Normans in Wales
Long before William I was successful at the Battle of Hastings, the Normans had already been present in Wales. It was Edward the Confessor who sent Ralph the Earl of Hereford to battle against the Welsh armies in the region. In addition to fighting the Welsh armies, he was also given responsibility of protecting the Marches. However, the Normans were less than successful, and they were not able to gain a large amount of control over Wales during this time. This changed after William emerged victorious from the Battle of Hastings. He would go on to control the Marches as well, though this was primarily the work of his barons. It is men like Hugh Lupus of Cheshire and Roger of Montgomery who were responsible for the conquest of this area.
The process of capturing Wales was slow. Despite this, every part of Wales would eventually come under the control of the Normans. Norman words begin to be used by the Welsh during this time. The Cambro-Normans were a group of Norman knights who resided in south Wales. They were very prominent after the capture of England in 1066. Many historians believe that the term Cambro-Norman is the same as Anglo-Norman, and it is also used to refer to Normans who invaded Ireland during the 1100s. Perhaps one of the most powerful Cambro-Normans was Richard "Strongbow" de Clare. He captured land that was near Pembroke, and he was also responsible for the invasion of Ireland.
The Cambro-Norman rulers would go on to form some of the most powerful royal families in Ireland. There were often strong connections between the Normans and the Welsh groups that were present in the region.
Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 23/07/2008