Trust Regional Historic Environment Record
Llys Rhosyr, Site of, Newborough
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 899 Trust : Gwynedd Community : Rhosyr Unitary authority : Ynys Mon NGR : SH4192865359 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval LLYS Status : Scheduled Monument
Summary : Originally identified by the name of the field 'Cae Llys' (field of the court; palace field), Llys Rhosyr consists of the excavated remains of a Royal Welsh court of the Welsh kingdom of Gwynedd. It was the maerdref or manorial court of the administrative area of the Commote of Menai, a large area comprising the whole of the south-west corner of Anglesey. Documentary evidence for the site, including a reference to the signing of a charter by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth there in 1237, was also known. The location of the site was confirmed by trial excavation by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust in 1992 and this was followed by 3 further seasons of excavation uncovering an area some 60m by 60m and revealing a complex of stone foundations interpreted as a hall and chamber block.
Finds from the site included coinage of the 13th century, medieval pottery, an iron spur, knife and key and a ring brooch, also thought to be of 13th century date.
Description : With respect to the prince's palace, which the Royal Extent (the book of our records) repeatedly affirms to have formerly stood in this district, nothing now besides vestiges of the walls, lately uncovered by the sands, forming a square area, if one may measure a thing by its mere shadow, can be shewn; which place is, to this day, commonly called by the natives, Llys, i.e., the court. It is not far distant, too, on the south side, from the church of Newborough (which is dedicated to St. Peter); indeed, it nearly adjoins it; and, therefore, I think there can scarce be a doubt that this church was formerly used as a domestic chapel for those royal buildings, close to which it stood. And that such a chapel did adorn these buildings somewhere or other we read in the extent; and in what place, pray, is it more likely that these royal buildings should have had their chapel, than where the church now stands, which, when it had ceased to be domestic, forthwith became parochial, in which light it has long since been regarded? <1>
The map reproduced in H. Owens Hanes plwyf Niwbrorch has a field called '[something] Tan y Llys (this needs following up on tythe schedule). Rowlands account says not far distant on the south side? Therefore at present whole area around church should be seen as sensitive. T. Roberts UCNW thinks the elongated multi-period build of the church is a result of the combining/joining of the parish and court church and chapel and if proved has some documentary evidence to show the possibility. <5>
Events : 41555 : PRN 899 Excavation (year : 1993) 41556 : PRN 899 Excavation (year : 1995) 41413 : Geophysical Survey Carried out at Aber, Llanfaes and Newborough (year : 1993) 40612 : Hendre Bach, Newborough: Assessment (year : 2002) 44421 : Llys and Maerdref: an Investigation into the Location of the Royal Courts of the Princes of Gwynedd (year : 1995) 44660 : Llys Rhosyr, Newborough, Anglesey, Heritage Project (year : 2000) 45039 : Land Adjacent to Ty Capel, Chapel Street, Newborough, Ynys Mon (year : 2015)