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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008, 13:15 GMT
Plaque marks Welsh king's triumph
Battle of Ewloe plaque
It is hoped the plaque will stimulate interest in local history
A plaque commemorating a relatively unknown battle in Flintshire more than 850 years ago has been unveiled.

The battle of Ewloe in 1157 saw 200 Welshmen led by Owain Gwynedd, who was then king of north Wales, nearly kill English monarch Henry II.

The fight in Ewloe wood was close to where the ruins of Ewloe Castle stand.

Enthusiasts who campaigned to have the plaque erected claim the battle was of huge significance to the region, yet it is still little known in the area.

The plaque was the brainchild of local historian Steve Griffiths, from Deeside, who was researching a book on Welsh princes when he learned of the battle, which was a resounding defeat for the father of Richard the Lionheart.

Ewloe Castle (image courtesy of Cadw. Crown Copyright)
The battle was in the woods around where Ewloe Castle now stands
He said: "I was quite shocked that it was such a major victory and key players like Henry II were involved and almost killed.

"Henry brought up to 30,000 troops and camped on Saltney marches. Owain Gwynedd led a force of 3,000.

"Spies were sent to mingle with the solders and the mercenaries. They found out the king was going to lead his force, the household troop, through Ewloe wood.

Sandstone

Mr Griffiths said chroniclers of the time had played down the success of Gwynedd's ambush, carried out by his two sons, which almost cost Henry II his life.

He added: "Because of Owain Gwynedd's victory, we had relative peace in Wales before Edward I came along and started it all again."

Ewloe Castle was built by a later Welsh prince, Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, as a hunting lodge.

Mr Griffiths hopes the plaque, which is set in sandstone dating back to the battle, will encourage children to learn more about their local history.

The plaque was unveiled by Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant.



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