Sitting majestically on the shores of the Menai Strait, looking from the island of Anglesey across to mainland Wales, this powerful castle took more than 35 years to build, and even so was never finished completely. It was the last of an ambitious series of fortifications built by Edward I following his conquest of Wales. Building began in 1295 with the construction of a wide moat, high walls and strong towers. In the inner ring, two massive twin-towered gatehouses were built, while the outer ring comprised a wall 27 feet high, bristling with defensive towers and its own protected dock. The rooms were furnished to the highest standards and the whole thing thought impregnable. However, this was never put to the test, and no siege machines or artillery have ever been fired at or from its walls. Less than 20 years after building work stopped on the unfinished castle, there were reports that it was already falling into decay.
Facilities – at a glance
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Portable induction loop, 2 dedicated disabled parking spaces on road by visitor centre
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, daily Mar-Jun & Sep-Oct, 9.30-5; Jul-Aug, 9.30-6; Nov-Feb, Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun 11-4 (last admission 30mins before close). Closed 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan
Also in the area
About the area
Discover Isle of Anglesey
Some of the oldest rocks in Britain form the 125-mile coastline of the 85 square mile Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes Holy Island with its busy port of Holyhead, the terminus for the Dublin ferry. The terrain inland is mainly a fertile plateau worn flat by the action of the sea, with low ridges and shallow valleys, while the sheer limestone cliffs of the east coast and on the north coast at Holyhead Mountain represent some of the most spectacular sea cliffs in Britain.
On the steep northern and eastern cliffs, guillemots, choughs, cormorants and razorbills nest, while on the huge precipice of Gogarth Bay on lighthouse-topped South Stack (Ynys Lawd) on Holyhead Mountain, expert rock climbers now find their sport where local people formerly harvested gulls’ eggs from the vertiginous ledges.
Anglesey has a wealth of prehistoric remains. On the slopes of Holyhead Mountain, a collection of over 50 hut circles and rectangular enclosures, known as Cytiau’r Gwyddelod (Irishmen’s Huts), are thought to date from the Bronze Age and were still in use in Romano-British times, and many finds indicate the wealth of Iron Age culture on the island.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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