Wales may not be able to lay claim to battles equivalent to those of Bosworth or Culloden in size, but it has a complex history of conflict on a smaller scale. Large pitched battles did take place, but these were comparatively rare and smaller conflicts were more frequent. The castles of Wales saw many sieges, and attacks on the neighbouring towns were commonplace before 1300.
The power struggles between the Kingdoms and Princes of Wales, uprisings and rebellions against the Kings and Lords of England, and larger disputes exemplified by the Civil and World Wars play a crucial role in Welsh heritage. Wales can also lay claim to the site of the last military invasion of the British Isles, Carregwastad Point in Pembrokeshire, taking place four years after the outbreak of hostilities between Great Britain and Republican France in 1793, and the last major armed civil insurrection on the British mainland, the Newport Chartist Uprising of 1839.
With the notable exception of Civil War (1642-51) battlefield finds, alongside specific sites or features directly involved in an event and verified with documentary evidence – e.g. castles, downed aircraft or ship wrecks – verified battlefield finds are few. As a result, definite battle locations remain relatively low in numbers. The compilation of this Inventory, along with suggested battle locations at the various levels of certainty, has therefore been derived from documentary sources and where applicable archaeological evidence. Information on the principal sources, used alongside research reports on a priority list of 47 battles and sieges undertaken to inform the Inventory, can be found via the links at the side of this page.