were grateful for it. Thankyou Machynlleth. We will probably come back and pay you back for your hospitality.
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