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The Dynevors

Summary & sources

Summary

As we've seen above, the Rhys dynasty at its peak ruled over large parts of modern day Dyfed. All that remains of the mighty Dinefwr lands today, centuries later, is the small (though perfectly formed) Dinefwr Park in Llandeilo, none of it belonging to the Dynevor family, today's descendants of the Rhys dynasty.

Crossing Llandeilo's traffic-choked roads, in this no longer rural little town, few today realise how recently these residential surroundings were once pasture and woodland, criss-crossed by a network of tinkling streams and babbling brooks. Tarmac, concrete, bricks and mortar have since covered the fields with the fabric of an urbanized environment; the streams have been culverted underground and out of sight, now reaching their destinations in the nearby Towy and Cennen rivers unsuspected by the people who scurry about on top. But take a walk through Dinefwr Park and all this bustle can be forgotten for a few hours as, with just a little imagination, you can hear the sound of battle from a thousand years ago and be thankful that none of those arrows, spears or psychopathic killers called medieval knights is headed your way (and be especially thankful that the 15th and 16th century family from hell is now just a part of the Dynevors' history).

Sources

The following sources have been used in compiling this brief survey of the Rhys/Dynevor family and Dinefwr Park:

  • Dinefwr Castle on the Castles of Wales website
  • Dinefwr Park in the Cambria Archaeology website
  • Dinefwr in the National Trust website
  • Castle Woods (Llandeilo) in The Wildlife Trust of West Wales website
  • The Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth, Roger Turvey, Gomer Press, 1997. This short popular study of the Lord Rhys is the first book about this important 12th century figure since 1911.
  • Sir Rhys ap Thomas and his Family, Ralph A. Griffiths, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1993. A detailed history of the Rhys ap Thomas family during the Wars of the Roses and the early Tudor period. The book also reprints the early 17th century biography of Rhys by his descendant Henry Rice.
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1959, with a Supplement in 2001. For entries on the Rhys/Rice families.
  • CADW, the organisation responsible for the Welsh architectural heritage (Cadw means to keep in Welsh).
  • A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710, published in The National Library of Wales Journal 1976, Summer XIX/3, by G. Milwyn Griffiths.
  • W.T.H. Locksmith, Ammanford: Origins of Street Names and Notable Historical Records, published by Carmarthenshire County Council in 2000.
  • Hanes Plwyf Llandybie (History of the Parish of Llandybie), Gomer Roberts, first published in Welsh 1939, English translation by Ivor Griffiths, 1986
  • Pages From Memory, Jim Griffiths, Dent, 1969.
  • Kelly's Directory for South Wales, 1910, on the website: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/CMN/Betws/Kelly1910Aman.html (This is interesting also for a snapshot of Ammanford in 1910, including an address list of the prominent private residents and businesses at the time.)
  • The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct or dormant, (Volume 4) by G.E.C., New edition, revised and much enlarged by the Hon. Vicary Gibbs with the assistance of H. Arthur Doubleday, London, 1916.

  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 1999.
  • Equivalent Contemporary Values of the Pound: A Historical Series 1270 - 2003, Bank of England, Sept 2003.
  • And They Blessed Rebecca: An account of the Welsh Toll-gate Riots, 1839-1844, Pat Molloy, Gomer Press, 1983.
  • The Rebecca Riots - a Study in Agrarian Discontent, David Williams, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1971.
  • Letters of George Trevor Rice on website: http://www.tlysau.org.uk. - Currently off-line (2016)
  • Rebecca Riots: Unpublished letters, 1843-44, The Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society and Field Club, vol. XXIII, 1932. These are transcriptions by George Eyre Evans of the Geoge Rice Trevor letters on the 'Tlysau' website mentioned above.
  • Crime, Class and Corruption: the Politics of the Police, Audrey Farrell, Bookmarks (1992). See pages 51 - 69 for the history and role of the police in the mid-nineteenth century.
  • A History of Wales, John Davies, Penguin 1994, pages 378 - 382 for the Rebecca Riots.
  • The South Wales Squires by Herbert M. Vaughan. Originally published in 1926; reprinted, with a forward by Byron Rogers, in 1988 (Golden Grove Editions). Vaughan had been a squire himself and The South Wales Squires, despite its sometimes self-pitying and self-justifying lapses, offers a real insider's glimpse into this once powerful but now long-dead social class, moribund even by 1926.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), 2004. The massive DNB is the authoritative repository of the nation's great and good (including its not so great or good), from Roman times to the present. First appearing in the late nineteenth century the latest edition was published in 2004, though anyone wishing to display it on their bookshelves will first need to get hold of £7,500 and then shelves strong enough to hold its sixty encyclopedia-sized volumes. Its 50,000 double-column pages contain entries for 55,000 people, including George Rice Trevor, fourth Baron Dynevor; Rhys ap Thomas and the Lord Rhys.