Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle was begun in 1295 by Roger Mortimer, a younger son within the powerful Mortimer family. Roger, along with his elder brother, Edmund, were the Marcher lords primarily responsible for luring the last Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, to his death at Cilmeri in 1282. As reward for this service, King Edward gave the land upon which Chirk was later built to Roger and elevated him to 1st Baron Mortimer of Chirk. The castle served as one of King Edward’s Iron Ring of Castles encircling north Wales. Chirk guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley and is located very close to Offa’s Dyke. The original construction consisted of a curtain wall with five circular towers, with an offset entrance. Over the centuries, the house continued to be lived in, even after its defenses were no longer necessary. Thus Read more…

Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle overlooks the Menai Strait on Anglesey in north Wales and was built by King Edward I in 1295 as part of his Iron Ring of Castles, a series of castles built around Gwynedd to control the Welsh. Beaumaris itself was begun in response to a rebellion led by Madog ap Llywelyn. In order to build Beaumaris, Edward destroyed a Welsh llys (palace), along with the entire Welsh town of Llanfaes, which was the most important trading port in Gwynedd at the time. The people were moved inland to Newburgh, and English settlers were brought in to populate Beaumaris. The English crown spent a total of 15,000 pounds on the castle, but it was never finished, the work finally being abandoned in 1330. Key features to visit within the castle are the many passages within the walls, the numerous Read more…