Constructed by the English
monarch Edward 1 between 1283 and 1289, soaring curtain walls and 8
huge round towers give the castle an intimidating presence. There
are breath-taking views from the battlements over the mountains and
sea and down to the roofless shell of the castle's massive Great
The circuit of town walls,
over three-quarters of a mile long and guarded by 22 towers, is one
of the finest in the world.
Caernarfon is possibly the most striking
medieval monument in Wales, with its scale and commanding presence. Its
unique polygonal towers, intimidating battlements and colour-banded
walls were designed to echo Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome.
Begun in 1283, its symbolic status was emphasized when Edward's son ,
the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284.
In 1969, the castle was the setting for the
Investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.
Harlech Castle is built on a rocky
outcrop, gazing out over the land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over
Snowdonia. The English monarch Edward1 built it in the late 13th century
to fulfil this very role.
A long siege here during the Wars of the Roses
inspired the stirring song "Men of Harlech".
Built on its commanding headland
overlooking Tremadog Bay, Criccieth Castle's history is deeply entwined
in the medieval conflict between England and Wales. Originally a
stronghold of the native Welsh princes, it was taken by Edward's forces
in 1283 and extensively refortified.
Beaumaris is the great unfinished
masterpiece. Started in 1295, it was the last of the massive Edwardian
fortresses of the 13th century to be built in North Wales, but money ran
out before the fortifications reached reached their full height. It is
still regarded as the finest Welsh castle. It is the most technically
perfect castle in Britain, with a symmetrical concentric "walls
within walls" design that was state of the art for the 13th
700 year Chirk Castle, a
magnificent marcher fortress, commands fine views over the surrounding
countryside. Rectangular with a massive drum tower at each corner, the
castle has beautiful formal gardens with clipped yews, roses and a
variety of flowering shrubs.
The dramatic dungeon is a reminder of the
castle's turbulent history, whilst later occupants have left elegant
state rooms, furniture, tapestries and portraits.
Powis Castle was originally built as a
fortress by Welsh princes but was later adapted and enriched by
generations of Herberts and Clives.The beautiful collection of treasures
from India displayed in the Clive Museum includes textiles, armour,
bronzes, jade, ivory and a magnificent tent.There are sumptuous period
rooms and an elegant Long Gallery.
The world famous Gardens are spectacular with 4
huge stepped terraces, an orangery and topiary that looks as if it is