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Paths of the Dead: The Ghosts of Medieval Battle

November 22, 2015


IMG_20140903_105535 Ewloe Castle, Flintshire, close to which was the site of an ambush won by the forces of Owain ap Gruffudd a century before this castle was built

In my travels I have chanced upon two 12th-century battles sites: Coleshill and Crogen. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on medieval military history and certainly not Welsh medieval history. Still, the current physical form of these locations deserve an Archaeodeath perspective, especially as both sport modern memorials.

For researchers, medieval battles are ghostly juggernauts. They are giant events that are pivotal in deciding the fate and trajectories of medieval communities and kingdoms, yet rarely do they leave satisfactory historical or archaeological traces. This is in stark contrast to medieval fortifications which litter our landscapes as vestiges of royal and lordly power, status, residences and military endeavours.

DSC01575 Chirk Castle from the line of Offa’s Dyke as it descends into the Glyn Ceiriog. The castle overlooks the…

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