Castell Dinas Brân

Llangollen, United Kingdom

Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval castle, built by the Princes of Powys Fadog, which occupies a prominent hilltop site above the town of Llangollen in Wales. 

During the British Iron Age, around 600 BCE, a large hillfort was built on the summit of what was to become Dinas Brân by a Celtic tribe named the Ordovices. The earliest structure that might have been built at Dinas Brân is believed to have belonged to Elisedd ap Gwylog during the 8th century. Elisedd, who was a Romano British ruler during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is named on the Pillar of Eliseg and is considered one of the founders of the Kingdom of Powys, however, no archaeological evidence for any structure from this period has been found.

The presently visible stone castle was probably built in the 1260s by Gruffydd Maelor II, a prince of Powys Fadog, on the site of several earlier structures. Following the end of the Conquest of North Wales by King of England, most of Powys Fadog including the castle was granted to John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. Rather than rebuild Dinas Brân, De Warenne choose instead to build a new castle by the River Dee at Holt on the Flintshire-Cheshire border. Dinas Brân was left to fall into ruin.

Dinas Brân has rectangular stone defensive walls with the longer sides running in an east-west direction. The northern wall is defended with the steep natural slope that falls sharply downwards for several hundred feet. The walls on the gentler slopes on the southern and eastern sides are strengthened with an additional rock-cut ditch and counterscarp bank.



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Llangollen, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1260s
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Natália (2 years ago)
A very short walk to the ruins of the castle. It’s a shame to read that the castle lasted only under 2 decades as the scathes show it was a lovely and pretty large structure. The surrounding is very tranquil, any type of walk possible, all sounds of the nature can be heard …..
High Miler (2 years ago)
If you walk up from the panorama it's short but very steep. There is enough parking on the verge for a few cars but this is usually full on a nice day. There is not much left of the castle, it's now just a small ruin but the views are more than worth the effort of getting up to the top. You can see for miles on a clear day.
Peter Curphey (2 years ago)
Well worth the visit if you can. There are a few ways you can approach it from the base of the hill. A bit of a steep climb but the views are spectacular from the top ?
Caitlin Cox (2 years ago)
Absolutely gorgeous place. Steep climb to get to the top but the views are stunning! There is a flatter walk from the road to the gate entrance which goes through a sheep field so keep dogs on lead. The ruins are really fascinating and sturdy. A great place to challenge yourself and family to enjoy!
James Tennant (2 years ago)
Was a great hike. We decided to start from down in the town and walk up Wern rd to take you up to the other side. The road can be steep but it had good traction. The only difficulty bit was the last 5% of the climb due to the wet grass as it had just been raining. The views we well worth it! Climbing down the opposite side brought us straight down to where we started and made for a non-repeated trail.
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