Letter: A millennium of Welsh resistance

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The Independent Online
Sir: The photograph of Builth Castle accompanying David Keys' article 'Remember 1093 and all that?' (8 November) amply illustrates why 1093 for Wales is not remembered in the same way as the year 1066 is in England.

Builth Castle was built in the late 11th century, was taken by the Welsh in 1168, rebuilt by the English/Normans in 1210, taken again in 1215, rebuilt in 1219, attacked in 1223, was back in Welsh control by 1229, rebuilt by the English/Normans in 1242, taken again (probably) in 1256, recaptured, then retaken and destroyed by the Welsh in 1260, and rebuilt finally by Edward I in 1277. Although Wales was effectively conquered by 1283, it was still necessary to provision Builth Castle against invasions by Owain Glyndwr as late as 1403.

Whereas in England the Norman conquest was as emphatic as to be over - effectively - by 1086 when Domesday was written, the Welsh were somewhat more resilient: to this day, Welsh Nationalists are still fighting for their cause.

Yours faithfully,

MICHAEL SMITH

London, N4

9 November

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