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

Joy Bisesi (2 months ago)
Spectacular castle designed by John of St. George. Edward the II was born here and later became the first non-native Prince of Wales. There are magnificent views from the towers.
Massimino Malacrino (3 months ago)
Staff are amazing as you walk in very helpful! An amazing castle ! We got there at 4 it closes at 5 as you need a good two hours explore the walls and go up the stairs and look at the views ! Enjoy the pictures hopefully next time I will make it in time !
Dani Wolf (3 months ago)
The castle of castles - absolutely the bee's knees of castles, a must see for anyone who likes medieval history. Remarkably well preserved for something from the 13th century, and very well maintained and presented with interesting extras like a military museum and some artwork /sculpture inside as well as helpful and knowledgeable staff. Great and varied views from the 7 towers. Can't praise this experience enough, and the castle itself is remarkable and stunning. Well worth the admission fee.
Sebastian Stern (3 months ago)
Amazing day out with family. Kids absolutely loved it. Museum part interesting, great design and layout. Beautiful views from the top of each tower. Staff welcoming, friendly, helpful, and polite. Coffee, cold drinks, and snacks are available.
zoe lucas (4 months ago)
Amazing place lots to see and explore. I enjoyed the military museum explaining the history of the welsh regiment. It's definitely worth visiting. The staff are very helpful friendly and smiling even in cold wet weather.
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