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HARLECH CASTLE, LL46 2YH

GETTING THERE

Postcode: LL46 2YH

Lat/Long:  52.8599N 4.1092W

Notes:  A major tourist attraction the castle is well sign-posted.  Car parking is available directly by the castle or in Harlech.  Most is pay and display.  

WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?

The extensive remains of the smallest but still very impressive Edwardian fortress built specifically to control North Wales following the conquest. Snowdonia is visible from the castle!

VISIT OFFICIAL SITE (Opens in new window)

Castle is managed by CADW.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

1.  Designed by Master James of St George, master mason to Edward I, Harlech benefited from his personal oversight in its construction.


2.  The siege of 1468 gave rise to the song 'Men of Harlech'.




Wales > North Wales HARLECH CASTLE

Although small when compared to the other fortresses of Edward I, Harlech Castle has had an active life; seized by the Owain Glyndŵr it was his headquarters during his rebellion and was besieged in the Wars of the Roses and the Civil War.

HISTORY OF HARLECH CASTLE


Harlech Castle was built between 1283-90 in the aftermath of the second War of Welsh Independence and, like other castles constructed by Edward I, it was built to a concentric design albeit modified for the high rocky outcrop on which it was constructed. A stairway to sea level coupled with a channel provided a secure berth for ships to facilitate resupply by sea; something deemed essential for sustained occupation as part of the conquest of Wales.  


In 1400 Owain Glyndŵr led a rebellion against English rule; Harlech was besieged and in 1404 after a long siege fell to the Welsh. It was then occupied by the rebel leader who used it as his base of operations until 1409 when Henry of Monmouth (the future Henry V) retook the castle. This association with the Lancastrian dynasty continued into the Wars of the Roses (1455-85) when Harlech remained loyal to the faction through to 1468 when it was besieged and taken by forces of the Yorkist King Edward IV.


During the Civil War Harlech was garrisoned for the King and came under siege from Parliamentary forces in July 1646. With the surrender of Pendennis and Denbigh Castles, Harlech became the last mainland Royalist stronghold but ultimately surrendered on 15 March 1647 with its fall signifying the end of the first English Civil War. The castle was slighted on the orders of Parliament.  

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