“MEN more learned than I have vexed themselves looking for his real grave,” wrote Welsh nationalist and adventurer Owen Rhoscomyl about Owain Glyndwr in 1905.

“Some say he did not die and that he and his men lie sleeping in a cave, buckled in their armour, their spears leaning against their shoulders, their swords across their knees. There they are waiting till the day comes for them to sally forth and fight for their land again.”

Glyndwr disappeared from the pages of history in 1412. Many believe that he spent his last years in the domain of Sir John Scudamore, who had secretly married Glyndwr’s daughter Alice.

In 2002 the Owain Glyndwr Society visited Scudamore’s descendants at Kentchurch Court and were taken to their old manorial seat at nearby Monnington Straddel. Though it had been a closely guarded family secret for 600 years, they were told that this is where Alice had lived and Glyndwr spent his last days and died.

A prominent overgrown mound close to Monnington Court is reputed to be the Welsh prince’s final restingplace.

Despite inconclusive past digging on the site, a local resident maintained that he was certain Glyndwr was buried there. He had become convinced after meeting a man who was carrying out an investigation with some dowsing rods. After some prevarication, the stranger had told him that “a royal person is buried here.

Royal, because he is buried with his sword and his shield and only royalty used to be buried in that manner”.

Adam of Usk, an eye witness to the Glyndwr revolt, made an entry in his Chronicle for the year 1415: “After four years in hiding, from the king and the realm, Owain Glyndwr died, and was buried by his followers in the darkness of night. His grave was discovered by his enemies, however, so he had to be re-buried, though it is impossible to discover where he was laid.”

Picking up this re-burial theme, the author Alex Gibbon suggests that the body of Glyndwr was returned to Wales after his death in Herefordshire and buried in Carmarthenshire.

He agrees that Glyndwr spent his last years living with Alice and passing himself off as an old Franciscan friar and family tutor. There had always been tales of Glyndwr donning disguises to outwit his opponents during the rebellion, and his final days are of Arthurian elusiveness.

“They say they cannot be sure where it is. But that is because their eyes have wandered from the right way – looking to Kentchurch or to Monnington, in the green shire of Hereford where his daughters lived,”

Rhoscomyl concluded.

“They are all wrong. His grave is known – well known.

His grave is beside no church, neither under the shadow of any ancient yew. It is in a spot safer and more sacred still. Rain does not fall on it, hail nor sleet chill nor sere sod above it. It is forever green with the green of eternal spring. Sunny the light on it; close and warm and dear it lies, sheltered from all storms, from all cold or grey oblivion. Time shall not touch it; decay shall not dishonour it; for that grave is in the heart of every true Cymro. There, for ever, from generation unto generation, grey Owen's heart lies dreaming on, dreaming on, safe for ever and for ever."

Whether we are more impressed by dowsing, or just the dousing of speculation, our moderate to energetic walk passes right by the reputed burial site.

THE ROUTE 1. Above Vowchurch Common.

GR 371 377. Leave B4348 and drive to top of steep No Through Road signed to Vowchurch Common. Where road bends right at “Park Gate”, park ahead tidily. Walk back along road (with Park Gate on R) and 100m beyond Mount View TR off road quite steeply down through trees.

Cross stile, go ahead beyond track which goes to Quercwm, down 3 steps, TL 20m to path junction and TR across stile into pasture. Bear L over f/bridge, bear L across bottom of next pasture, cross double stile half way up hedge, follow R upper edge to where it starts to descend and TR over stile, up 7 steps and through gate.

2. Cwm Du Cottage. TL on to obvious track above R of Cwm Du, go through gate other side of it, bear R through gorse bushes up field and across stile just below top corner. Cross top of orchard to road, TR over grid and T immediately L down meadow to fence corner. Go down fence 100m towards caravan site but TR across stile into strip of trees and out over stile. Bear L 50m down to marker post, TR diagonally up to cross double stile in fence and bear L up towards Lower Park Wood. Rejoin surfaced track you crossed earlier and skirt wood over grid. Bend R up over next grid and ahead beyond colonnades of Poston House (R) to reach mast.

3. Radio Mast. Keep ahead on bridle path between chicken house and tennis court to clearing and TR beneath telephone wires through Forest Operations area. Bend L and after 30m (careful!) take left fork. Now follow conifers just inside L edge, ahead through gate, pen, and gap. Emerge at path junction and keep ahead.

Bend R (views to Malverns), pass to R of Sheep Pasture Farm, leave surfaced path just beyond it and go ahead along bridleway. Go inside L edge of Rushen Wood for 100m, then back out into open through gate to follow edge of wood for ½ mile into Burnt Wood ahead of you.

4. Burnt Wood. Keep ahead on bridle path for ¼ mile, snake R downwards to marker post, go ahead 80m to next marker post and TR (Permissive Access) for 30m. Now TL on the wide path, still the same general line you’ve been taking, for 170m and TR on footpath down into Timberline Wood. Go 150m to marker post and TL. Bend L and bend R down to emerge from wood via wooden gate.

Follow R edge/hedge down to lane through metal gate and TR to pass to L of Monnington Court.

5. Monnington Court. Go through gate by grid and TR over f/bridge before Chapel Cottage. (Mound now over to R is the place where many believe Owain Glyndwr to be buried). Follow farm track gently up pasture to R edge/hedge and up through gate in top R corner into sunken lane. Bear R up L edge, pass a ruin, go through gate up to white cottage and cross stile to R of it.

Now climb L edge towards Lunnon Farm, climb three steps, cross stile and TR up to follow surfaced track back to start.