Aberffraw is now a small village on the south west coast of Anglesey, Wales ( _cy. Ynys Môn), by the west bank of the River Ffraw, at gbmapping|SH354693. The UK postcode begins LL63. Access by road is by way of the A4080 and the nearest rail station is Bodorgan. In the early Middle Ages Aberffraw was the capital of Gwynedd from c.860 AD until c.1170. Under the eponymous Aberffraw Dynasty it came to be the most important political centre in medieval Wales.

The "Llys" remained the symbolic throne of the Kings of Gwynedd from the 9th century to the 13th century, though Garth Celyn, Aber Garth Celyn, now known as Aber or Abergwyngregyn on the mainland opposite the port of Llanfaes, became the royal home and headquarters, and centre of resistance, from the 12th century until Tywysog Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was lured into a trap and put to death on 11 December 1282. The Royal Annals of Edward I of England show the Llys was dismantled in 1315 to provide building materials for nearby Beaumaris Castle

...appeared to demonstrate the presence of a two-phase, round-angled, rectangular enclosure, at least 70m NNE-SSW, thought to represent a Roman military work, refurnished in the early medieval period as a llys (Princely court) enclosure; although a radio-carbon date centring on the period 27-387AD, appears to support this thesis, the identification of a Roman work is currently out of favour: the site of the llys, whose (partial?) dismantling is recorded in 1317, is regarded as uncertain: two sculptured heads, of apparent C13 style, are known from the village (White 1978): the putative curving angle of the enclosure has been suggested to hint at the former presence of a motte: excavations at the traditional site of the llys, about 650m to the WSW, recorded only C18 remains. Excavation, 1973-4 (White 1979) [http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/Welshsites/966.html] .

Aberffraw village

Attractions near Aberffraw village include Llyn Coron (a lake), Barclodiad y Gawres, a Neolithic burial chamber and the island of Cribinau with the 7th century church of Saint Cwyfan perched on top. The church still holds services in the summer and is sometimes used for weddings with access by boat. The village has an excellent sandy beach which was awarded the Blue flag rural beach award in 2005, and is on the Anglesey Coastal Path.

Princely House of Aberffraw

Aberffraw is the title designated to the senior branch of descendants of Rhodri Fawr through his eldest son Anarawd ap Rhodri, as this branch made Aberffraw, Ynys Mon in Kingdom of Gwynedd its principal family seat. Members of House Aberffraw include Idwal Foel, Iago ab Idwal, Cynan ap Iago, Gruffydd ap Cynan, Owain Gwynedd, Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd, Llywelyn Fawr, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. In the 12th century the Princes of Gwynedd began to use the title "Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon". "Prince of Aberffraw" to emphasise their connection to Rhodri Mawr, and "Lord of Snowdon" to emphasise their possession of the region of Gwynedd. It is this branch that would become the focus of Welsh resistance to Anglo-Norman rule in Wales until the Edwardian Conquest of 1282.

Later direct male descendants would include the Wynn family, claiming direct male decent from Owain Gwynedd.
* Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Gwynedd (died November 1170) = Cristina ferch Gronw ap Owain ap Edwin
* Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd, Lord of Anglesey (d.1195) = Annest ferch Rhys ap Gruffudd
* Thomas ap Rhodri ab Owain Gwynedd = Annest ferch Einion ap Seisyllt
* Caradog ap Tomas = Efa ferch Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli
* Gruffudd ap Caradog = Lleuca ferch Llywarch Fychan ap Llywarch
* Dafydd ap Gruffudd of Rhos = Efa ferch Gruffudd Fychan
* Hywel ap Dafydd = Efa ferch Evan ap Hywel ap Maredudd
* Maredudd ap Hywell (d. after 1353) = Morfydd verch Ieuan ap Dafydd ap Trahaern Goch
* Robert ap Maredudd = Angharad ferch Dafydd ap Llywelyn
* Ifan ap Robert (b. 1438, d. 1469) = Catherine ferch Rhys ap Hywel Fychan
* Maredudd ap Ifan (Ieuan) ap Robert (b. c1459, d. 18 March 1525) = Ales ferch William Gruffudd ap Robin
* John "Wynn" ap Maredudd (died 9 July 1559) = Ellen Lloyd ferch Morys ap John
* Morys Wynn ap John (d.1580) = Jane Bulkeley (1) Ann Grevill (2) Katherine of Berain (3)
* Sir John Wynn ap Morys of Gwydir

Wynn Baronets of Gwydir (1611)

The Wynn Baronets of Gwydir were created in the Baronetage of England in 1611—one of the initial creations—for John Wynn, of Gwydir. The members of this line were heirs to the Aberffraw claim to the Principality of Gwynedd and Wales as direct descendents of Owain Gwynedd. The family continued to be prominent in politics, all the baronets save Owen sat as members of parliament, often for Carnarvon or Carnarvonshire. This creation became extinct in 1719, on the death of the fifth baronet. Wynnstay, near Ruabon, passed to Sir Watkin Williams, who took the name of Williams-Wynn.
*Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet (d. 1627)
**Jane Thelwall (great-granddaughter. Her husband took the name Wynn in honor of his wife's heritage, establishing the Williams-Wynn family.
***Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, 11th Baronet, (David), descendant of Sir John Wynn
*Sir Richard Wynn, 2nd Baronet (c. 1588–1649)
*Sir Owen Wynn, 3rd Baronet (d. 1660)
*Sir Richard Wynn, 4th Baronet (c. 1625–1674)
**Mary Wynn, Duchess of Ancaster and Kesteven
***Priscilla Bertie, 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby
*Sir John Wynn, 5th Baronet (c. 1628–1719) (extinct 1719) A cadet branch of descendants could trace their decent from Richard Wynn, through his daughter Mary Wynn, Duchess of Ancaster and Kesteven, and his great granddaughter Priscilla Bertie, 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. This cadet branch would expire with the 1915 death of Willoughby Merrik Campbell Burrell, 5th Baron Gywdyr.

In mythology

In Welsh mythology, Aberffraw features as the site of Branwen and Matholwch's wedding festival, where Efnysien maimed Matholwch's horses. ["The Mabinogion:" [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/mab/mab22.htm Branwen the Daughter of Llyr] , translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Online at [http://www.sacred-texts.com/ www.sacred-texts.com] .]


Further reading

*Davies, John. "A History of Wales."

External links

* [http://www.aberffraw.anglesey.sch.uk/ Aberffraw School Website]
* http://www.llywelyn.co.uk
* [http://www.aberffraw.org/ Aberffraw Community Website]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3570185 photos of Aberffraw and surrounding area on geograph]

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