Llewelyn's Cave

Useful Information

Location: Aberedw, Wales.
(52.112701, -3.340046)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=243 m asl, L=3 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Anon (1872): Arch Camb (Series 4) 3 378-382
Anon (1911): Arch Camb (Series 6) 11 142
A G Bradley (1910): The Wye painted by Sutton Palmer, 189pp 24 illustrations. p 53 [Llewelyn's Cave]
Laurence Main (1994?): Western Mail ? Taking the high road above Prince Llywelyn's [sic] Cave. CWM p 110
Frances Tomas (1994): The Prince and the Cave 56 pp illus. Gomer.
Owen Rhoscomyl (1905): Flame-Bearers of Welsh History, being an outline of the Sons of Cunedda 296 pp illus. The Welsh Educational Publishing Co Merthyr Tydfil. p 205 Llywelyn's Cave.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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DEC-1282 Llewelyn the Last spent his final night in this cave.


On the opposite bank of the River Edw from Llewelyn's Castle and a few hundred yards upstream from the confluence with the River Wye. Legend has it that Llewelyn the Last spent his final night in this cave in December 1282. He was campaigning to drive the English out of Builth, where John Gifford held the castle for Edward I. Instead he ran into Stephen Frankton, who ran the Prince of Wales through with his lance and ended Wale's independence.

Facing the Seven Sisters Inn at Aberedw, go left down the lane passing St Cwydd's Church on your right. Fork right past a telephone box on your left and descend with the lane to a bridge over the River Edw. Bear right at a fork and climb uphill for 100 yards. Turn sharply right with a rough track which bears left at the top of a wooded slope. Continue through a gate with the hedge on your right. The next gate on your right gives access to a private field where a well-trodden path on its left-hand edge leads to Llewelyn's Cave, shaded by trees.

Arthur L Leach paints a rather vivid portrait from Mr B Evan Jones's visit: "The cave is cut in the rock about six foot square with a very small entrance. There is also a small peep-hole two foot by six inches in the right hand corner, through which a look-out may be kept, both from the cave and from a recess high up in the same corner. It is traditionally said to have been a hiding-place of Llywelyn, but, if any reliance is to be placed on this usually-perceived story of his last struggle with the English, he could have had no motive for selecting such a shelter, and most probably made his way in a different direction on learning of the treachery which was intended".

"On Thursday Dec 10 1282 Llywelyn went to Aberedw (down stream of Builth) with 18 followers. Supposedly to met some local clansman, but it was a trap, a plot of Giffard and the Mortimers to catch him. Because of the snow he got the blacksmith, Red Madoc of the Wide Mouth, to reverse the shoes on his horse. He hid the night in the Llywelyn's Cave. At Llechynd the faithful were defending the bridge, but the attackers had crossed by a ford upstream and the faithful 18 were slaughtered and soon afterwards so was Llywelyn. [hence Llywelyn the last]" (Rhoscomyl)
The cave consists of a single small chamber and is of historical interest only.

Text by Tony Oldham (13-MAY-2000). With kind permission by Tony Oldham.