over an hour the Prince of Wales remained at the bridge in the
hope that news would come of the attack on Builth castle, none
did, but then none ever would. Unbeknown to Llywelyn, whilst he
had been inspecting his men that morning, the local men had indeed
carried out their intended plan and attacked Builth castle. However,
substantially re-enforced by men from Montgomery, the garrison
had quickly put them to flight. A disaster occurred when they
withdrew in disarray, for they left one of their injured comrades
behind. On his subsequent capture, then torture in the castle
dudgeons he, in an attempt to save his life, informed John Gifford
the Castellan of Builth that there was a ford across the river
Irfon a little way upstream from Orewin bridge and that it could
still be used even when the river was running in spate.
quickly after extracting the information, during which the informer
died on the rack, John Gifford had it relayed to L' Estrange:
who immediately ordered his army group to prepare to advance.
In the meantime a squadron of English lancers galloped for the
river, crossed it by means of the ford; then hid in the trees
beyond. When some hours later English bowmen and heavy cavalry
from the main body of Army Group Central attacked the defenders
of Orewin bridge from the front, the lancers broke out of the
trees galloped forward and attacked the defenders from the rear.
It was but a little time before the battle for the bridge was
over, and the English battle group was across the river and advancing
towards the Welshmen situated on the ridge to the south West.
When the two sides met in battle, O, what a bloody slaughter there
was, that late December day. Without their Commander-in-Chief
the Prince of Wales on the battlefield, it was but a short hour
before rank upon rank of Welshmen, the majority without armour
on, lay either dying or dead.
What of their Commander-in-Chief I hear you say? what became of
Dismayed that no news had reached him while
he waited at the bridge, Llywelyn had rode north and crossed the
river Wye before riding east in an attempt to observe the castle
from the north. However, as he did so, he observed the English
battle group begin its advance to the west, fearing the worst
he immediately attempted to re -cross the river, but unfortunately
lost his horse mid stream.
When Llywelyn eventually regained the south river bank, he set
out hurriedly on foot up a gully that ran around to the base of
hill, on which his men were at the top. Unfortunately a one Stephen-de-Frankton,
a kings lancer, on seeing the lone figure hurrying before him
without armour on, ran him through before carrying on his way
without knowing who he was.
dusk descended that fateful day, two men of the Shropshire Infantry
were abroad looking for the spoils of war. On hearing an eerie
moaning coming from the dark gully to the side of the battlefield,
they entered it with some trepidation; where on getting to the
scene, they found it was Llywelyn calling for a priest. Unfortunately
by the time they found one, Llywelyn-ap-Gruffudd ' The Last Prince
of Wales' was dead.