The Aberconwy Register and Aberconwy Abbey

This book covers the history of Aberconwy abbey from its foundation in 1186 until its dissolution in 1537.  Due to the paucity of the historical record of the principality of Gwynedd at the turn of the thirteenth century, much of the early part of the book examines the princes of Wales who ruled the lands in which the abbey was founded and from this basis an idea is gleaned of who granted what the abbey and when.  

It is also shown as conclusively as is now possible that the famous 1199 charters of Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth to Aberconwy abbey are forgeries dating to 1315-1332.  The book also takes the first detailed look at the complex politics of Gwynedd from the death of Owain Gwynedd in 1170 until the rise of Llyweyn ab Iorwerth in the late twelfth century and then examines and explains Llywelyn's first marriage.  This led directly to the instability of his rule in Wales and the later wars between his heirs, Dafydd (d.1246) and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (d.1244).  The marriage chapter is reproduced here.  This also contains the most detailed examinations of the actions of such princes as Iorwerth Drwyndwn ab Owain Gwynedd and his brothers and and half brothers, Rhodri, Dafydd and Cynan (d.1174) and their children, Owain ap Dafydd (d.1212), Thomas, Gruffydd and Einion ap Rhodri and Gruffydd (d.1200), Einion (d.1185) and Maredudd (d.1212) the sons of Cynan.

Later chapters examine how Edward I moved the abbey and granted it great rights which were later amalgamated and improved in the forged charters of Prince Llywelyn after Edward's death and before 1332.

 Not forgotten are the extensive ruins of the abbey now contained within the later parish church which still stands upon the site.  

To the left is a reconstruction of how the abbey may have appeared before its downgrading to a parish church in the 1280s.

The numerous appendices cover various chronicles associated with the 'chronicle' contained in the Register and many translations.


The Foundation of Aberconwy Abbey, 1186
The Confirmation Charter of King Henry II, 1186 to 1189
The First Abbey Church at Aberconwy
The Fall and Rise of Gwynedd, 1170 to 1188
Giraldus Cambrensis and the trip through North Wales in 1188
Aberconwy During the Reign of King Richard, 1189 to 1199
Aberconwy and the Foundation of Cymer Abbey
The Rise of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth: From Rebel Prince to Vassal of King John, 1195 to 1199
Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth from 1199 to 1202
Giraldus Cambrensis, Rotoland and Llywelyn ab Iorwerth in 1202
Llywelyn's First Marriage and Aberconwy, 1192 to 1205
Owain ap Dafydd, 1204 to 1212
Aberconwy Abbey During the Reign of King John, 1202 to 1216
Aberconwy During the Latter Part of the Reign of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, 1217 to 1240
The Burial of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and other Venedotians in North Wales
Aberconwy Abbey During the Wars of Prince Dafydd, 1240 to 1246
Aberconwy Abbey Between the Wars, 1247 to 1276
Aberconwy Abbey in the Front Line, 1277 to 1283
The Downgrading of Aberconwy Abbey and the Foundation of Conway, 1283 to 1289
The Ecclesiastical Taxation of Maenan Abbey, 1291 to 1295
Aberconwy Abbey at Maenan during the Fourteenth Century
Maenan Abbey in the Fifteenth Century
The Lands of Aberconwy Abbey

The Physical Remains of Aberconwy Abbey Church
The West End of the Abbey Church
The East End of the Church or Abbey Presbytery
The North Aisle
The South Aisle
The Transepts
The Nave and Arcades

The Register and Chronicle of Aberconwy
The Constituent Parts of the Aberconwy Register
Conventions of the Translation
The Register and Chronicle of Aberconwy
Appendix 1: The Surviving Charters of Aberconwy Abbey
Appendix 2: The Llywelyn Forgeries

Appendix 3: Chronicles Associated with Aberconwy
O Oes Gwrtheyrn
Giraldus Cambrensis
Epitome Historiae Britanniae
Hailes Abbey Chronicles
Tewkesbury Annals, 1066 to 1263
Waverley Annals, Incarnation to 1291
William Rishanger, 1250 to 1327+ 
Worcester Annals, Incarnation to 1308

Appendix 4: Extracts Concerning Aberconwy Abbey
    TNA E.101/351/9 - Issues of the Wardrobe 1282 to 1284
Appendix 5: TNA, C.47/10/32/9 - Writs and returns of Justice of Wales
    concerning Aberconwy Abbey, 1313 to 1314
Appendix 6: TNA, C.143/109/20 - A Maenan Abbey Petition of 1315
Appendix 7: The 1291 Taxatio of Maenan Abbey
Appendix 8: The Lands of Aberconwy
The Lands of Maenan Abbey at the Dissolution
The Known Acquisition Dates of the Lands of Aberconwy Abbey
The Changing Values of the lands of Aberconwy Abbey
The Abbots of Aberconwy and their known dates

Appendix 9: The Latin Texts of the Pope's Letters to Llywelyn
Appendix 10: The Levelinus stone
Appendix 11: Wikipedia versus the sources, Llywelyn Fawr
Appendix 12: Two Contemporary Charters of King John to Religious Houses
Appendix 13: Contemporary Charters to Various Abbeys ...

Preorders may be placed via PayPal for £39.95 plus postage.

Why not join me at Aberconwy and other British churches and castles this October?  Please see the information on tours at Scholarly Sojourns.


Copyright©2017 Paul Martin Remfry

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