Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Historical Amnesia ( Wales)

                              Cadle (Swansea)
Wales has a very long and interesting history but little if any is known about this subject by the Welsh people. You travel throughout England, Scotland and any country in Europe and you will come across countless monuments and statues commemorating significant events and people. Yet in Wales until recently , there was nothing. This is despite the fact that there are more castles per square mile in Wales than in any other country. This fact alone would indicate a country with an interesting military history and although the castles are still here in various states of repair, what do we actually know about the events that led to the building of these?

From my own experience, very little if any Welsh history was taught in the schools I attended. At Dynevor grammar school in Swansea I was taught about King Edward`s conquest of Wales and the castles of King Edward such as Harlech, Caernarfon, Conwy and Beaumaris. Basically, I and Welsh pupils in general were taught history from a British ( English) perspective. Should we not have been taught from a Welsh perspective and have been taught about Llywelyn`s defence of Wales and his castles? I attended Dynevor Grammar school but it was not until I left school that I discovered that the name Dynefor is derived from an important Welsh castle just outside of Llandeilo. Was it a case of indoctrination through our education system to make us feel British rather than Welsh? Whatever the reason, the “British” education system has caused a Welsh historical amnesia. Most , if not all Welsh people, will know about the Battle of Hastings and will be able to tell you the year (1066). Whilst that may have been a significant event in English history as it led to the end of Saxon England and the defeat of that country, Wales and the separate Welsh monarchies continued for another 200 years.

I lived first 26 years of my life on the outskirts of Swansea close to a place called Cadle.

 It was not until quite some time after I had left school that I discovered that Cadle is Welsh for battle place and that a very bloody battle was fought in the vicinity. This particular battle was a catalyst that led to some very interesting events and outcomes, yet who knows about this? I am going to address this issue by first of all giving an account of this battle fought in Swansea and the consequences of this battle. I intend to highlight other historical events which were ignored in my schooling. Cadle will be addresed in Historical Amnesia ( Wales ) Part 1.

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