Corwen's striking neo-medieval equestrian statue of Owain Glyndwr
Corwen’s striking neo-medieval equestrian statue of Owain Glyndwr

On Thursday 17th October, I gave an evening talk in the Denbighshire town of Corwen to its brand new archaeology group. They have a Facebook page here.

My talk was about Project Eliseg and I received a warm welcome by c. 30 people and spoke for c. 30 minutes. I outlined the key findings to date from Project Eliseg and we then discussed the potential of the group to tackle the rich archaeology of the Vale of Llangollen and its surroundings. I wished the group well in its development.

It was a first for me with regard to venue. I have spoken in smaller places. Indeed, my tiniest ever venue for speaking to a local society was when I once talked to the Tiverton Archaeology Group to c. 6 people in a living room. However, this was my first cafe venue: Yum Yums on the main street of Corwen. Afterwards, many stayed around for stew. It has a cosy informal feel to it and the inability to present slides onto a screen meant I had to go ‘traditional’ and describe things and interpretations with the power of words alone.

Not far from my venue was a striking example of neo-medieval sculpture: the 2007 hyper-real equestrian statue of Owain Glyndwr. It is a distinctively romantic and defiant figure. I attach a nightime picture of the statue for those not familiar with its wonders. It is one of a series of neo-medieval 21st-century sculptures to honour Welsh heroes that have sprung up across the Principality. The other one I know well is at Llandovery Castle unveiled in 2001; here a memorial to a Welsh lord tortured and executed for his support of the Glyndwr cause.