Some six-hundred years after the Roman legions had left Caernarfon, the Normans established a motte-and-bailey castle on a small peninsula alongside the Menai Strait. By 1115 Caernarfon, along with the rest of Gwynedd, had been recaptured by the Welsh, who continued to hold it until the defeat and death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Wales, in 1282. Little more than six months later, Edward I set about building a new stronghold — one of a series of castles established in north Wales to secure the newly conquered principality.
Caernarfon Castle, begun in 1283 and still not completely finished when building work stopped in about 1330, is one of the most striking buildings the Middle Ages have left us. It is one of a group of imposing and majestic castles in north Wales that still remain in a state of some completeness.
But Caernarfon undoubtedly stands apart from the others in its sheer scale, in its nobility and in the degree of its architectural finish. Small wonder, then, that this great castle should have caught the imagination of scores of writers and painters through the ages.
Published 2015 / 44 pages / ISBN 978-1-85760-209-8
Size 210mm (w) x 255mm (h) English language
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