The walled castle town of Conwy guards the estuary of the River Conwy, just outside the Snowdonia National Park and is one of Britain's best surviving medieval settlements.
Built in just five years (1282-1287) by Edward I following his Welsh conquest, Conwy castle is one of Wale's greatest fortresses and a World Heritage Site. It was built to keep a grip on his conquest and at the same time as Caernarfon castle Travel Blogs from Caernafon Castle
The town has a 0.75 mile wall, built simultaneously with the castle and most of it can be walked. It boasts 22 towers and three original gateways.The town also has several other attractions such as the smallest house in Britain and a 14th and 16th century house.
21 Feb 2009 - Conwy, WalesThe last visit to Conway was at the end of a tiring mid December day that started at Caernarfon, some distance away. This visit started with a trip to Beaumaris but with the days becoming longer still gave enough time to capture the remaining sights of Conway. This trip also included a walk around the walls which at their highest point give an excellent view encompassing the whole of the medieval town.
Conwy - Along the wall to the upper gate
This second opening forms the second main opening to the town. The lower gate along the estuary forms the final main gate although a smaller gate also exists along the estuary wall - the Postern Gate. One of the towers has split almost apart.
Conwy - Aberconwy House (National Trust)
The white washed Plas Mawr, built in 1585, is one of Britains finest surviving Elizabethan town houses.
Conwy - Town walls and Castle view
The town and castle are built on a promontory. These are formed either from a hard ridge of rock that has resisted the erosive forces that have removed the softer rock to the sides of it, or are the high ground that remains between two river valleys where they form a confluence. This was to prevent undermining. The promontory at Conwy, which is about 15 metres high, was originally surrounded by the river on two sides but land reclamation isolated one side from the river.
Conwy - Looking along the wall of the Upper Gate
This shot shows the length of the wall leading to the estuary. The bridge that can be seen is modern but enters the town just before the castle. Therefore, the size of the town can be guessed at from the photo.
Conwy - The Smallest House in Great Britain
This can be found on the quay wall. It is in the Guinness Book of Records with dimensions of 3.05 metres x 1.8 metres. It was lived in since the 1500s (it was even inhabited by a family at one point) and lived in until 1900 when the owner a (6ft fisherman – Robert Jones) was forced to move out on the grounds of hygiene. The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully. The house is still owned by his descendants today.
21 Dec 2008 - Conwy, Wales
Continuing my Welsh tour, I left the impressive Caenarfon for the equally impressive Conwy. Though the castle isn't as well kept as the one at Caenarfon, but the town and its walls are a lot more interesting. The walls are also intact unlike the walls in many other towns and cities which have had to give way to traffic and new roads as well as war damage.
Whilst the physical remains of the walls and towers are so well preserved that they do that all essential thing of bringing the past to life, it's the little details that make the difference such as the medieval toilets which are situated on the walls. Look and be amazed. Or maybe I just have a fascination with bodily functions.
Then again, it's these things that we today can relate to. Whether it's ancient stadia and brothels in Pompeii Pompeii Brothel
, bars and baths in Herculaneum Herculaneum Travel Blog
or just how people treated toilet functions at Hadrians Wall Hadrians Wall Travel Blog
- these show how we have changed. Or not.
Conwy - Conwy castle
Conwy Castle and the town walls were built on the instructions of Edward I between 1283 and 1289, as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales. English settlers were given incentives to move to the walled garrison town, which for decades the Welsh were forbidden from entering. The castle forms part of the town walls, part of which has been demolished to allow for the modern road which can be seen in the photo.
Conwy - Town walls looking to the castle
Conwy folk can sleep well at night knowing they are defended by a 1.2 km (0.75 mile) town wall that was built simultaneously with the castle. It boasts 22 towers and three original gateways. Most of it is walkable. The town walls and castle are amongst the best preserved in Europe and have been accorded World Heritage status.
Conwy - South wall overlooking the Mill Gate
Conwy's town walls were provided with around 480 arrowloops designed for defence with crossbows. This stretch of the wall overlooks one of the three gates, the Mill Gate.
Conwy - The Mill Gate
The towers on the town wall were always open backed. The continuity of the wallwalk was maintained by plank bridges, which could be easily removed if a section of wall looked in danger of being captured and would help to isolate the danger.
Conwy - Latrine shoots
On the wall outside the Mill Gate can be seen a row of 12 latrine shoots. This example of medieval sanitation was built to serve the needs of 'The Kings Wardrobe' - a body of officials responsible for the administration and finance of the King's miltary and building activities in north Wales - whose quarters lay against the wall inside.
Conwy - Looking up a latrine shoot
This is somewhere you wouldn't want to be standing 700 years ago.
Conwy - Looking out from the Mill Gate
This view from inside the Mill Gate shows how formidible the town walls appear.