Saturday, 2 February 2008

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle - built by Edward the First to dominate the Welsh.
The castle was built on the site of an old Roman Fort,
which had been replaced by a motte and bailey castle.

The name Caernarfon means - fort (Caer) yn Arfon
(by the Arfon, the name of the river next to the Castle).

Edward had been to the middle east as a Crusader,
and modelled the striped walls on those of Constantinople,
where huge striped walls dominated the straights of the Bosphorus.

It cost him a fortune to build Caernarfon Castle,
over £12,000 in the 1280s,
and he had to bring craftsmen from all over England to do it.
(well, you couldn't expect the Welsh to co-operate!!!).

Several hundred years later,
the castle brings lots of visitors and their spending money into the town,
so what began as a symbol of dominance over the Welsh
has ended up being an asset to Caernarfon.

Don't forget you can click on the photos for a better view.

The wall above the main entrance,
with a carving of Edward 1st.

The windows were beautiful,
and may even have had glass in them once.
Many windows of this time were shuttered as glass
was new technology and very expensive!

A view of the inner ward of the castle,
looking from the Eagle tower.

This block houses the Welsh Fusiliers regimental museum.

Views of part of the castle walls (above & below)

The Eagle Tower - so called because there was a large carved eagle on one of the turrets - it is still there, but is so weathered that you might not recognise it as an eagle. There may have been eagles flying free in north Wales at the time the castle was built, but they have been extinct in Wales for many many years.

As well as building the castle,
Edward built a town wall - to keep the Welsh out.
Only the privileged and English lived in the town!

You can see some of the wall above, and below.


kecia said...

hi Adrienne, how are you? i'm participating (just signed up!), so drop by and enter yourself!

Latharia said...

*swoon* Be still my heart. I am keenly jealous of your easy trips to some of my favorite spots. We had to cancel this year's trip to Wales. We were planning on staying in Tal-y-llyn, about 20 miles inland from Twywn, at Dolffanog Fach ... but we couldn't pull it off. I'll just have to stalk your blog, instead. :D

MargaretR said...

I'm enjoying your blog so much Adrienne. Th bottom photo here is the view form my SIL's flat and you can just see part of the flats she lives in! What a coincidence.