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Vatican and Powis Castle link?

Created on 10/02/2018 @ 08:52
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An S4C programme will throw some light tonight on a little known link between the Vatican and our own Powis Castle.

The channel’s Cynefin series is showcasing our area, and will also delve into one of the most famous battles fought out on our local lands.

It visits the 13th century Powis Castle which was originally built by the local princes to protect the area from the princes of Gwynedd and subsequently became home to the Herbert family for close to four centuries.

Presenter Heledd Cynwal took the opportunity to uncover some of the Castle's hidden secrets.

“One of the Castle's most striking features is a marble table produced in Italy 450 years ago, and according to Herbert family legend, who were zealous Catholics, the table was a rather special gift from the Pope,” she said.

“As proof of this there is an image of a small upside down pear on the sides of the table, and in the Italian language ‘pereti’ is the word for a small pear, and Peretti was also the family name of the 16th century pope, Pope Sixtus the 5th.”

Also, the programme’s Siôn Tomos Owen will recall the story of one of the most notorious battles in Welsh history, dating back to 893, in Buttington, about two miles from town.

“The weather had been exceptionally wet and the river Severn had burst its banks, and that is the reason why a band of Vikings found themselves here – a long, long way from the sea,” he will explain. “When the water level fell, they had no means of escape and had no choice but to demolish the ship and transform it into a defensive fortification. At the time the fighting between the Welsh and the Saxons was at its most fierce. But for whatever reason they joined forces to defeat the new enemy.

“It developed into a siege, and the Vikings, starved of food, had to eat their horses in an utterly hopeless situation. Today, there is no sign of the fierce battle, except for a proud yew tree standing in the grounds of the church that has been proved to date from exactly the same year – 893.”


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