Pen y Castell - Sarah Woodbury

Pen y Castell

Pen y Castell has been called “a primitive castle of unknown history”. It is located in North Wales, about 7 miles upstream from the town of Conwy, on the east bank of the Conwy River, near Cadair Ifan Goch and above the village of Maenan. During the medieval period, it would have guarded an important river crossing.

The castle was constructed similarly to that of Garn Fadryn on the Llyn Peninsula. In his 12th century chronicle, Gerald of Wales indicates that in 1188 Garn Fadryn was newly built, likely by the sons of Owain Gwynedd. It is possible that Pen Y Castell was built by them at the same time.

Still visible today, if you beat a path through the woods, are the remains of walls and a keep, all almost entirely overgrown with vegetation. It is particularly beautiful in the spring when the bluebells are blooming.

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