Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon, United Kingdom

Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd, Wales, is recognised around the world as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. It was a motte-and-bailey castle from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began to replace it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales, and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon's Roman past, and the Roman fort of Segontium is nearby.

While the castle was under construction, town walls were built around Caernarfon. The work cost between £20,000 and £25,000 from the start until the work ended in 1330. Although the castle appears mostly complete from the outside, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged.

When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Despite its dilapidated condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. The castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs.

The castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911 and again in 1969. It is part of the World Heritage Site 'Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd'.



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Founded: 1283
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Gregory (3 months ago)
Great castle, big with lots to see and explore, I’m sure we missed some (our fault for not getting a map maybe) but where’s the fun in not exploring. Price wise I thought it was very reasonable, discount of 10% for Blue light card holders too, only when paying on the door though. Couple of coffee shops, which along with the gift shop were all reasonably priced. Not a huge amount of hands on interaction but like I said above, lots to see. The views from the top are great, worth the climb up the stone steps. Not too busy when we visited but still more than I thought there might be as the weather was poor. Friendly lady on the desk at the front which is always a good sign of a nice place to visit. Thoroughly recommend.
Jef Henninger (4 months ago)
Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon, Wales This massive castle from the late 1200s was a lot of fun to check out. Just like one of the castles we went to yesterday, you can walk all around on your own. From climbing up steep steps to get on top of the tallest tower to walking down dark passageways, there's just something about exploring amazing castles. It took us over an hour to see everything we wanted to see and that was even with skipping a few parts as we much have walked up and down over 200 steps. There's a museum dedicated to Welsh soldiers in one section of the castle which was pretty interesting to check out. The views from the towers are incredible and you can clearly see what an amazing fortress this would have been back then. Highly recommended.
BeFit Cornwall (5 months ago)
We had a lovely visit to the castle today! Our 5 year old loved it ? So much to explore, the museum and information displays were great. Really loved how the castle has been updated, a perfect blend of the original castle and modern features such as wooden seating, art installations and glass windows. We were really surprised by how much of the castle you can explore. Lush views from the top. Would definitely recommend!
Simon Stepsys (5 months ago)
Fabulous medieval castle ? with superb museum, cafe, shop, toilets, coffee bar. Fantastic views, over the sea and the countryside. Definitely worth a visit. Take your time exploring, we spent about 2 hours touring round the magnificent castle.
Ben Coulthard (7 months ago)
£40 for a family ticket is good value, but what you should do is buy the 3 day ticket which allows you into several castles for only £56. Caernarfon was great for a good half day visit and staff member Edward was so very helpful and should get a pay rise!
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