Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Arwystli is a historic region in mid-Wales, and it is often associated with the early medieval period. The area is situated in Powys, a county in central Wales.

While hunting in the area, Merlin and some other warriors encountered a fountain of pure water with apples lying around it. Merlin collected the apples but, finding that there were not enough to go around, generously distributed them to the other warriors and took none for himself. When the other warriors ate the apples, they promptly went insane. Merlin later discovered that a jealous woman – who had desired him but who he had rejected – had deliberately poisoned the apples to take revenge on Merlin.

Merlin was later able to heal Maeldinus, one of the unfortunate warriors.

Arwystli | History

The history of Arwystli is closely tied to the broader historical and political developments in Wales, particularly during the medieval period. While detailed records specific to Arwystli are limited, the region played a role in the wider context of Welsh politics and conflicts with the English crown.

Early Medieval Period
Arwystli, like much of Wales, was part of the native Welsh kingdoms during the early medieval period. It likely fell within the Kingdom of Powys, one of the major Welsh kingdoms. Powys, known for its strategic location and political importance, faced interactions with neighboring kingdoms and external pressures.

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
The late thirteenth century saw significant events in Welsh history, with Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the laste native Prince of Wales, playing a central role. Llywelyn sought to unify and strengthen Wales against English encroachment. Arwystli was among the region that felt the impact of his campaigns and struggles with the English crown.

Llywelyn ap Gruffudd faced increasing tensions with King Edward I of England. The Welsh prince sought to maintain Welsh independence, but conflicts, including the First and Second Wars of Welsh Independence, led to the incorporation of Welsh territories into the English realm.

Conquest by Edward I
In 1282, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was killed in battle, and his brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd continued the resistance. The English king, Edward I, intensified his campaigns in Wales. Arwystli, along with other Welsh territories, fell under English control as part of Edward’s efforts to consolidate his rule over Wales.

Castles in Arwystli
The landscape of Arwystli includes the remains of medieval castles that played a role in the region’s history. Castell y Blaidd (“Castle of the Wolf”) and Castell Coch (“Red Castle”) are examples of fortifications that were strategically positioned for defense and control of the area.

Later Period
Over the centuries, Arwystli became integrated into larger administrative regions. The medieval castles fell into disrepair, and the region evolved as part of the changing political and economic landscape of Wales.

Vita Merlini | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1150