Published Historical Books

A Political Chronology of Wales from 1066 to 1282: Part 1: 1066 to 1199 (ISBN 1-899376-15-1) [1995]. Part 2: 1200 to 1246 (ISBN 1-899376-25-9) [1995]. Part 3: 1247 to 1275 (ISBN 1-899376-26-7) [1995]. Part 4 1276 to 1282 (ISBN 1-899376-27-5) [1995]. These booklets cover the events relevant to Wales in the period from the Norman Conquest to the fall of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1282. In summary form the struggle between Welsh, English and Normans is displayed with reference to the founding of castles, sieges, deaths, conquests and battles. Many maps and an index help to chronicle the maelstrom of changing alliances and political power structures. A must to understanding the turbulent history of Wales.

The four old volumes are now replaced by one volume as detailed below


New Series!

A Political Chronology of Wales, 1066 to 1282 
An Annual Breakdown of Events
(ISBN 1-899376-46-1) [2003]
is now available as a single volume at £34.95



From Banff to Plymouth: The Memorabilia of a Nineteenth Century Sailor (ISBN 1-899376-31-3) [1997] covers the known history of John Bremner (1779-1871) from his impressment into the Royal Navy in 1803 through many Napoleonic campaigns including Copenhagen, Trafalgar, Lisbon and Sumatra to his retirement in 1835. Printed in full are his many letters and several poems written by him during the era and which have been passed down to the Remfry family as John's direct descendants.  The picture opposite is of Hong Kong where John's son, John James Manly Bremner served in the early 1850's.

Available at £4.95

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Castles of Radnorshire (Logaston Press, ISBN 1-873827-54-7) [1996]. This book covers the political history of the now defunct county from its origins as part of the now largely forgotten kingdom of Cynllibiwg to its overrunning by Parliamentary forces in the Civil War of 1642-46. Detailed are the struggles between the kings of Cynllibiwg and their princely successors and the Normans of Herefordshire, occasionally led by the kings of England. Into this treacherous web is minutely woven the building, destruction and rebuilding of the 45 castles in the county. The history is followed by a gazetteer of all the castles giving a brief history and the current preservation and state of access to the site. A major strength of the book is that all the castle sites have been visited by the author. Their convoluted history and as far as possible their chronology has been disentangled. Includes New Radnor Castle, Twyn y Garth, Barland Castle, Burfa Castle, Womaston Castle, Evenjobb Castle, Knapp Farm mound, Kinnerton Castle, Newcastle, Dinieithon Castle, Cymaron Castle, Cefnllys Castles, Knucklas Castle, Castell y Blaid, Tinboeth Castle, Buddugre Castle, Tomen Castle, Knighton Castle, Bryn y Castell, Norton Castle, Bleddfa Castle, Pilleth Castle, Rhaeadr Castle, Rhaeadr-gwy Castle, Colwyn Castle, Penarth Castle, Fforest Wood Castle, Guanceste, Painscastle, Llandeilo Graben Castle, Llanstephan Castle, Dolbedwyn Castle, Cwrt Evan Gwynne Castle, Cae Maerdy Castle, Llowes Castle, Clyro Castle, Glasbury Castle, Aberedw Castles, Boughrood Castle and Trewern Castle.

Twelve years after this first edition a second edition has now been published in 2008, The Castles and History of Radnorshire (ISBN 1-899376-82-8).  This massively expanded book consists of 309 pages of A4 and examines in greater detail the history and castles of Radnorshire and Rhwng Gwy a Hafren.  Starting in the early eleventh century the book covers the age of the castles up to the Civil War of 1642-46.  Each castle description is buttressed by numerous photographs and plans of the earthworks as well as any remains that survive.  A new look is also taken at the battlefield of Pilleth and the evidence for the course of the battle is scrutinised.  The book also contains genealogical family trees of the major historical Radnorshire families and a full index.

Available for £39.95.

The Castles of Breconshire (Logaston Press, ISBN 1-873827-80-6) [1998] . This book follows the same format as its predecessor for Radnorshire. The many smaller baronial families who made up the aristocracy of the county are explored in some depth from their arrival in the eleventh century to their extinction many generations later. Much of the history dwells on the policies and campaigns of the two Llywelyns of Gwynedd in the thirteenth century. Once more all the castle sites have been visited by the author and once more they are described in detail. Includes Brecon Castle, Aberyscir Castle, Alexanderstone Castle, Castle Madog, Cilwhybert Castle, Clawdd British, Cwm Camlais Castle, Llanddew Castle, Llandefaelog-Fach Castle, Llanigon Castle, Llanthomas Castle, Pencelli Castle, Pont Estyll Castle, Sennybridge Castle, Trecastle, Ty'n-y-Caeau Castle, Vaynor Castle, Ystradfellte Castle, Castell Coch, Bronllys Castle, Aberllynfi Castle, Blaenllyfni Castle, Crickhowell Castle, Garn y Castell, Hen Castell, Maescelyn Castle, Scethrog Tower, Talgarth Tower, Tredustan Castle, Trefecca Castle, Tretower Castle, Twmpan Castle, Builth Wells Castle, Caer Beris Castle, Caerau Castle, Treflis Castle, Llanafan-fawr Castle, Llysdinam Castle, Forest Twdin, Castell Dinas, Crickardarn Castle, Waun Gunllwch and Llyswen.

Now out of stock.  A new version is planned.

Annales Cambriae

New Series!

The translation of the Latin Welsh Annals known collectively as Annales Cambriae has finally been published in 335 A4 pages at £39.95. The three annals published by the Rolls Series, and edited by the Rev. John Williams ab Ithel in 1860, have long needed an English translation. To these three annals I have added translations of the Cronica de Wallia and the Welsh chronicle found in the Ms Exchequer Domesday Book which was apparently made at Neath abbey. Together all five works add details to English and Welsh history from the days of King Arthur to 1298. 

The introduction looks at the provenances of all five annals and discusses various problems of chronology and even the actual date of their compilation. The book contains many footnotes and cross-references that will be of interest to all students of history as well as numerous descriptions of the vagaries of climate, like flood, snow, earthquakes and eclipses.

Annales Cambriae.  A Translation of Harleian 3859; PRO E.164/1; Cottonian Domitian, A 1; Exeter Cathedral Library MS. 3514 and MS Exchequer DB Neath, PRO E.164/1 (ISBN 1-899376-81-X) is available at £39.95

Listed on the Annales Cambriae page are the contents table of the book and the index.

Monumental Brasses in Shropshire By Mill Stephenson, B.A., F.S.A.
[Reprinted from The ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, March, 1895]
With additions and corrections by Paul Martin Remfry
Described here, and excellently illustrated, are the 21 extant  brasses to be found in Shropshire.  This paper was first published in 1895.  Further information has since become available on two of the earliest brasses, those for Elizabeth Cornwall in Burford and William Vernon with Margaret Swinfen.  This information is printed as two addenda.

The book, 84 A4 pages long is available for £14.95 via the button below.

Medieval Battles, 1047 to 1295, Volume 1

This book, Medieval Battles, 1047 to 1295, Volume 1, is an introduction to a series of books looking in detail at the original accounts of medieval battles within the Anglo-Norman realm between 1047 and 1295.  The books are primarily based upon first hand translations of Exchequer documents and chronicle accounts.  For the first time all the major sources are brought together for the reader to experience what was known of battle in this period.  This first volume includes a detailed look at what it was actually like to be a knight or common soldier with first-hand accounts of the life of medieval soldiering.  The training, armaments and ethos of medieval soldiers are examined in individual chapters before taking a more detailed look at the planning and events for eleven campaigns along the Plantagenet frontier.  For a very short example in the dismissal of false battle please see here.

Available now through PayPal for £39.95.  Consists of 398 A4 pages and 147 illustrations and maps.

Medieval Battles, Wales, Volume 2, Part i: 1055 to 1216

This is a book about the real battles of Wales and its Marches, not fanciful tales of tragedy and melodrama.  The aim is to write the known history of the battles which were fought within the lands known as Wales in the Middle Ages.   To this end the history in this volume is based upon sound translations of original sources where these exist.  Consequently a conscious attempt has been made not to reproduce baseless more modern assertions in this text, although where necessary these assertions are examined to explain why they are wrong and what is more likely to have really happened.  More likely are the correct words to use as events were never clear cut and more than one interpretation of the evidence is always possible.  To better understand the basis for this work it is necessary to read the first volume in this series which looks at broader military issues and the sources used to build up these books.

These works attempt to adhere firmly to facts - facts that can be verified by comparison with original sources - and the value of this original evidence will be examined as to its veracity.  Speculation will occur, as it is simply necessary to make sense of many of the events which have been recorded, but it will be noted as such.  What was obvious to a contemporary might not be so obvious to us hundreds of years later.  Similarly what was reported and written down as history in a monastery might not have been an accurate representation of what had actually happened.

The Battles of Wales is divided into chapters which together cover the struggle for dominance in Wales.  These are designed to be either dipped into separately or read together as a coherent military history of Wales.  The table of contents is listed here.

For a short example chapter, please see the battle of Cedweli.

Available now through PayPal for £39.95.  Consists of 267 A4 pages and 101 illustrations and maps.

The Native Dynasties of Rhwng Gwy a Hafren 1066 to 1282

Paul Martin Remfry, B.A., M.Phil., studied history at Aberystwyth University College of Wales between 1981 and 1984.  In 1989 he obtained a Master of Philosophy Degree by Thesis with this book which consists of an examination of the descendants of Elystan Glodrydd (died c.1010) and their lands in the Middle Marches of Brycheiniog, Buellt, Ceri, Cwmwdd Deuddwr, Elfael, Gwrtheyrnion, Llythyfnwg and Maelienydd.  It concludes with their final dispossession as lords of the district in the period immediately after the final conquest of Wales in 1282.  A major part of the work consists of an evaluation of the career of Cadwallon ap Madog of Maelienydd (d. 1179) and the extent of his power in the Middle Marches.  Much space is also given to a survey of castle sites, both Welsh and Norman, and an attempt to link together the archaeological evidence with the written record.  Other topics include the depth and nature of early Norman penetration of Wales and the varying Welsh responses to this.

The Native Dynasties... is now available through PayPal at £39.95.  It consists of 260 A4 pages and 76 illustrations with family trees of the main branches of the family of Elystan Glodrydd.


The Wigmore Chronicle, 1066 to 1377

This book is the first translation of the Wigmore chronicle into English.  It also contains transcriptions of the original Latin of the annals from John Rylands MS 215 and Trinity College, Dublin, MS 488. The Wigmore Chronicle, 1066 to 1377, sponsored by the Mortimer History Society, contains the first ever translation of the Wigmore chronicle, together with the original Latin, buttressed with a voluminous Introduction and Appendices.  Research into the chronicle, as well as other similar chronicles, has shown that there was probably one set of annals originally kept at Wigmore abbey that ran from 1066 to after 1377.  Unfortunately this work has not survived.  Instead, two independent copies of parts of this manuscript have so far been found.  The first, now kept in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, runs from 1095 to 1306 and was written in May 1382.  The second part of the chronicle that has survived, now kept in Trinity College, Dublin, was probably copied in the early fifteenth century and covers various years between 1349 and 1377.  It is concluded that the lost original chronicle was compiled and then written up in late 1295 and then continued possibly intermittently until at least December 1377.  The text contains several stories showing the interests and amusements of the medieval religious mind as well as intimate details of the lives and deaths of some of the Mortimers of Wigmore and their relatives.

This book, 136 pages of A5 text, is available for £34.95 plus p&p via the Add to Cart PayPal symbol below.

The Killing of Prince Llywelyn of Wales, 10 December 1282

The title of this book will no doubt raise protests of: “But he was killed on the eleventh!”  Unfortunately the original evidence says otherwise and that is the point of this entire book - to look at the evidence and not the later hearsay which has now grown through oft repeated mantra to be accepted as venerable history.  This is the true story of the death of Prince Llywelyn, who did it, what the main actors’ motives were and, most importantly, why it was done in such a manner.

The final campaign of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd has long been shrouded in mystery.  It is now possible to put together a plausible story of the last great army raised by a recognised native prince of Gwynedd. 

Within these covers, told by translations of the original documents from Latin and French, the story of the killing of Prince Llywelyn of Wales unfolds — who did it, what the motives of the main actors in the tragedy were and, most importantly, why he was killed in such ‘a dishonourable manner’.

This book of 224 pages of A4 text with 39 illustrations is available for £39.95 plus p&p via the Add to Cart PayPal symbol below

Copyright©2014 Paul Martin Remfry

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.  Also examined in the book is Llywelyn's first marriage which led directly to the instability of his rule in Wales and later wars between his heirs, Dafydd (d.1246) and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (d.1244).

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.

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

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

Available via PayPal for £39.95 plus postage.

Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry

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