By the end of May 8, 1648 at least 700 men from Glamorgan had lost their lives - 65 came from the tiny village of St Fagan's. Most of them had died by nine o'clock in the morning. Around 8,000 royalist soldiers supporting King Charles fought against 3,000 roundhead soldiers supporting Parliament - yet the royalists lost!
So what was it like?
...the smell of sweat, the taste of blood, the agonies suffered and the appalling wounds received as steel bit through bone. The terrible wailing of the wounded as limbs were shattered by musket balls. All this happened on a small country road leading from the east and Fairwater to St Bride's to the west near Cardiff on the day when the little brook called the Nant Dowlais, ran red with blood. This was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War in Wales - the Battle of St Fagan's.
Western Mail and Echo
The army for parliament was led by Colonel Thomas Horton of the New Model Army. His mission was to stop the royalist army getting back to Cardiff to capture the castle there, so he positioned his army at the village of St Fagan's. He got there just in time as the royalists, led by Major General Laugharne, were setting up camp only a few miles away at St Nicholas. At seven o'clock in the morning of May 8, the battle began.
The numbers did not matter. Parliament's army was well trained and well equipped. The royalists were not. In two hours, hundreds were killed and hundreds more were taken prisoner. By nine o'clock it was all over for the royalists in Wales.
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