Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle is a World Heritage Site and one of Edward I’s Iron Ring of Castles that he built after the Welsh defeat in 1282. It is also linked to Welsh myth, in the story of the tragic heroine of Branwen, the daughter of Llyr, of the Mabinogion, who marries the King of Ireland but whose marriage is ultimately destroyed by the trickster/psychopath god, Efnysien. From CADW: “‘Men of Harlech.’ The nation’s unofficial anthem, loved by rugby fans and regimental bands alike, is said to describe the siege which took place here Read More…

A Medieval Siege

Besieging a castle was a far more common form of warfare than a fight on an open battlefield.  Sieges had the element of surprise and required fewer men than battle too, such that a ruler could beseige a castle with his enemy inside, while freeing other forces to wage war elsewhere. The goal in beseiging a castle was not to destroy it, but to take it, since castles were pawns in the great game of controlling land.  They were usually heavily fortified and defended, so a beseiger had several options Read More…