Battle of Crogen - Welsh Victory Against English Invaders Remembered

August 2015 has seen a number of commemorations and the unveiling of a plaque to mark the 850th anniversary of the Battle of Crogen that took place in the Ceiriog Valley (Welsh: Dyffryn Ceiriogin) in north-east Wales. The Welsh in 1165 faced a determined Henry II of England who brought his full resources in order to conquer Wales once and for all. It was a threat that posed such a threat that it united the Princes of North, South, and Mid Wales under the leadership of Owain Gwynedd and Rhys ap Gruffydd, the Lord Rhys.

Given that Henry's forces had the advantage of greater numbers, the Welsh under Owain Gwynedd adopted guerrilla tactics of raid and ambush. Then a powerful force of Owain's troops assaulted Henry's army at a place that is known as Adwy'r Beddau, "the Pass of the Graves". The English forces were driven out of Wales. Angered as his failure to suppress the Welsh, Henry II ordered Welsh hostages to be brought to him at Shrewsbury. Here he ordered the mutilation of twenty-two prisoners, two of whom were Owain's sons.

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