R.D's Logo
Main Navigation
Home ~  About Wales ~ Welsh Castles ~ English Castles ~ Welsh Dynasties ~ Medieval Princes ~ Religious Places
Author's Special Places ~ Places of Interest ~ Myths & Legends ~ Brecon Beacons National Park ~ Photographs
Birds of Wales ~ Authors Early Life ~ Awards Won ~ Links & Credits ~ Update Page ~ Guest books
Page Down Section Navigation Caerphilly Castle
Introduction ~ General Castles ~ Caernarfon ~ Caerphilly ~ Pembroke ~ Rhuddlan
Caernafon Castle

The history of Caernarfon extends as far back through the mists of time as the Roman period, for then it was a mighty Roman fort. Having been built by the powerful XX Roman legion after their advance from Chester, it was named Segontium. Caernarfon soon became a busy trading post. However. abandoned to its fate when the Romans withdrew from Britain as their empire began to crumble, the town stood in an almost state of animation for hundreds of years until the Norman's began to probe into Wales

Caernarfon Castle Inside Caernarfon

Once the Norman had secured victory over England following his invasion in 1066 the Norman lord Robert of Rhuddlan ( cousin to Hugh of Avranches, first Norman Earl of Chester ) advanced west from Chester to build his Motte and Bailey castle at Rhuddlan. However, after completion Hugh with a burning ambition for the spoils of war, began to look longingly towards the west once again.

When he continued with his westward advance it became a bloody one, as the Romans had also found to their cost. Nevertheless, lord Robert finally reached Caernarfon, where he once again commenced to construct a Motte and Bailey castle. The castle, constructed west of the old Roman fort, was near the waters edge of a estuary to the sea, formed by the Seiont river, the Menai Strait and the Cadnant brook. It was the very same way that Edward 1st King of England was to advance, following the untimely death of Llywellyn-ap-Gruffydd at Builth in December of 1282. The difference being between Edward and Robert was that Edward's advance was comparatively unhindered, for he had received the heads of Llywelyn and his brother Dafydd; his troublesome foes.

Within months of his arrival on the shore of the Menai strait Edward had men transported from every shire in England to Caernarfon, there under the auspices of master builder James of St. George some 3,000 men toiled to construct the fortress that was intended to be the jewel in the crown of those being constructed in Wales at the time. Its strength and splendour on completion was something to behold, for Edward “Longshanks” was determined that should an uprising occur again in north Wales then it would be quickly crushed ( well that was his hope )

Caernarfon under lights Inside Caernarfon

On the 25th April 1284 a baby was born in the castle who would be known as Edward of Caernarfon, when he was created Prince of Wales in 1301 it signaled the end of any of the princes in Wales calling themselves the “Prince of Wales”, or did it?

It had been a long hard armed struggle which had cost the nation dearly, in every village and hamlet in the north every home mourned the loss of someone dear. The countryside had suffered too, crops were in short supply and there was a general lack of food; for great tracks of land had been stripped clean as three English armies had swept over nearly every inch of Wales. When Edward “Longshanks” completed his ring of fortresses he was quite satisfied that should any future rebellion commence it would be quashed within days. O what a fool, for the men of Wales would rise again under Owain Glyndwr. His rebellion was to commit the nation to another war and many a castle to flames, but that's another story.


Caernarfon you still stand tall and proud
And cloud still covers Snowdonia in a shroud
Under such a shroud of cloud many many years ago
An attack was planned which caused you to be set aglow

So never ever let it be said
That the aspirations of Welshmen are dead
Time will come again when one will choose to lead
Follow will the men of Wales for they are a special breed
Graphics by Ole R.D. Copyright © 1999-2005/ All Rights Reserved
English Castle sPage 2 Page Forward Return to top
You Are One Of