Conwy Castle

Conwy, United Kingdom

Conwy Castle was built by Edward I, during his conquest of Wales, between 1283 and 1287. Constructed as part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy, the combined defences cost around £15,000, a massive sum for the period. Over the next few centuries, the castle played an important part in several wars. It withstood the siege of Madog ap Llywelyn in the winter of 1294–95, acted as a temporary haven for Richard II in 1399 and was held for several months by forces loyal to Owain Glyndŵr in 1401.

Following the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the castle was held by forces loyal to Charles I, holding out until 1646 when it surrendered to the Parliamentary armies. In the aftermath, the castle was partially slighted by Parliament to prevent it being used in any further revolt, and was finally completely ruined in 1665 when its remaining iron and lead was stripped and sold off. Conwy Castle became an attractive destination for painters in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Visitor numbers grew and initial restoration work was carried out in the second half of the 19th century. In the 21st century, the ruined castle is managed by Cadw as a tourist attraction.

UNESCO considers Conwy to be one of 'the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe', and it is classed as a World Heritage Site. The rectangular castle is built from local and imported stone and occupies a coastal ridge, originally overlooking an important crossing point over the River Conwy. Divided into an Inner and an Outer Ward, it is defended by eight large towers and two barbicans, with a postern gate leading down to the river, allowing the castle to be resupplied from the sea. It retains the earliest surviving stone machicolations in Britain. In keeping with other Edwardian castles in North Wales, the architecture of Conwy has close links to that found in the Kingdom of Savoy during the same period, an influence probably derived from the Savoy origins of the main architect, James of Saint George.



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Founded: 1283-1287
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mark Thornton (8 months ago)
This spot was very impressive. There was incredible history as you walked around, and the structure was in great shape. You could really get an idea of how the castle was lived in and wandering around pretty much all aspects of the castle — including the turrets and more. The views were also fantastic. Parking was pretty easy and inexpensive, though this was a weekday off peak. There was a couple of cafes and obligatory gift shop where you buy entry tickets, and staff were very friendly. I’d highly recommend if you’re in the area; it’s worth it.
Lisa Breakspear (12 months ago)
My husband and I went in December , so off prime tourist season. It was absolutely spectacular!! Highly recommended you visit this place if you can. The castle is breathtaking and in very good condition , and the town is so lovely as well. So much to see here and enjoy .
James Lane (14 months ago)
What a fabulous Medieval Castle to visit. Highly recommended. Lots of Towers to climb and ramparts to walk along. Beautiful views. Loads of hidden chambers. A well preserved Castle complimented by a wall surrounding the City
Bhupesh Pratap (15 months ago)
Beautiful Castle. From the outside it really is very impressive. The views from the towers are amazing. I felt an audio guide could have been a real asset as there isn’t that much information. I A really well preserved castle, considering the castle is over 700 years old. Beautiful old castle and ruins that gives you a good insight into that time period in history. Good views of Conwy, town centre and river. Big gift shop and a good place to find some nice souvenirs. It’s very good value and really worth a visit.
De Ryc Rr (16 months ago)
This castle is a spectacular sight in Conwy. Climbing to the top of the towers does involves navigating some steep and narrow stairs. Give the age of the castle this is to be expected. The views from the top are spectacularly beautiful. If height is your phobia then please don’t look down. This is a large site so depending on how much you are planning to see, you should budget for around 3.5 hours to see the best bits and snap of photos.. Finding the castle was easy and parking was plentiful. However, we arrived at 10:30 and by 13:00 the car park was full. I paid around £4.50 for six hours parking!! Whilst you are here consider paying a visit to Britain smaller house!! For a small fee of only £1.50 you are getting the chance to walk through the doors of this miniature living space.
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