Five Beautiful Castles in Wales

Five Beautiful Castles in Wales

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There are many, many castles in Wales, all of which have a story to tell about the history of this myth-infused Celtic country. Here are just a few of the most beautiful and interesting of those historic buildings:

Caerphilly Castle

This is the largest castle in Wales and one of the great mediaeval castles of Western Europe. In the 13th Century, when it was built, it was a feat of military engineering, and truly revolutionary in its large-scale use of water for defence. It was also the first truly concentric castle in Britain. Since there have been few later alterations, this is a very pure example of late 13th Century military architecture. It was also one of the few castles of the period built on a virgin site, which allowed for a unity of conception that is rare elsewhere. It is because it had such a short life in active service that tourists can enjoy the unaltered castle today pretty much as it was conceived when first built.

Caernarfon Castle

For many, this is the most recognisable of Wales’ castles, but in some ways it is the least typical. Rather than the round towers of many other castles in the country, Caernarfon Castle has unusual and distinctive polygonal towers, which dominate the town beneath it.  This walls of this castle are largely in tact, and passageways lead through them onto the crenelated ramparts, which afford stunning views over the historic town of Caernarfon and out towards Snowdonia beyond.

Conwy Castle

The massive solidity of Conwy castle, with its eight huge round towers, makes it stand out in its position on the North Welsh coast. This dark-stoned fortress can really make you feel that you have travelled back in time to the middle ages. It was built by Edward I during his conquest of Wales in the 13th Century, along with the walled-town of Conwy. UNESCO consider Conwy castle to be one of the finest examples of mediaeval military architecture in Europe.

Carreg Cennen Castle

Perhaps the most romantically sited castle in Wales, Carreg Cennen stands on a wooded limestone bluff over the River Cennen valley, on the edge of the Black Mountains. It is part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. A precipitous stairway tunnels its way down from the Castle to the cliff bottom for below. The first stone castle on the site was probably built in the late 12th Century, was largely remodelled around a century later, and has been in a ruinous state since 1462.

Castel Coch

This fanciful concoction of the vivid Victorian imagination of William Burgess, who was given free reign by the 3rd Marquess of Bute to create this summer residence for he and his family in the 19th Century. Castel Coch is a fantastical, colourful creation of High Gothic opulence, and mediaeval mimicry. Over the top it most definitely is, but there is a beauty to this gaudy and extravagant display, and skill can be seen in every detail of the painted ceilings, marquetry and furniture. Visit here and you are sure to be amazed and delighted by every brightly coloured and intricate detail.

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