Owain Glyndŵr’s Parliament House, Machynlleth

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Owain Glyndŵr’s Parliament House, Machynlleth

In 1404 Owain Glyndŵr convened a parliament here. The building we see today probably dates from c.1460, and may incorporate some features of an earlier structure. The roof trusses are among the surviving medieval features.

David Davies MP, grandson of the great Welsh industrialist of the same name, recognised the site’s historical importance and bought the dilapidated building, which had undergone various changes, in 1906. He rebuilt it to restore a 15th-century appearance and gave the building to the public in 1912. Among the first groups to meet here was Cymreigyddion Cyfeiliog, devoted to the study and appreciation of Welsh-language culture.

David Davies regarded the building as a memorial to Glyndŵr and commissioned the large mural you can see inside. Some say the MP had his own face painted as Glyndŵr’s face in the mural!

Red Cross nursing classes and examinations were held here during the First World War, and many of the women became nurses in the town’s Red Cross hospital in 1917. The Owain Glyndŵr Institute also had its own Young Men’s Society, which held a debate in January 1915 on whether conscription was needed for the British Empire’s welfare. Conscription (compulsory military service) was introduced a year later.

After the war, the case for a League of Nations was discussed here, and there was a debate about whether the professions should be opened to women. Some speakers said women’s work in the war had shown how women could fill posts previously reserved for men. Another said women weren’t suited to the professions because of their nature and constitution.

Today the Grade 1-listed building is a visitor centre with exhibitions and activities based on Glyndŵr’s rebellion and other aspects of the 15th century. You can read more about him and the rebellion in the Footnotes and on our page about his statue in Corwen, his home town.


Postcode: SY20 8EE    View Location Map

Website of the Owain Glyndŵr Centre – for opening hours and other information

To continue the Machynlleth in WW1 tour, walk eastwards along Heol Maengwyn and turn left into Garth Road. Continue and cross the road. The next QR codes are at the hospital entrance
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Footnotes: More on Owain Glyndŵr and Henry Tudor

Glyndŵr controlled most of Wales when he held parliament in Machynlleth in 1404. There, according to tradition, envoys from Scotland, France and Castile (now part of Spain) watched his coronation as Prince of Wales – a title which since the 13th century had been conferred on the first son of the English king.

After the rebellion ended in 1409, another 590 years were to pass before another Welsh parliament was convened, in the form of the National Assembly for Wales.

Another rebel leader, Henry Tudor, passed through Machynlleth in 1485, when the Parliament House was probably recently built. Henry had landed in Pembrokeshire after exile in France and his army was marching through Wales, gathering strength, before overthrowing King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. The new king, Henry VII, established the Tudor dynasty which profoundly influenced British history.

On 14 August Henry wrote a letter at Machynlleth to request more men for his army. The letter was to Sir Roger Kynaston, a major owner of land in Shropshire. Sir Roger was also temporarily in charge of the estates of his nephew, John Grey, Lord Powis, who was away from home at the time. With Sir Roger on his side, Henry was able to continue across Powys unopposed.