Haverfordwest Castle is located in a naturally defensive position at the end of a strong, isolated ridge. Pembrokeshire Records indicate that there was an Iron Age hill fort on the site of the castle although there is no physical evidence to suggest this on the present location. Haverfordwest was believed to have been a Danish settlement prior to the Norman conquest of West Wales in 1093/94. The Flemish settled in the area in 1108 to protect the main Norman stronghold at Pembroke Castle from Welsh raiders from the north.
The castle was established during Norman times in 1120 but much of the architecture remaining today is dated to 1290, including the extensive curtain wall. For centuries the castle was an royal English stronghold.
The castle was owned by the crown from 1381–85, who paid for restoration works of the castle. These works proved important later, as in 1405 the castle was strong enough to fend off an attack during Owain Glyndŵr's War of Welsh independence. The town walls around the high ground near the castle also did much to protect the castle from invaders, although nothing remains of these town walls today. Over the centuries the castle was visited by numerous nobles and monarchs such as King Richard II and Oliver Cromwell.
By the 16th century, however, the castle had become dilapidated and subsequently was re-fortified during the English Civil War. In 1644 Haverfordwest Castle is documented as being occupied by the Royalists, but they abandoned it on misinterpreting the noises of cows for a Parliamentary army. It was recaptured and held for the king for a year, who finally surrendered after the Battle of Colby Moor nearby. Oliver Cromwell sent letters to the castle, ordering it to be destroyed in July 1648 and threatened to imprison the townsfolk unless it was demolished. These letters were only unearthed in 1986 and are currently on display in the town museum.
The derelict medieval castle was converted to a prison in 1779. In 1820 a new prison building was erected within the castle grounds, mainly within the inner bailey. Today the castle is operated by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and is open to the public.
The original entrance to the castle lay on the west side, guarded by a gatehouse but no trace of this survives. Round towers are located on the north-west and south-west corners, and in the south-east corner there is a square tower with an additional projecting turret. The south-west and south-east towers have three storeys, with the south-east tower possessing a basement and postern gate which could serve as a counter-attack during a siege. A large hall lies the south of the castle with great, high windows and scaling ladders. Little remains of the original medieval defences in the outer ward of the castle, although the extensive curtain wall has been upkept and still remains along with a considerable part of the north side, including a semicircular turret and a square tower to the east.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.