Urban Development in The Lordships of Glamorgan, Gwynllŵg, Caerleon and Usk Under The Clare Family, 1217-1314

  • Robert Leigh Penrose

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis has set out with the intention of providing a detailed investigation of the pattern of urban development which occurred in the lordships of Glamorgan, Gwynllŵg, Caerleon and Usk between 1217 and 1314, The reason for concentrating upon the period 1217-1314 is that it was during this time that each of the four lordships passed into the hands of a single baronial family, the Clare earls of Gloucester and Hertford. A central theme of the thesis has been to obtain an understanding of the way in which urban development as a whole evolved during this period, with particular emphasis being placed upon the role played by the Clare seigneurs in shaping these developments. This question of seigneurial involvement is important, and sets the study apart from previous investigations into urbanisation in the four lordships. Whilst the individual development of towns within the lordships has generally received a fair amount of historical and archaeological investigation, very little attempt has
    been made to examine how the towns might have been interactive and interdependent in terms of administration and economic development when under the control of a common lord.

    In the course of this thesis consideration has been made of the development and evolution of the towns of Cardiff, Newport, Kenfig, Neath, Caerleon, Usk, Cowbridge, Trelech, Llantrisant and Caerphilly, and important aspects regarding the respective influence of the seigneur and the burgesses have been identified. In all the towns held by the Clares, it emerges that it was the seigneur who represented the dominant force in shaping urban development. Moreover, strong evidence has emerged to suggest that the Clares adopted and implemented a homogeneous attitude towards the development of urban centres in their Marcher lordships.
    Date of AwardOct 1997
    Original languageEnglish


    • Urban Development
    • 1217-1314
    • Glamorgan
    • Gwynllŵg
    • Caerleon
    • Usk
    • Clare family
    • Earls of Gloucester and Herford
    • Medieval South Wales

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