Deganwy

Deganwy is one of those castle-forts that has become part of the legend of Wales, although very little of it remains. This plan http://www.castlewales.com/deganwy1.html shows a reconstruction of the early medieval fort.  It was the seat of “Maelgwyn Gwynedd, the foremost historical figure of the 6th century in north Wales, patron of St Cybi and St Seiriol, but reviled as a drunken tyrant by the chronicler Gildas. Excavations on the western summit in 1961-66 confirmed occupation in the 5th and 6th centuries.”  http://www.castlewales.com/deganwy.html “The area below the castle is called Maesdu (Black Meadow) and was, doubtless, the site of many bloody battles. The lower ground of the later bailey may have been the site of a settlement of serfs and bondmen; while Maelgwn’s stronghold stood atop the higher of the later castle’s twin peaks. It would have been largely of wood, Read more…

Ewloe Castle

Very little is known about Ewloe Castle, other than it appears to have been built by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to counter the English fortresses in eastern Gwynedd of Hawarden and Flint.  It was built in a hollow beneath a field, that actually set on a small hill overlooking two creeks:  the Wepre and the New Inn Brook. “Ewloe castle rises at northwest of the town of Hawarden and is one of the symbols of the brief triumph of the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last that began its construction in 1257 after the reconquest of this part of Wales. Of all the native castles in North Wales Ewloe is the only with a non spectacular setting. It stands on a promontory overlooking the junction of two streams but is overwhelmed by higher ground at south. Its position, near the English border, Read more…

Buellt Castle

Buellt Castle (Builth Wells for the English) was the seat from which the Mortimers lured Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to his death near Cilmeri on 11 December 1282.  It was a major Edwardian Castle of its time, but all of the stone work as disappeared. “Builth is nothing more than a series of earthworks – nothing visible remains to give testimony to the structure which once stood at the site. By 1183, documents record a clash here between the Welsh and Normans, and much of what we see reflects this original motte and bailey fortification. During the next 90 years, the castle saw repeated conflict and changed hands between the Welsh and English on several occasions. By the 1240’s masonry structures were established at Builth; however, it was as the result of Edward I’s initial campaign against the Welsh in 1277 Read more…

The History of Chester

The City of Chester is the first stop of our Wales Odyssey!  We began with a tour of the walls, which were begun when the city was called ‘Deva’, and fortified by the Romans.   “The Roman military presence at Chester probably began with a fort or marching camp at the mouth of the Deva Fluvius (River Dee) very likely established during the early campaigns of governor Publius Ostorius Scapula against the Deceangi in north-east Wales sometime around AD47/48. There is some evidence of pre-Flavian occupation, possibly even a timber-built fort, but proof positive of a Scapulan foundation has yet to emerge. After the first tentative forays of Scapula, the next military activity in the area was conducted during the early administration of governor Sextus Julius Frontinus sometime around AD74 when an auxiliary fort was constructed at Chester. The placement of this fort was a strategic move by Frontinus Read more…