Module Identifier WH32130  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Miss Karen Stober  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Mutually Exclusive HC32130  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours 18 x 1 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   9 Hours 9 x 1 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours 3 HOUR CLOSED EXAM  60%
Semester Assessment 1 X 2,500 WORD ESSAY, 1 X 4,OOO WORD ESSAY  40%
Supplementary Assessment ANY MISSING WRITTEN WORK  40%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to
Assess critically the body of historical knowledge which discusses medieval Wales in its wider social and political contexts.

Comprehend and assess the different historical debates and analyses evident in related texts, ranging from the Middle Ages to recent scholarly works.

Read, analyse and assess a range of different types of historical evidence, including literary evidence.

Comprehend the historical debates and problems regarding the impact of Anglo-Norman settlement on medieval Welsh society.

Develop and lead historical debates.

Work independently and as part of a group and take an active part in group discussions.

Express understanding and discuss related issues through writing in an academic context.

Understand the importance of historical sites and appreciate their role as physical evidence.

Brief description

The now ruined Welsh castles of Edward I are a powerful reminder of an age of conquest and power struggle, which lasted for centuries. Beginning with the Norman Conquest of England and the arrival of Norman settlers in Wales in the eleventh century, discussing the rise and fall of the native princes and ending with Owain Glyn Dŵr’s revolt in the fifteenth century, this module aims to introduce this period of conflict and coexistence which shaped and re-shaped medieval Wales and its people. Questions of national identity will be addressed in the light of the transformation of medieval Wales during the centuries of unrest and settlement, and these issues will be further illustrated with examples from medieval Welsh prose and poetry (in translation). By assessing the interaction of Welsh society through politics, trade and war, the situation of medieval Wales will be set into the wider European context.


This module is intended to provide an introduction to the history of medieval Wales and its struggle for independence during the centuries between the Norman Conquest and the Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr. It will thus fill the current gap in medieval Welsh History teaching in the department and extend further the options for students wishing to study the history of Wales.


1. Introduction: assessing the evidence – medieval sources
2. Wales before the Normans
3. Norman settlement in Wales – society and economy
4. Norman settlement in Wales – church and religion
5. Norman settlement in Wales – the making of the march
6. The Welsh Princes (i)
7. The Welsh Princes (ii)
8. The Welsh Princes (iii)
9. The Edwardian Conquest (i)
10. The Edwardian Conquest (ii)
11. The Edwardian Conquest (iii)   
12. The Welsh Cistercians
13. The literary tradition (i)
14. The literary tradition (ii)
15. Owain Glyn Dŵr – Wales in the late fourteenth century
16. Owain Glyn Dŵr – the revolt
17. Owain Glyn Dŵr – the aftermath
18. Conclusions

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
A.D. Carr (1995) Medieval Wales London
John Davies (1994) A History of Wales London
R.R. Davies (1986) The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415 Oxford
R.R. Davies (1997) The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr Oxford
A.O.H. Jarman and G.R. Hughes (eds.) (1997) A Guide to Welsh Literature, 1282-c.1550 Cardiff
Turvey, R (2002) Welsh Princes: the native rulers of Wales, 1063-1283 London
Walker, D (1990) Medieval Wales Cambridge
Williams, I.M. (ed.) (2002) Cronica Walliae Cardiff


This module is at CQFW Level 6