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Owain Glyndwr was one of Wales’ most famous leaders. He was the last Welsh person to hold the title of Prince of Wales and led a 15-year Welsh rebellion against Henry IV and English rule. He formed the first Welsh Parliament and even has his own celebration day and flag.

Owain Glyndwr Day takes place on September 16th each year as a day to commemorate Owain Glyndwr and his life. It takes place on this date which is the same date that he instigated the revolt.

This article tells you more about what happens to celebrate Owain Glwyndwr day, and more about the man himself. 

How Do We Celebrate Owain Glyndwr Day? 

Owain Glyndwr Day is celebrated each year across Wales, and by Welsh people worldwide. He is seen as an icon to many who believe passionately in Welsh independence, and who are proud of Welsh heritage and tradition.

The Owain Glyndwr flag is an important aspect of the man, and his achievements during his life. It has become somewhat of an icon for people that want Welsh independence, and people protesting in general.

The flag design is of four lions printed on a background split into four quarters (red/yellow and yellow/red), and it is what was said he carried into battle against the English. A version of this is still used for the Prince of Wales today1 (source: BBC).

His revolution against English rule attracted people from across Wales to follow his lead, but despite early victories, and a formal coronation in 1404 as Prince of Wales, the rebellion ultimately failed.

Rhŷn Williams

When is Owain Glyndwr Day? 

September 16th is the day that Owain Glyndwr is celebrated. This day was chosen as it is the same date, in 1400, that the instigation of his revolt against Henry IV began. 

YearDate of Owain Glyndwr Day
2023Saturday 16th September 
2024Sunday 16th September 
2025Wednesday 16th September 
2026Thursday 16th September 
2027Friday 16th September 

Who Was Owain Glyndwr?

Owain Glyndwr was born in 1359 into a powerful family in Wales, at quite a peaceful time in Anglo-Welsh relations. As he grew older he married and joined a military force in 1384. He quickly rose up the ranks, and then enlisted in the Marches area, at the border between Wales and England2 (source: BBC).

In 1399, the English throne was seized by Henry IV, and it is thought that it was the King’s unwillingness to mediate in a dispute that prompted Owain Glyndwr to take matters into his own hands, and lead a Welsh revolt against Henry IV. The revolution wasn’t just about this mediation, it was a bigger issue of how Wales was treated by the English monarchs.

On September 16th 1400, Owain instigated the revolt, and it is this day each year that we celebrate his life and legacy with Owain Glyndwr Day. In the following years he led the battles across the country, with many followers backing him. In 1404 he created the first Welsh Parliament in Machynlleth to rule an independent nation, and it was then he was proclaimed the Prince of Wales.

Although there were successes in the battles that followed, England’s significant resources and wealth enabled them to take back control, and extinguish the revolution. It is said that Glyndwr was cornered at Harlech Castle in 1409, only escaping by disguising himself as an elderly man. 

Glyndwr retreated into the background in the following years, and although he and his followers committed some attacks on English forces, it was nothing like the scale seen in the years before3 (source: Wikipedia).

He twice ignored offers of a pardon from the new King, Henry V. His death was recorded by a former follower in 1415, he was aged approximately 56. His position in history is significant, not only in Welsh memories but as a historical figure in general. He even features in William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV, as a wild and magical man named Owen Glendower.


How to Learn More About Owain Glyndwr 

Wikimedia

There are a number of ways to celebrate and learn more about Owain Glyndwr across Wales. 

  • Corwen statue – this life sized statue of Owain Glynwdwr on horseback stands upon an eight-ton plinth, and was created in 2007. See above image.
  • Owain Glyndwr Centre Machynlleth – The Parliament House and Glyndwr Institute, situated in Powys, is said to be the site where Glwydwr held a parliament, after being crowned Prince of Wales. It has been extensively rebuilt since those days, and it is now a hub for community, historical and cultural activities4 (source: Owain Glyndwr Heritage Centre).
  • Visit the Owain Glyndwr monument in Y Plas, Machynlleth. The slate monolith was unveiled on September 16th 2000, the six-hundredth anniversary of the day that Owain was proclaimed Prince of Wales.
  • Failing all of that, you can have a pint in the Owain Glyndwr pub in the centre of Cardiff. Whilst not the most educational of establishments, it is a traditional pub in the centre of the capital.

How Do You Pronounce Glyndwr?

Glyndwr is pronounced phonetically as ‘Glyn-duwr’

Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.