Caernarfon Castle, Wales

I love castles. Especially the medieval castles of North Wales. UNESCO agree with me, since they made The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd a World Heritage Site in 1986. And my absolute favourite is Caernarfon Castle.

Bizarrely, the only photos I have of Caernarfon Castle from the outside are at night

There’s been a castle at Caernarfon (previously spelled Carnarvon or Caernarvon) since the 11th Century, and before that the Romans had a fort at nearby Segontium.

The northern (town-side) wall of the castle, with the bridge leading to the King’s Gate visible part way along

The western end of Caernarfon Castle, from across the mouth of the River Seiont

The current fortress was commissioned by King Edward I of England in 1283, in an attempt to keep the local Welsh under control. After an initial building frenzy, lasting a decade or so, work continued on Caernarfon Castle until around 1330. At that point, construction all but stopped, with some inner parts of the building still incomplete.

Looking west from the top of the East Gate

Eagle Tower from Queen’s Tower – the former gets its name from the stone eagles that adorn it

Looking east from Eagle Tower

The castle itself is massive, at around 575 feet long and 220 feet at its widest point. Some of its beige stone walls are 20 feet thick at their bases. And the castle itself was part of a large fortified wall, which surrounded the medieval town.

Inside the walls: the lower passage between the Queen’s and Chamberlain Towers

Looking along the south wall towards the modern town, with the mountains of Snowdonia in the distance

Caernarfon Castle had an unusual design, with a narrow ‘waist’ essential splitting the structure in two, giving it an hourglass or figure 8 shape from above. The area east of the ‘waist’ is known as the Upper Ward, with the Lower Ward to the west.

The ‘waist’ of Caernarfon Castle, with the King’s Gate on the right and the Chamberlain Tower on the left

The Upper Ward, with the circular slate platform upon Prince Charles became Prince of Wales in 1969 at its centre

Today Caernarfon Castle is under the protection of CADW Welsh Historic Monuments, an organisation of which I’m proud to be a member.

View along the length of the castle towards the Eagle and Queen’s Towers in the distance

Medieval castles can be hazardous structures

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This post was inspired by the photo themes of Structure and Enamored from The Daily Post, Colors that start with the letter B from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and History from Nancy Merrill Photography.

Sorry the images aren’t up to my usual standard, but they’re scans of actual photographs!



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Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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9 Responses to Caernarfon Castle, Wales

  1. Pingback: Structure: Coffee Rocks in Mugs | What's (in) the picture?

  2. Shibin Dinesh says:

    Beautiful structures indeed! Good selection!

  3. browney237 says:

    Looking forward to visiting Caernarfon Castle in late October.

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    Oh what a terrific post Jaspa. 😀

  5. Pingback: WPC: Hidden Structure | Lillie-Put

  6. A structure I’d like to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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