Series Ystrad Marchell Charters (Wynnstay 1945 deposit) GT. - Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell,

Sale by Elis ap Madoc, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Gift by Elis ap Madoc, Confirmation of gift and sale by Cadwaladr ap Hywel, Gift by Howel ap Howel, Sale by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Confirmation by King John, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Grant by Gwenywnwyn ap Owain, Agreement concerning the fishery at Cyfeiliog, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Sale by Cadwallon ap Hywel, Confirmation of sale by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Gift by Gwenwynwyn ab Owain, Sale by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain, Sale by Gruffudd Goch ap Gruffydd of Carno, Grant by Owain ap Madog to the Abbey of Valle Crucis, Gift by Meilyr ap Nennau, Glasadain ap Nennau, Gruffudd ab Iorweth ap Cadwgon and Gruffudd ab Ell...
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Ystrad Marchell Charters (Wynnstay 1945 deposit) GT.


Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell,


  • [c. 1170]-1529, 1577-1588/9. (Creation)

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Name of creator

Biographical history

The Cistercian Abbey of Ystrad Marchell was founded c. 1170 by Owain ap Gruffudd of Cyfeiliog as a daughter house to the Abbey of Whitland. His son, Gwenwynwyn (d. 1216), was a major benefactor of Ystrad Marchell, granting the abbey large tracts of land in the commote of Cyfeiliog, the hundred of Arwystli and the manor of Caereinion Uwch Coed. During the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries the abbey had also acquired lands from Owen Cyfeiliog’s kinsmen, the lords of Penllyn and Edeirion, namely Maredudd ap Howell, Elis ap Madog, Owain Brogyntyn and Madog ap Gruffudd Maelor. The abbey was granted royal charters by King John in 1200, confirming previous grants and giving the monks exemption from toll, and by Henry III in 1232, also granting exemption from toll. Various subsequent benefactors included Llywelyn Fawr [1209] and his illegitimate son, Gruffudd, 1226. In 1328, in response to complaints by John de Charleton, Lord of Powys, Edward III instigated an official investigation into reports of dissolute behaviour at the abbey, resulting in the replacement of the Welsh monks with English ones and severance of the link between Ystrad Marchell and its original mother house of Whitland. The abbey was dissolved in 1536 in accordance with the general policy of Henry VIII. After the dissolution the lands in Cyfeiliog, Arwystli and Caereinion were acquired by the Purcell family of Nantcriba, Worthen, and the Vaughan family of Llwydiarth, with whom they intermarried. Those properties ultimately passed into the possession of the Wynnstay estate upon the marriage of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn to Ann, daughter of Edward Vaughan of Llwydiarth in 1715. The lands in Penllyn and Edeirinion were granted by the Crown to Sir Rowland Hayward, lord Mayor of London in 1570. For a fuller account of the historical background see Thomas, Graham, C.G. (ed.), The Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell (Aberystwyth : National Library of Wales, 1997, pp. 9-34.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

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Scope and content

Thirty seven charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell near Welshpool, dating from 1183 to 1529, together with three Elizabethan inspeximus of the earlier charters, 1577-1588/9. The original foundation charter of c. 1170 is missing, but copies have survived in TNA and in the Wynnstay Estate Records at NLW. Twelve of the charters comprise grants and sales by Gwenwynwyn ap Owain of lands in the commote of Cyfeiliog, the hundred of Arwystli and the manor of Caereinion Uwch Coed, 1185-1215. Other documents in the Wynnstay archive include six grants by members of the former ruling elite of Arwystli [c. 1195]-1215; several grants of lands or pasturage rights in Penllyn and Edeirnion, Mochnant, Montgomery, Caledffrwd and Bachwilym; confirmations by King John, 1200, and Edward de Charleton, 1420, of previous grants; conveyances by Llywelyn Fawr, [1209] and his son, Gruffudd, 1226; records of disputes between the abbeys of Ystrad Marchell and Cwm Hir over lands in Arwystli, [c. 1216], 1227; a mandate of Anian, bishop of St Asaph, [1268x1292]; confirmation of a grant by John de Charleton of the abbot’s right to hold a court of his tenants, 1367; leases of lands in Arwystli by two of the abbots, 1490-1529; and a single charter of Owain ap Madog granting land in Dinmael to Valle Crucis Abbey, 1207.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged chonologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers are requested to use the digitised versions of the charters where available.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes


Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Hard copies of the calendar compiled by J. Conway Davies and the publication Thomas, Graham C.G. (ed.), The Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell (Aberystwyth : National Library of Wales, 1997 are available at NLW. Digitised images, accompanied by translations and an introduction, are available online:

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Digital images and translations of thirty-four of the original charters

Related units of description

Further charters and other documents relating to the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell are : NLW, Wigfair Estate Records 1; NLW, Castle Hill Estate Records 2468; Gwynedd Archives Service, Caernarfon, Newborough Archives (Rug Section), XD2/1111-1113; BL Addl. Charters 10637 and 10654; BL Harley Charter 78 I 27; Shropshire Records and Research Centre, Corbet family of Acton Reynald Estate Archives SRR322/2/18; Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin, Wynnstay Estate Archives 1979 deposit, DD/WY/4202; TNA E210/6238; Glamorgan Record Office, CL/Deeds II/Montgomeryshire Box 3; and Antony House, Cornwall, CP/BD/13/102.

Publication note

Davies, J. Conway, ‘The records of the abbey of Ystrad Marchell’, Montgomeryshire Collections, 51 (1949-50), 3-22; Davies, J. Conway, ‘Strata Marcella documents’, Montgomeryshire Collections, 51 (1949-50), 164-87; Jones, E.D., Davies, Norma G. and Roberts, Rhiannon Francis, ‘Five Strata Marcella Charters’, National Library of Wales Journal, 5 (1947), 50-4; Thomas, Graham C.G. (ed.), The Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell (Aberystwyth : National Library of Wales, 1997.

Notes area


This description is based on the calendar by J. Conway Davies, published in Montgomeryshire Collections, 51 (1949-50), 164-87, with some corrections and renumbering taken from Thomas, Graham C.G. (ed.), The Charters of the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell (Aberystwyth : National Library of Wales, 1997). The latter book provides a comprehensive catalogue, and includes the historical background, physical descriptions of the documents, original sources and references to other relevant publications.

New numbers have been allocated, corresponding to the numbers in Graham Thomas’s catalogue (hence the GT references against individual items). Gaps in the numbering occur because not all of the documents described by Thomas belong to the Wynnstay estate records. The three Elizabethan inspeximus have been allocated new numbers following Thomas’s sequence, for the sake of consistency in this current catalogue. The numbering system used by J. Conway Davies is now redundant.


Title supplied from contents.


Preferred citation: Ystrad Marchell Charters (Wynnstay 1945 deposit) GT.

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Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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  • Text: Ystrad Marchell Charters (Wynnstay 1945 deposit) GT.