Wales- an underrated country in the UK is home to some unbelievable locations that humans can only dream of. The rugged coastline of Wales is worth exploring with plenty of famous mountains, National Parks, and of course castles. Yes, Wales is home to an ample number of beautiful castles, most of them built in the medieval period. Wales is a stunning country to visit or live in as people here are very friendly and cheerful.
Before knowing about the beautiful castles in Wales, let’s know about this smallest country in brief. Wales is the second smallest country in the United States with a minimal population of around 30 lakhs. This compact-looking country on the map has some amazing locations to soak the culture and enhance your knowledge at the same time and castles are one among them. There are over 600 well-maintained castles in Wales all having distinct individuality and all of them are worth watching.
1. Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a middle-aged building located in the Northwestern part of Wales. It was built in the early 11th century however it opened for visitors in the 13th. It is one of the well-known Welsh castles designed with Edwardian and Mediaeval architecture.
There are many fearless sagas associated with this beautiful castle and it was also besieged by invaders several times. Due to being besieged it slowly started falling into despair and remained neglected until the 19th century. In the 19th century finally, the state noticed the condition of the castle and provided funds for repair, and it is the time when repair work finally began.
The main attraction of the Caernarfon Castle is the polygonal towers and mammoth entrances. It is one of the best castles in Wales however, it has never finished the way it was planned by the designers.
Address: Castle Ditch, Caernarfon LL55 2AY, United Kingdom
Architectural styles: Mediaeval architecture, Edwardian architecture
2. Conwy Castle
This is another Welsh castle built between the 12th and 13th centuries in the time of King Edward I of England. It is located on the northern shores of Wales and is accepted as an exemplary example of the finest military architecture of that time. It is built of high quality using Limestone and Sandstone on a bridge that is placed on River Conwy.
This marvelous castle in Wales has overcome several wars undergoing sieges due to its impressive design. The castle is built on a rectangular piece of land and has two different wards with eight towers, a prison tower, stables, a town hall, chapel, garrison, kitchen, and a well. This architectural marvel is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Address: Rose Hill St, Conwy LL32 8AY, United Kingdom
Architectural styles: Military Architecture
3. Criccieth Castle
The marvelous structure of Criccieth Castle in Wales was built by Llywelyn the Great in the late 13th century. Resting on a promontory in Tremadog Bay, Criccieth Castle demonstrates King Edward I’s influence on the construction of the Welsh fortress. The design included numerous features of the Edwardian castles, including an exterior wall, outward-facing slits, and deadly holes in the passageways. This beautiful castle is known for changing hands between the Welsh and English. But later in the 15th century, it was burned during the Welsh rebellion. You can visit the Criccieth Castle through the ruins to explore the history of Welsh castles.
Address: Castle St, Criccieth LL52 0DP, United Kingdom
Architect: James of Saint George
4. Beaumaris Castle
This is another castle in Wales designed by James of Saint George, the one who designed the Criccieth Castle. Beaumaris Castle was built around six decades after the Criccieth Castle but the beauty of it is nowhere less. The idea of Beaumaris Castle was already in the mind of King Edward I and James of St. George when they are working for the Criccieth Castle
It is a splendidly designed self-centering castle that further features twelve towers to provide optimum support to the structure from every corner and two gatehouses for entrance. Further, there is a sheugh inside the castle that is connected to the sea to dump the waste.
The castle was never completely built and it is standing still relying only on its external structure. Due to this, visitors coming here get better opportunities to explore the passages and grounds.
Address: Castle St, Beaumaris LL58 8AP, United Kingdom
Architect: James of Saint George
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5. Laugharne Castle
The story of Laugharne Castle started centuries back in 1116 when the construction of this beautiful castle started. It was Robert Courtemain who took the charge of construction and provided funds to construct this architectural masterpiece. Later many changes have been done to the castle including becoming a Tudor fortified manor house and meeting place for Henry II and Rhys ap Gruffudd. Between the timelines, the castle was owned by multiple peoples, and finally, in 1644 it was eventually captured by Parliamentary forces.
It was Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet, who found inspiration in these 12th-century ruins and had spent the majority of his life passed amid the demolished ruins. Since 1966, the castle is open to the public from spring to autumn
Address: King Street, Laugharne, Carmarthen SA44 4SA, United Kingdom
6. Harlech Castle
Harlech is a beautiful castle in Wales located in the northwest part of the country. It is one among the most awe-inspiring castles in Wales located at a height of around 200 feet and offers a majestic view of nature to visitors. The entry gate of the castle is connected through a bridge that is a picturesque location. Harlech Castle was besieged by invaders in the 15th century that caused several damage to the original shape. The damage was never repaired by anybody in the next two centuries. However, the other part of the castle is still open for military purposes. The castle faces another seizure after a few years of the first seize in which most of the castle gets demolished. It’s true fate how this castle has survived all these years and has become an example for the modern generation.
Address: Harlech LL46 2YH, United Kingdom
Architectural styles: Mediaeval architecture, Gothic architecture
7. Bodelwyddan Castle
Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales traces all the way back to the fifteenth hundred years. This palace in Wales was never used for defensive purposes like numerous other buildings in Wales. This gorgeously constructed masterpiece was designed in 1460 by the Humphreys family of Anglesey and occupied as a manor house. The palace has never sustained any damage in all these years and the current structure of the Bodelwyddan Castle is the same as it was in the 14th century. The only transformation was done in the interior of this castle and it has been now turned into a luxurious hotel.
In between, this castle was converted into a hospital During World War I for the treatment of injured people and in 1977 it was converted into a boy’s school that later has been closed due to financial shortage.
Address: Castle Hotel, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl LL18 5YA, United Kingdom
Architectural styles: Victorian architecture
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8. Rhuddlan Castle
Rhuddlan Castle is an ancient ruin in Wales built by Master Bertram, James of St. George in the late 12th century. This amazing castle in Wales was built just after the Welsh War first in the order of King Edward I of England. Most of the castles in the UK were built under the instruction of King Edward I. famous architect James of St. George and Master Bertram, invested more than a decade in designing, planning, and constructing this massive castle in Wales.
In 1282, the castle was occupied by King Edward I as a temporary residence and since then the building was not completed. It was completed only for the sake of saying with two pinnacle gatehouses and defensive walls. In 1648, the castle was partially demolished to stop it from any military use in the future.
Presently, Rhuddlan Castle is among the ruined castles in Wales with demolished walls still successfully promoting the heritage of Wales.
Address: Castle St, Rhuddlan LL18 5AD, United Kingdom
9. Penrhyn Castle
When you look at Penrhyn Castle for the first time it will look like western scenery and is more beautiful than other castles in Wales. This stunning castle in Wales was initially founded by Ednyfed Fychan in 1438. later it was reconstructed multiple times by different architects.
presently what you see in the Penrhyn Castle was built between 1822 and 1837 by a renowned English architect Thomas Hopper.
Penrhyn Castle features multiple attractions like a vast garden, Railway Museum, art galleries, and an exotic view of Snowdonia mountains from the porch.
Address: Bangor LL57 4HT, United Kingdom
Architect: Thomas Hopper
10. Chirk Castle
It is one of the many impressive castles in Wales that has been constructed during the rule of Edward I. the construction of Chirk Castle started in the 12th century and it took around a decade to finish it. Roger Mortimer de Chirk. Later, the castle came into different hands and Sir Thomas Myddelton was one of them who bought this castle in 1593 for £5,000. Chirk Castle is the only inhabited castle in Wales from the time of Edward I’s that has been occupied by one or another year through all these years.
This castle was originally built to serve as a military fortress but later converted into a residential castle. So many famous rules after Edward I’s have lived in the castle and utilized the modern amenity. The castle is surrounded by 5 meters thick walls that make it secure from ambush.
Address: Chirk Castle LL14 5AF, United Kingdom
Architect: Roger Mortimer de Chirk
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Most of these impressive castles in Wales are constructed after England took once Wales. At that time, Edward I was the king and he spend most of his life here in different castles. These charming castles in Wales are built to protect the land and dominate the Welsh culture
Despite being the second smallest country in the United Kingdom, the charm of welsh castles is nowhere less in depicting the culture. It showcases the prosperous history and rich traditions of the people of Wales. You can anytime visit Wales to explore these beautiful castles and enhance your knowledge about welsh culture.