After defeating the Welsh in 1282, Edward I, King of England, immediately started to build a 'Ring of Iron' around the historic Welsh stronghold of Snowdonia. He commissioned impressive castles at Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech in an attempt to keep the Welsh subdued.
Conwy and Caernarfon became administrative centres and towns for settlers, which meant that the towns themselves needed to be fortified to protect their inhabitants.
The Welsh were not easy to subdue and mounted a spirited counter-offensive in 1294. They did not manage to regain power but did cause significant damage to Caernarfon town and castle. As Anglesey was a centre of the rebellion, Edward decided to build another castle that controlled access to the island. His troops forcibly depopulated the town of Llanfaes so that he could build Beaumaris Castle nearby, overlooking the Menai Strait.
Although these castles and fortified towns represent the conquest of one country by another, their architectural legacy is superb. Each has a different design, stands in a stunning position and is in remarkably good condition.
If you'd like to know more about these castles, subscribe to my blog using the form above. I will be writing more about each in the coming weeks.
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