Henry VII – the theory

Henry the 7th (theory)

by Dafydd Tomos

After living in one area for your whole life one tends to ask where and which period the names of this area come from. After some discussion with Mr Ivor Williams, Gallt-y-bere recently, I was intrigued to discover that there was a story , whether true or not , that Henry the 7th went into the battle of Bosworth on a horse from Cwm Rhaeadr, Cil-y-cwm. This place in Cwm Rhaeadr was thus named Cae’rceffyl after this occurrence.

And so begins my theory about the other connections to Henry in the Cwm Rhaeadr area.

Dwelling near Home Farm entrance named Cwrt Henri.

Pontbrenhenri – a now disappeared bridge in Cwm Rhaeadr (still known to the older people in the area).

Cae’rceffyl – a smallholding where the horse that Henry rode on came from.

Two fields belonging to the farm Cwm Rhaeadr were called cae Milwr Mawr and cae Milwr Bach (large and small soldiers field).

Small woodland separating Penyfedw and Penyfedw Fach is known as Coed Llethr Fabli. Fabli was Sir Rhys ap Thomas’ first wife.


Henry the 7th marched through Wales in August 1485 travelling up the coast towards Aberystwyth. Meanwhile Sir Rhys ap Thomas had gathered his supporters and travelled up through the Tywi valley and my theory is they stayed in Cwm Rhaeadr, possibly one night before crossing the mountains. Sir Rhys was believed to have brought 1000 horsemen and 3000 spearmen to the battle in Bosworth – quite a sizeable army to pass through this area It is also worth noting that Richard the 3rd who was slain at Bosworth, had in 1484 granted Llandovery a Royal Charter, and therefore would have had some support in Llandovery.