Caernafon : Fit for a Prince

Caernafon Castle at night

Greeting my beautiful and handsome fellow! Now I will told a castle that the most impressive in Wales, which is Caernavon Castle. Well, it’s not so powerful if you want to compare with other great castle such as Harlech and Beaumaris, but Caernarvon has its own character which was as a seat of power and as a symbol of English dominance over the subdued Welsh.

Caernarvon is located at the southern end of the Menai Strait between north Wales and Anglesey, 8 miles south west of Bangor. During Edward I's invasions of Wales, this was strategically an excellent place to build a castle because Anglesey was referred to as the garden of Wales, providing agriculturally rich land close to the poorer land on north Wales. The Menai Strait also allowed speedy access between the north Welsh coast and the western coast, and was therefore important for King Edward 1 to control for supplying outposts such as Harlech and Aberystwyth. Here, Edward built a town, after destroying the original Welsh settlement. The name of the castle is a new settlement from English origin, “Caernarvon" as opposed to the Welsh "Caernarfon"

The work to build it began in May 1283. The reason it’s been built is because Edward wanted to create a nucleus of English influence in this area, which was previously so rich in Welsh tradition and anti-English feeling. He also wished to create Caernarvon as the capital of a new dominion - hence the incorporation of a town and market into the strong walls of the site.

In the first phase, the material for the building of the castle, town, walls, gates, and important quay were ferried in by sea. On June 24th the first recorded entry of work was on the new castle's ditch, separating the castle from fortified town. As you know all castles has a wooden barricade to defend the building works from attack. The only tower of the castle completed during the first phase of the building was the Eagle Tower; the main priority was to make the site defensible. Work continued swiftly and the castle and town walls were substantially completed by late 1285. Madog AP Llywelyn over-ran the castle in his revolt of 1294, and succeeded in burning part of the castle and damaging the town walls. This happens because at the end of the first building phase, the north wall of the castle had no wall, and was instead defended by the town walls and a wide rock cut ditch. The English retook the castle next summer, and orders were given to make the castle defendable again by 11th November 1295. The town walls and castle were repaired, and the north wall of the castle was finally added, including the King's Gate. By 1330, the building payments ceased and the castle stood with similar looks as it does today. Overall, the expenditure on Edward I's grandest castle had been £25,000 over 50 years.

Caernarfon Castle's map

The Eagle Tower, Queen's Tower, Chamberlain Tower and Black Tower all were accommodation towers built on several stores, mostly with self-contained chapels on each storey. Two halls existed, the Great Hall and a hall in the King's Tower. The castle was intended to and capable of accommodating the household of the king's eldest son, Prince of Wales, with his council, family and guests also in attendance. This castle was intended as the capital of a new dominion, and a palace for the dynasty of the new Prince of Wales.

At Caernarfon the walls were given a prominent patterning with bands of different colored stone. Moreover, the towers were constructed in an angular fashion rather than the more usual rounded form of, for example, Conwy or Beaumaris. Overall, the king was creating a fitting building to be a new royal residence, a palace, intended to be the seat of government for the newly-formed shire counties of north Wales. Everywhere, strength and majesty are evident in its walls and turrets. Today, a visit to the castle is made yet more interesting by a number of informative exhibitions and displays throughout the towers. In addition, it’s not just the castle had been built there, at the same time, they protected the English inhabitants of the infant borough established by King Edward.

  •  If you want to see more and get more info about this cancel, you can click the link given. 
           Caernofon Castle :D

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