Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in north-west Wales run by CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and is a World Heritage site. Edward I had the current castle built in 1283, replacing the previous fortifications on the site. Unusually the towers of the castle are polygonal rather than round and we spent a lot of time walking up and down spiral staircases to take in fabulous views of Caernarfon and the castle itself.
It’s position on the shoreline made it strategically important as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a way for the English to keep the Welsh in line.
Edward I further tightened his grip on control of the Welsh when his son was born at the castle in 1284, the first English Prince of Wales. There is in fact a really interesting exhibit space in the castle that focuses on Edward I’s wife, Eleanor of Castile, that presents a pictorial timeline of their marriage, motherhood and then her eventual death.
We were very impressed with the castle, particularly the ability to climb towers and explore at will, often without bumping into anyone else despite the fact that the castle was reasonably busy. There was also an excellent model of what the castle and surrounding area would have looked like on display.
It’s a very impressive castle and well worth a visit. You can find more photos here.