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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Unveiling of ancient prince mural
Mural at Builth Wells
The unveiling is in time for next week's Royal Welsh Show
A mural depicting the last days of an ancient Prince of Wales before his death at the hands of the English has been unveiled in Builth Wells.

The 40 feet square mural shows the final days of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd before he was ambushed and killed at Cilmeri, two miles from the town on 11 December, 1282.

Llywelyn's death is still remembered as a national disaster by many who believe it was the final nail in the coffin of Welsh nationhood.

The mural took three weeks to finish and is already attracting attention from motorists passing it in the mid Wales town which next week hosts the Royal Welsh Show - the centrepiece of the agricultural year in Wales.

We hope it will attract visitors to the town and it will be a bonus for people travelling to the Royal Welsh Show here next week
Avril York

"Youngsters and the not so young, have been extremely enthusiastic about the mural and have carefully followed its progress," said Avril York, of regeneration group Builth and District Matters Ltd.

"Even before the mural was completed coaches and cars have been making unscheduled stops in the town.


"We hope it will attract visitors to the town and it will be a bonus for people travelling to the Royal Welsh Show here next week."

A mural in Builth Wells has been suggested for some years by the Chamber of Trade, but it only became a reality when the building changed hands.

"The new owner was not only agreeable but could immediately see that the benefits to the town could be vast," added Ms York.

The project cost 6,000 and was boosted by a 5,000 grant from Powys Council.

The mural depicts the last days before Llywelyn's death.

Builth Wells
It is hoped the mural will attract visitors to the town

In the winter of 1282, after defeating the English army at Menai Straits, Llywelyn came to Builth to raise support amongst the local chieftains.

He camped with his army near Cilmeri when he was summoned to go alone to Aberedw, supposedly to meet the Chieftains of Breconshire to join forces with them against the English invaders.

Llywelyn and his retainer Grono ap Fychan, and a bodyguard of 18 men, crossed the River Wye at Llechrhyd and leaving the soldiers to guard the ford, Llywelyn and Grono went on alone to Aberedw.

But he was ambushed and killed. The prince's body was buried in Abbeycwmhir, near Rhayader, but his head was taken to London.

The mural shows Llywelyn and his men, a scene depicting the fighting and a representation of Builth Castle, where Llywelyn was turned away when trying to flee from the English.

It also shows a blacksmith - Red Madoc - who reversed the horseshoe on Llywelyn's horse so that the prints in the snow would look as if he was travelling in the opposite direction when fleeing from his ambushers.

"This was a hugely enjoyable project to work on because it evolved as we went along," said Ron Swanwick, of Kington, who painted the mural with Neil Chambers in 15 days..

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