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Introduction ~ General Castles ~ Castell-y-Bere ~ Castell-Carreg-Cennin ~ Castell-Dynefwr
General Welsh Castles

The castles shown here are but a few of the many hundreds of Welsh castles that stood in the way of the Anglo/Norman advance. However, not many were of stone, for the Princes had no knowledge of building with it until the Normans entered the land. Welsh castles were as often as not, in outlandish positions with small garrisons and many lives were lost as Welsh defenders fought to the bitter end in an attempt to retain control. The forfeiture of their lives was to no avail, for when Edward Ist advanced into Wales determined as he put it " To put an end to the Welsh problem" he did so with the availability of three vast armies of over thirty thousand men.

Castel y Bere Castell-y-Bere: Situated south of Dolgellau in the Desenni valley the castle was at times the battle headquarters for the princes of Gwynedd.( See page Castell y Bere )
Caer Penrhos, south of the foreshore at Llanrhysted

Caer Penrhos: Built in 1149 by Cadwaladr ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd within the confines of an old Iron Age hill fort south of the foreshore at Llanrhysted on the Cardigan coast, it protected the coastal route between Aberystwyth and Cardigan. It was his dastardly deed carried out from here that brought Cadwaladr into direct conflict with his brother the great Owain Gwynedd

Castell Carndochan, protecting the way into Snowdonia from the south.

Castell Carndochan: Built by prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth on a crag (much like Carreg Cennen) two miles west of Llanuwchllyn. To the west, north and east of the castle mountain crags made it almost impossible for an attacking force to advance without being ambushed, while to the south the approach was across rough upland ground.

Castell Carreg Cennen

Castell Carreg Cennen: Situated high in the lower hills of the Black mountain over looking the Cennen valley, a lonely but serene place these days. It didn't used to be. See page Castell Carreg Cennen.

Cricieth Castle

Cricieth: Built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1215, the castle stood on a rocky premonitory overlooking the sea in Gwynedd, north west Wales. It was Owain Glyndwr that finally ended its frequent change of ownership, supported by the French navy standing off shore he forced the English garrison to surrender. Once they had done so, determined that the castle would not be occupied by English forces again, he ordered his men to tear it down; then burn what was left.

Castle Dinas Bran, photo Lisa Hull

Dinas Bran: High above the Dee valley over looking the town of Llangollen stands the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran. One time home to the princes of northern Powys.

Castell Dinefwr

Castell Dinefwr: It is difficult to remember who actually built the first fortification on this site, It may have been Rhodri Mawr the king of Wales. However, I remember that some sort of fortification was certainly on site at the time of Hywel Dda in 950 AD.

Dolbadarn Castle

Dolbadarn: Built by Llywelyn ap Iorworth at the northern tip of Llyn Padarn, near the foot of Llanberis pass, the castle was strategically placed to protect the way east over the mountains of Snowdonia into the Conway valley.

Dolforwyn Castle

Dolforwyn: Built by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1274 on a hill near Abermule in Powys, the castle had a clear view across the Severn valley. Its life however, was short. In 1277 it fell to English troops under the command of a one Roger Mortimer after a siege which lasted a fortnight.

Dolwyddellan castle

Dolwyeddlan: Situated in the Lledr valley in Gwynedd, the birth place of Llywelyn ap Iorworth. It protected the way east from the Conway valley to Llanberis, and finally fell to the English forces of Edward Ist on the 18th January 1283.

Dryslyn castle

Dryslywn: Situated five mile downstream on the same bank of the river Tywi as Dinefwr castle, it was another built for the Princes of Deheubarth. In 1287 11,000 English troops, ordered by Edward I and under the command of the Earl of Cornwall besieged the castle. It was three weeks however, before it was in their hands. The castle was used as headquarters by Owain Glyndwr during his attack on Carreg Cennen and Dinefwr in 1402.

Prysnor castle

Prysnor: Built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, the castle protected the way north into the mountains of Snowdonia from the south. By 1284 it had fallen to English forces commanded by Edward I.

Graphics by Ole R.D. Copyright © 1999-2005
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