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Dolwyddelan Castle
Part of Conwy County
Dolwyddelan, North Wales
Dolwyddelan Castle Cadw.jpg
Type Enclosure castle
Coordinates Latitude: 53.05293
Longitude: -3.90809
Built c.1210–1240
Built by Llywelyn the Great
In use Open to public
Partially ruinous
Controlled by Cadw
Events Welsh Wars
Prince Madoc's Rebellion

Dolwyddelan Castle (Welsh language: Castell Dolwyddelan ) is a Welsh castle located near Dolwyddelan in Conwy County in North Wales. It was built in the 13th century by Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd and North Wales.

Construction[edit | edit source]

The castle was built, using local grit and slate rubble, in the early thirteenth century as one of the Snowdonian strongholds of the princes of Gwynedd.[1] It consisted of one rectangular tower with two floors.[2] The second tower was added by Edward I during the repairs in 1283-1284 and linked by an irregular curtain wall with a courtyard in the centre.[3] A third story was added to the main keep in the late 15th century,[4] and was heavily restored in 1848.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The Welsh castle, built in the early 13th Century, functioned as a guard post along a main route through North Wales.[4] It was reputed to be the birthplace of Llywelyn the Great, though it is now thought that he was born at Tomen Castell, a small tower that previously stood on a nearby hill.[1][5] On 18 January 1283 it was captured by Edward I of England's forces during the final stages of his conquest of Wales.[6] The castle was then modified and strengthened until at least 1286 for occupation by an English garrison with recorded repairs including carpentry, the bridge, and the water mill.[3][7][8]

Edwardian troops maintained a military presence here until 1290. As the long-term strategy of control in Wales began to rely on military and administrative centres accessible by sea, the inland castles became obsolete.

In the 15th century, an upper story was added to the keep by local lord Maredudd ap Ieuan who acquired the lease in 1488. It was restored and partly re-modelled in the 19th Century by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who added the distinctive battlements. In 1930 the building was placed under the guardianship of the Ministry of Works.[9]

Present day[edit | edit source]

The castle is now under the protection of CADW, which is part of the Welsh Assembly's historic environment division.

Media appearances[edit | edit source]

In 1980 the location was used for all the outdoor shots of Ulrich's castle during the making of the film Dragonslayer.[10]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stephen Friar (2003). The Sutton Companion to Castles. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0750927445. 
  2. Thomas Roscoe (1844). Wandering in North Wales. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arnold Taylor (1986). The Welsh Castles of Edward I. The Hambledon Press. ISBN 0907628710. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Simon Jenkins (2011). Wales - Churches, Houses, Castles. ISBN 978-0-141-02412-7. 
  5. Jeffrey L. Thomas. "Tomen Castell". http://www.castlewales.com/tomen_d.html. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  6. Michael Prestwich (1998). Edward I. pp. 194–195. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Vp2r3xyaDaEC&pg=PA195. 
  7. "Dolwyddelan Castle". CADW. 2011. http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/dolwyddelan-castle/?lang=en. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  8. Prestwich, Michael (2005). Plantagenet England 1225-1360. p. 155. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/liverpool/docDetail.action?docID=10271718. 
  9. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (1956). An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Caernarvonshire: I East: the Cantref of Arllechwedd and the Commote of Creuddyn. 1. pp. 80–82. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zy2olxXGPhwC. 
  10. "Dolwyddelan Castle". North Wales Daily Post. 18 September 2007. http://www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/restaurants-bars/dolwyddelan-castle-2865323. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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