RHYS AP GRUFFUDD (THE LORD RHYS) (1131/2–1197)
Amman Valley Archaeological and History Society, (2006)
On 18th September 2006 Ammanford Archaeology and History Society was treated to a talk on the medieval Rhys ap Gruffydd, Lord of Deheubarth, by Dr Roger Turvey, Head of History at Amman Valley School. Dr Turvey, who has written on the Lord Rhys, spoke fluently on the subject without the aid of notes, and so the following summary of this great Welsh figure’s life has been written by the secretary of the Society from sources which include Dr Turvey’s book on the Lord Rhys. The shortcomings of this article therefore belong to its author and not in any way to Dr Turvey.
One of the greatest figures to have come from west Wales was the medieval warrior-prince Rhys ap Gruffudd, or the lord Rhys, as he is usually called. Born in Carmarthenshire around 1132, by the late twelfth century he was the most powerful of the several native princes ruling the Welsh-speaking area west of Offa’s dyke, and he was responsible for the building of Dinefwr Castle high on a crag above the river Tywi at Llandeilo. It is possible also that he built the motte and bailey castle whose remains can still be seen today in Ammanford.