|Several members of Y Celteiddwyr are members of the Owain Glyndwr Society and one evening, whilst returning to Pontypridd from an OGS meeting in Carmarthen in the autumn of 2000, the idea was discussed about placing a plaque to honour the memory of Owain Glyndwr's youngest daughter, Catrin Mortimer, who was captured with her children and mother, Glyndwr's wife, at Harlech Castle in 1409 by the army of Henry IV and held prisoner in the Tower of London as political hostages. Catrin and two of her children died in unknown circumstances in the Tower in December 1413 following the accession of Henry V in March of that year and were buried together.
Catrin remains the only member of Glyndwr's family that we can be sure of her resting place. The site is St Swithin's Oxford Court Gardens in Central London, near Cannon Street Station, a stone's throw from the Tower. This place was the graveyard of the old church of St Swithin's which was destroyed during the Great Fire of London and after being rebuilt, was damaged again during the blitz of WWII before finally being demolished in 1962. Today, the site is accessible to the public and is surrounded by tower blocks.
After enquiries were made through friends, who included Mrs Isabel Monnington-Taylor, a descendant of Sir Roger Monnigton and, it is believed, another of Glyndwr's daughters, Margaret, it was discovered that it would be easier to erect a sculptured monument rather than a plaque. Consequently, the project began, and culminated in the unveiling of the monument in Oxford Gardens on Sunday, 16th September 2001, by the actress Sian Phillips, who is also a vice president of the Owain Glyndwr Society.
|The monument is made from Gelligaer bluestone and suggests two figures, a mother protecting her child. It was designed by Pontypridd artist Nic Stradling-John and sculpted by Richard Renshaw of Cwmdu. All Welsh communities in London can unite in this reminder of how the Welsh national identity was built and in reflection on the memorial's theme - the suffering of all women and children during times of war.|
The monument is currently not available to view due to extensive building works in the area, but once works are complete will be back on public display.
Words about Catrin Mortimer:
My daughter weeps; she will not part with you,
She'll be a soldier too; she'll to the wars" - William Shakespeare: Henry IV part 1.
Comments regarding the project.
"The memorial will create a focal point in London for people with Welsh connections and I'm sure that it will become a natural venue for future events and celebrations" - Sian Phillips CBE