Digital  History Project logo

The revolt of Owain Glyndwr
A national parliament at Machynlleth, 1404

Owain Glyn Dwr summoned a parliament at Machynlleth when he was at his most successful, and could truly lay claim to being a national prince of Wales, not just a guerrilla leader. By 1404 his influence stretched across Wales and English control was reduced to a few isolated boroughs and castles. It is held that representatives were sent to the parliament from all parts of Wales, and that envoys attended from France, Scotland and Castile.

The parliament house in Machynlleth today

Detail from a pen and ink drawing by Davena Hooson

He probably chose Machynlleth for its central location in Wales, in an area under his control, with two of his recently-taken castles nearby. According to tradition, it was there that he was crowned prince of Wales, and that he appropriated to himself the full trappings and addresses of royalty. Unfortunately, beyond the bare record in the chronicles that the event took place, we can only speculate at what transpired there.

The Parliament House in Machynlleth has been associated with this event, although it dates from a later period; it is nevertheless a splendid town house in its own right. Local tradition suggests that it may have been built out of materials from the original building where the parliament took place.


The building in the 19th century from an old postcard

By kind permission of the Powysland Museum, Welshpool

  Adjacent to the Parliament House is the Owain Glyndwr institute, constructed in 1911 by David Davies of Llandinam. On the first floor are the Toll Stones which would have originally stood on streets leading into the town, used for recording tolls from markets and fairs. The Tourist Information Centre is located in this building.
From a pen and ink drawing by Davena Hooson
Home Page