THE legacy of the historic princes and lords of Wales should be celebrated, the Welsh Government's culture minister has said.

Lord Elis-Thomas was speaking at the launch of a new booklet outlining the historically important sites and attractions run and maintained by Cadw, including Caerphilly Castle, Tintern Abbey and Blaenavon Ironworks.

The Independent AM and former Plaid Cymru leader said: “From Caerphilly to Caernarfon, Conwy to Castell Coch, we are a country blessed with some of the most magnificent, imposing castles in the world, attracting record visitor numbers and boosting the economies of many of our towns and cities.

“But there are a whole host of castles on our doorsteps that are, perhaps, less well known but both individually and as a collective serve as precious physical reminders of our history and our heritage.

“These, to me, are the true Welsh castles - those built or inhabited by distinguished Welshmen of the past - by Llywelyn, Lord Rhys and Glyndwr amongst others. Welsh Princes who fought for and over Wales and helped shape the Wales and Welshness we recognise today.

"I’ve been determined to better promote and signpost these castles and their significance to our history and culture."

Owain Glyndŵr, who died in 1415, was the last Welsh-born Prince of Wales. He led a revolt against English rule, which initially enjoyed widespread success, but ultimately failed to completely overthrow the Crown in Wales.

Other historic princes and lords of Wales include Rhys ap Gruffydd, popularly known as Lord Rhys, who ruled over parts of south Wales from 1155 to 1197, and Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, or Llywelyn the Great, who was a prince of north Wales during the first half of the 13th century.

Lord Elis-Thomas said the new booklet, which will be available for free at all Cadw-run sites across Wales, will provide information on the castles most closely associated with the Welsh lords and princes.

“Each of these castles has its own history, its own story and its own character. I hope that, through the material launched today as well as through future improvements, we can help encourage as many people as possible to explore and enjoy these Welsh castles and their significance to the Wales we live in today,” he said.

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