Ideology, castle-building and landscape in Gwynedd, 1194–1283
Author: Craig Owen Jones
£16.99 £13.59 (free p&p)
“Dr Craig Owen Jones’s book is… a major advance, and extremely welcome. Anyone interested in native Welsh castles would benefit from reading it. The book has many strengths. It goes a long way towards integrating historical, architectural, and archaeological knowledge and also employs a relatively new line of analysis, with diagrams illustrating the field of view around a castle.”
About the book
“This is a book that needs to be read and then read again to mine all the information that the author presents. Princely Ambition should be on the shelf of everyone with an interest in medieval Wales, as well as castellologists. The author is to be congratulated on his book, and the publisher has produced a fine volume, up to the high standard of the other volumes in this series.” John R. Kenyon, The Castle Studies Group Journal
“The volume is written in a lively style and illustrated with numerous photographs and plans that are well integrated with the text. His valuable study provides a stimulating reappraisal of the castles of the princes of Gwynedd that in turn should engender further interest in, and research on, a major, if also in many respects an elusive, aspect of political power in thirteenth-century Wales.” Huw Pryce, Journal of the Merioneth Historical Society
“Craig Owen Jones has… produced a book which provides an excellent summation of the available evidence, whilst at the same time offering many thought-provoking ideas… a timely and useful volume for those interested in castle studies.” Andrew Davidson, Archaeologia Cambrensis
“Jones has produced a stimulating book which places the subject of the Welsh castles in the wider, British context, centred around the Venedotian princely fight for hegemony in Wales and the broader defence of the Welsh polity against English encroachment.” Chris Keepfer Roberts, Transactions of the Denbighshire Historical Society
While the Edwardian castles of Conwy, Beaumaris, Harlech and Caernarfon are rightly hailed as outstanding examples of castle architecture, the castles of the native Welsh princes are far more enigmatic. Where some dominate their surroundings as completely as any castle of Edward I, others are concealed in the depths of forests, or tucked away in the corners of valleys, their relationship with the landscape of which they are a part far more difficult to discern than their English counterparts.
This ground-breaking book seeks to analyse the castle-building activities of the native princes of Wales in the thirteenth century. Whereas early castles were built to delimit territory and as an expression of Llywelyn I ab Iorwerth's will to power following his violent assumption of the throne of Gwynedd in the 1190s, by the time of his grandson Llywelyn II ap Gruffudd's later reign in the 1260s and 1270s, the castles' prestige value had been superseded in importance by an understanding of the need to make the polity he created — the Principality of Wales — defensible.
ISBN: 978-1-912260-27-0 Format: Paperback, 184pp Published: Feb 2022
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