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Thursday, November 4, 1999 Published at 11:27 GMT

UK: Wales

Glyndwr's secret could be revealed

Discovering Owain Glyndwr's birthplace might now be possible

Scientists could be on the verge of an exciting breakthrough in discovering the resting place of Welsh legend Owain Glyndwr.

BBC Wales's Sally Davies: "The earth mound is to be the subject of a geophysical survey."
On the eve of the 600th anniversary of Glyndwr announcing an independent Wales and establishing the first parliament in Wales, the latest technology is being employed to find his burial site.

The Scudamore family at Monington Court Farm at Golden Valley near Hay-on-Wye, have revealed the suspected grave of Glyndwr.

The land includes a historic Norman landmark and has long been listed as a special place by English Heritage.

[ image:  ]
Centuries of speculation about the whereabouts of his body could be revealed by a geophysical survey of the ground using hi-tech equipment.

Former professor of medieval archaeology Fred Talbot said the machinery would send a signal through the ground.

If the signal encounters a solid form, a high resistance is recorded and a low resistance is discovered if there is a hollow in the earth.

"The readout from the instruments creates a pattern by gridding the surface giving us a clear idea of what is below the surface," Mr Talbot explained.

[ image: The mystery of Glyndwr's resting place has endured centuries]
The mystery of Glyndwr's resting place has endured centuries
Owain Glyndwr Society spokesman Tony Carter said the significance of the potential breakthrough had come at an interesting time.

"I think we need to know the facts," he said.

"We are on the threshold of the new Millennium, the 600th anniversary of Owain Glyndwr's rising and the first parliament at Machynlleth.

"All this seems to be coming together in a fascinating way."

The excitement, though, is not shared by Professor Rhys Davies, dean of the faculty of modern history at Oxford University and author of "The Revolt of Owain Glyndwr".

'No significance'

"As a historian, I cannot see it frankly of any significance whatsoever," he said.

"I suppose the fact that it was not known by any of his contemporaries when he died or where he died is part of the mystery.

"Heroes like Owain Glyndwr have an element of mystery surrounding them.

"Whether it improves it or solves it by finding the burial site is a different matter."

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