The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales


By Giraldus Cambrensis; Everyman reprint 1919 (1st Everyman ed. 1908)


The text is that of Sir Richard Colt Hoare who published an English translation from the original Latin, chiefly from the texts of Camden and Wharton in 1806.

There follows two extracts from the books' introduction together with a listing of chapter headings for each book


Two paragraphs from the Introduction by W Llewelyn Williams;

"Gerald the Welshman---Giraldus Cambrensis---was born, probably in 1147, at Manorbier Castle in the county of Pembroke. His father was a Norman noble, William de Barri, who took his name from the little island of Barry off the coast of Glamorgan. His mother, Angharad, was the daughter of Gerald de Windsor by his wife, the famous Princess Nesta, the ' Helen of Wales', and the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr Mawr, the last independent Prince of South Wales.............."

"..........(in the Itinerary and Description of Wales........here he is impartial in his evidence, and judicial in his decisions. If he errs at all it is not through racial prejudice. " I am sprung" he once told the Pope in a letter, " from the Princes of Wales and from the barons of the Marches, and when I see injustice in either race, I hate it."


Contents - The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales


  • First Preface - To Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canturbury
  • Second Preface to the Same Prelate
  • Book 1
  • Journey through Hereford and Radnor
  • Journey through Hay and Brecheinia
  • Ewyas and Llanthoni
  • The Journey by Coed Grono and Abergevenni
  • Of the Progress by the Castle of Usk and Caerleon
  • Newport and Caerdyf
  • The See of Llandaf and Monastery of Margan, and the Remarkable Things in those Parts
  • Passage of the Rivers Avon and Neth--and of Abertawe and Goer
  • Passage over the Rivers Lochor and Wendraeth; and of Cydweli
  • Tywy River--Caermardyn--Monastery of Albelande
  • Haverford and Ros
  • Penbroch
  • Of the Progress by Camros and Niwegal
  • Book II
  • Of the See of St David's
  • Of the Journey by Cemmeis--the Monastery of St Dogmael
  • Of the River Teivi--Cardigan--Emelyn
  • Of the Journey by Pont Stephen, the Abbey of Sratflur, Landwei Brevi, and Llanpadarn Vawr
  • Of the River Devi, and the Land of the Sons of Conan
  • Passage of Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bachan, and of Nevyn, Carnarvon, and Bangor
  • The Island of Mona
  • Passage of the River Conwy in a Boat, and of Dinas Emrys
  • Of the Mountains of Eryri
  • Of the Passage by Deganwy and Ruthlan, and the See of Lanelwy, and of Coleshulle
  • Of the Passage of the River Dee, and of Chester
  • Of the Journey by the White Monastery, Oswaldes-tree, Powys and Shrewsbury
  • Of the Journey by Wenloch, Brumfeld, the Castle of Ludlow, and Leominster, to Hereford
  • A Description of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury


Contents--The Description through Wales


  • First Preface - To Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canturbury
  • Second Preface to the Same
  • Book I
  • Length and Breadth of Wales, the Nature of its Soil, and the Three Remaining Tribes of Britons
  • Of the Ancient Division of Wales into Three Parts
  • Genealogy of the Princes of Wales
  • Cantreds--Royal Palaces--Cathedrals
  • Mountains and Rivers of Wales
  • Concerning the Pleasantness and Fertility of Wales
  • Origin of the Names Cambria and Wales
  • Concerning the Nature, Manners, and Dress, the Boldness, Agility, and Courage of this Nation
  • Their Sober Supper and Frugality
  • Their Hospitality and Liberality
  • Concerning the cutting of their Hair, their Care of their Teeth, and Shaving of their Beards
  • Their Quickness and Sharpness of Understanding
  • Their Symphonies and Songs
  • Their Wit and Pleasantry
  • Their Boldness and Confidence in Speaking
  • Concerning the Soothsayers of this Nation, and Persons as it were possessed
  • Their Love of High Birth and Ancient Genealogy
  • Their Ancient Faith, Love of Christianity, and Devotion
  • Book II
  • Concerning the Inconstancy and Instability of this Nation, and their Want of Reverence for Good Faith and Oaths
  • Their Living by Plunder, and Disregard of the Bonds of Peace and Friendship
  • Their Deficiency in Battle, and Base Dishonourable Flight
  • Their Ambitious Seizure of Lands, and Dissensions among Brothers
  • Their great Exaction, and Want of Moderation
  • Concerning the Crime of Incest, and the Abuse of Churches by Succession and Participation
  • Their Sins, and the consequent Loss of Britain and of Troy
  • In what Manner this Nation is to be overcome
  • In what Manner Wales, when conquered, should be governed
  • In what Manner this Nation may resist and revolt