Holt Castle is located in the town of Holt, near Wrexham on the Welsh-English border. It is a medieval castle, begun in 1277 as part of King Edward’s initial conquest of Wales. It wasn’t completed until 1311.
Although King Edward began the work at Holt, in 1282, after the final conquest of Wales, he presented the castle to John de Warenne, one of his most loyal vassals. Warenne pledged to complete both the castle and the adjacent town, which would be exclusively for English settlers. The castle was known in the middle ages as ‘Lyons Castle’ because of the lion carved into the stonework above the main gate.
The only sizable part of Holt Castle that remains are masonry features perched on the top of its sandstone base. These include the lower walls of the inner keep, the postern gate, a chute exit, and the foundations of the outer gate’s square tower. Extensive restoration work to remove vegetation, install steps, and repair extant masonry was finished in 2015.
Holt Castle is featured as the seat of John de Warenne in Shades of Time, a book from the After Cilmeri series.