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An important court of the medieval Princes of Gwynedd, Llys Rhosyr, Anglesey, has been acquired for the nation by Cadw, so that the story of this significant site in Wales’ history is preserved and protected for present and future generations, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden has announced today.

First published:
8 April 2023
Last updated:

Situated near Newborough, Llys Rhosyr is the only Court of the Welsh Princes in Wales  with visible remains that can be visited by the public. The cultural significance of the site is reflected in its designation by Cadw as a scheduled monument. It now becomes the 131st monument to be directly looked after by Cadw.

The royal llysoedd or palaces of the Princes of Gwynedd are amongst the most important secular settlement complexes in the Welsh Medieval landscape. Although other llys sites are known from documents or have been suggested from partial excavation, Llys Rhosyr is the only undefended Court or Llys of the Welsh Princes that has been confirmed through archaeological excavation.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden made the announcement during a visit to Llys Llywelyn at Amgueddfa Cymru’s St Fagans.

Two of the court buildings from Llys Rhosyr have been recreated at St Fagans as Llys Llewelyn. These are interesting illustrations of experimental archaeology in action and help to introduce people to the world of medieval Wales.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said:

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to purchase this significant site in Welsh history.  Cadw will now start work to ensure the site is properly conserved and accessible for all to appreciate.

“Visiting Llys Llywelyn in St Fagans has provided a fascinating insight into what the original site in Anglesey could have looked and felt like, and how important it was to the history of Wales.

“And of course, the actual site of Llys Rhosyr retains great archaeological potential and also has an important sense of place, with views outwards across the Menai Strait to the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia) which the Princes of Gwynedd used to their advantage during times of attack.”

Nia Williams, Director of Learning and Public Programmes, said:

Llys Llywelyn was built as part of the redevelopment of St Fagans National Museum of History. It brings the experience of a Royal Court of the Princes of Gwynedd to life for our visitors. It is a popular building and is used for many events such as music gigs, medieval feasts and sleepovers. We look forward to collaborating with Cadw and continuing the relationship between the local Llys Rhosyr community on Anglesey and the recreation of the Llys here at St Fagans.”