Caernarfon castle

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Caernarfon_castle_interior.jpg
The ward of Caernarfon Castle, showing (from left to right) the Black Tower, the Chamberlain's Tower, and the Eagle Tower.
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Caernarfon_castle_from_the_west.jpg
Caernarfon Castle from the west

Caernarfon Castle was constructed at Caernarfon in North Wales by King Edward I of England, following his successful conquest of the principality. A legend states that his son, later Edward II of England was born here in 1284, but there is no contemporary evidence.

Edward I built many castles in North Wales to help subdue the Welsh following his conquest of the principality in 1277 and the defeat of the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. The other important fortresses of this "iron ring" were Beaumaris, Conwy, and Harlech, but Caernarfon is probably his supreme achievement. Begun in 1283 during Llywelyn's unsuccessful uprising, it reached something like its current state in 1323. It was never completed, and even today there are joints visible in several places on the internal walls ready to accept further walls which were never built. Contemporary records note that the castle's construction cost some 22,000 – an enormous sum at the time, equivalent to more than a year's income for the royal treasury. The castle's concentric design is sophisticated by comparison with earlier British castles, and the walls are said to have been modelled on those of Constantinople, Edward being a keen crusader. The castle dominates the Menai Strait, which had been of great strategic importance during Edward's Welsh campaigns.

In the uprising of 12941295, Caernarfon was besieged, but the garrison was supplied by sea and held out to be relieved in the spring of 1295. In 1403 and 1404 it withstood sieges by the forces of Owain Glyndwr. During the English Civil War its Royalist garrison surrendered to Parliamentary forces in 1646.

The castle was used in 1911 for the investiture of the then Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, because of its past associations with the English crown. This set a precedent which was to be repeated in 1969 with the investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales.

The castle also houses the regimental museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and is a World Heritage Site.

External link

cy:Castell Caernarfon

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