Caernarfon, Wales

Caernarfon is a small walled town dominated by Caernarfon Castle. Guarding the River Seiont on the Menai Strait below the Snowdonia mountains, it was the final part of the 'iron ring' that the English King and hardman, Edward I Edward I at Hadrians Wall built to rule the Welsh, and is now World Heritage listed.

Stupendously strong, it was built between 1283 and 1301 with polygonal towers and colour banded masonry modelled on the 5th century walls of Constantinople Travel Blogs from Istanbul.

In 1404, 28 men withstood siege by Owain Glyndwr's army, and during the 17th century Civil War it was besieged three times without success.

If you have time to visit it, there are also the substantial foundations of the nearby Roman fort of Segontium, a significant fortress on the limits of the Roman Empire. 1000 men occupied it for about 300 years from AD 77.


20 Dec 2008 - Caernarfon, Wales

Wild and picturesque with a wealth of history, Wales has escaped the attention of my wanderings until now. That mainly comes from being a proud Cestrian and having it on my doorstep for so long.

The town is best known for its great stone castle, built by Edward I of England and consequently is sometimes seen as a symbol of English domination. This may well have been the case but it represents a significant part of the history of the Britain. The castle has been well kept and will deny getting a buzz from exploring the battlements and spiral staircases of this mighty castle?

In case you don't know what a Cestrian is, here is the answer, Visit Chester.
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Caernarfon - Along the wall to the upper gate

Caernarfon - The Black Boy Inn

Caernarfon - The Black Boy Inn

Throughout the 19th century Caernarfon was a thriving port and accomodation gradually made way from timber to stone buildings.

The Black Boy Inn probably dates from the late 17th century and is the oldest stone house in town. It's not quite PC though.
Caernarfon - From the Kings Gate Tower to the BlackTower

Caernarfon - From Kings Gate Tower to the Eagle Tower

Many of the ideas for the design of Caernarfon castle originate from abroad but much relates to Welsh tradition. Edward I had considerable knowledge of Wales and exploited this in what was to be his showpiece castle.
Caernarfon - From Well Tower to the Eagle Tower

Caernarfon - From Well Tower to the Eagle Tower

The choice of Caernarfon for his capital of north Wales probably rested on the Welsh tradition of the nearby Roman fort of Segontium. This was also the setting of a 12th century collectin of stories with an account of Helen of Wales marrying one of the last Roman Emperors in Britain, the supposed ancestor of several Welsh Kings. Even the eagle of the castle was derived from the badge of Imperial Rome and stressed that English rule was just a continuation of the old Roman order.
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