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Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. Properly speaking, this is Llandeilo Fawr, or the seat of St Teilo, the third after David to hold the primacy of St David's; Gerald de Barn called him Eliud or Teilaus. There are other Liandeilos in Wales, but this is known as the Great. The town. however, is more renowned for its military than its religious significance. And this is made plain by the presence of the Castle of Dynevor, spelled Dinefwr in Welsh, which takes for its footing an isolated hill apart from the town, and observes the valley of the Towy with the indifference of a long-established past. The town is a stretch of two-storeyed, barracked houses devoted to the business of the thriving valley, which, while it does not have the more romantic beauty of other valleys parallel to it in the South gives an even stronger impression of deep-rooted fertility. The woodlands have a golden light in their branches, which is no doubt why the great house standing among them not far from Llandeilo was called the Golden Grove.

The first appearance of Dynevor in recorded history is in 876, when Rhodri the Great, descendant of the House of Cunedda, who held his land against the Danes and united all Wales under his rule, made at the Castle the disposition that he hoped would enable Wales to keep that unity. He divided his kingdom among his three sons, one to hold the North, or Gwynedd. another to hold the South, or Deheubarth, and the third to have Powys, the Kingdom of Central Wales, stretching from Severn to Dovey, which Cunedda in the 5th century had first established. It was a partition that, however, did not make for unity but for a series of rivalries from which Wales was never free. Yet this was not the beginning of that division. It was one that the natural structure of Wales imposes: the desert of mountain and moorland called the Ellennith was then, and to some extent still is, an effective barrier to communication. Gwynedd, the upland mass of the Snowdon range with Anglesey, is cut off from any direct approach to the South except by sea through Cardigan Bay, and only with difficulty could Powys build itself along the line of the Dee and the Severn and the Wye and reach the Dovey valley. Gerald de Barn, visiting Dynevor in the 12th century, states that in ancient times Wales had three capitals: the princely seat at Aberifraw in Anglesey. the one at Pengwern (Shrewsbury). and this last at Dynevor. But, as he well knew, he was not writing of the days of Rhodri the Great. Even in the 9th century, Shrewsbury had been lost to Powys; it had been taken by the Saxon in the 7th century Gerald was looking back to the time before Rhodri when his ancestor, Cunedda, from the line of the Severn, had placed Roman-British control over both the North and the South. Rhodri in 876 was reviving a political system adapted to the geographical necessities of Wales. Dispute between the Sons of the House of Rhodri and Cunedda lasted into the 11th century, on the eve of the Norman incursion into Wales. In 1080 Dynevor was held by Rhys ap Tewdwr, one of the ancient line, and the North by Gruffydd son of Cynan, who was another of the same descent, and the Castle became concerned with the long resistance to the Norman invasion of Brecon and Carmarthen and Pembroke. This Rhys of 1080 was the first of the Lords Rhys to rule in the South. with their heraldic badge of the raven, which had come to them from the auxiliary legions led by Cunedda. They are still the badge of the family of Lord Dynevor.

Nearby towns: Carmarthen, Lampeter, Llandovery, Llanybydder, Pontardawe

Nearby villages: Abergorlech, Ammanford, Bettws, Brechfa, Broad Oak, Brynamman, Capel Hendre, Carmel, Cross Hands, Dryslwyn, Ffairfach, Garnant, Glanamman, Llanarthney, Llanddarog, Llanddeusant, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanedi, Llanfynydd, Llangadog, Llangathen, Llannon, Llansadwrn, Llansawel, Llanwrda, Myddfai, Nantgaredig, Pontyates, Pontyberem, Porthyrhyd, Pumsaint, Talley, Twyn Llanan, Tycroes, Ystalyfera

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