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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 10:45 GMT
Glyndwr's burial mystery 'solved'
A book cover
The book adds to the mystery surrounding Glyndwr's death
A 600-year-old mystery about where Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndwr is buried may have been solved.

The one-time Prince of Wales lies underneath St Cwrdaf Church, in Llanwrda, in Carmarthenshire, according to the author of a new book.

The village is an unlikely resting place for one of Wales' most revered historical figures.

Vicar Adrian Legg is thrilled and says he will welcome interest from visitors over the coming months.

Glyndwr's burial site has been shrouded in mystery for centuries.

Alex Gibbon's revelation will undoubtedly re-ignite the heated debate about the resting place of the Welsh legend, whose crowning as Prince of Wales took place exactly 600 years ago in Machynlleth, Powys.

I'm certain as I can be that Glyndwr's burial site is underneath Llanwrda church
Alex Gibbon

Rev Legg said: "This is very interesting. I'm thrilled about it and I'm hoping there will be interest and people in the village will, I'm sure, welcome interest in the church and the area from tourists.

"There has been a place of worship in the village since the 5th or 6th Century.

"And there was a medieval church in the village in the 12th Century.

"Alex's book says that it's likely there's a vault under the church which important people were buried in years ago.

"We had a survey carried out a few years ago and it found that it could still be there."

Rev Legg, who attended author Alex Gibbon's book launch in Cardiff on Friday, added: "The church has been restored and it appears as though the new section would have been built on top of the vault.

"I think Alex's story is quite credible. I had a thought he had found something because he visited the church a few times a couple of years ago."

In The Mystery of Jack of Kent and the Fate and Owain Glyndwr, Mr Gibbon claims Glyndwr's body was moved from Herefordshire, where he died, to the Welsh village - which has a population of 500.

But some Owain experts are still adamant that his grave is in England, close to where he lived after his 15th Century revolt.

Mr Gibbon says the Welsh hero may also have been a legendary character of the mid and south-east Wales borderlands known as Jack of Kent.

Kent was a Robin Hood-type character who nobody is certain ever existed.

Mr Gibbon, 45, who lives near Abergavenny, said: "One can't be absolutely certain that I've found Glyndwr's burial site, but I have found startling correlations linking folklore with Glyndwr.

"From that I'm certain, as I can be, that Glyndwr's burial site is underneath Llanwrda church.

"From my research he died in Herefordshire where he lived, but his body was moved to the village."

And, he added: "Links in south Herefordshire between Jack of Kent and Glyndwr and very strong and they're too much of a coincidence to be false.

Alex Gibbon
Alex Gibbon's claims are disputed

"In fact, I think they provide a clue to people that been staring us in the face for 600 years.

"I don't want to provide more information. All the details are in the book though."

The Owain Glyndwr Society is not convinced by Gibbon's findings.

Its president Adrien Jones, from Llandeilo, said: "Four years ago we visited a direct descendant of Glyndwr, a John Skidmore, at Kentchurch Court, near Abergavenny.

"He took us to Mornington Straddle, in Herefordshire, where one of Glyndwr's daughters, Alice, lived.

"Mr Skidmore told us that he (Glyndwr) spent his last days there and eventually died there."

He added: "I would rather take the word of a family member.

"It was a family secret for 600 years and even Mr Skidmore's mother, who died shortly before we visited, refused to reveal the secret.

"There's even a mound where he is believed to be buried at Mornington Straddle."

It is exactly 600 years since Glyndwr was crowned Prince of Wales in Machynlleth - where he had his parliament.

He rose to power in 1400 snatching, by force, the castles of Wales built by the country's English rulers.

But barely 15 years later Glyndwr's reign ended.


SEE ALSO:
Glyndwr's rule is celebrated
16 Sep 04 |  Wales


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