Conwy Castle was built in the 13th century, designed by James of St. George, an architectural genius from Savoy who was given the title of Master of the King’s Works in Wales.
Constructions began in 1283. It was completed in less than 5 years (1287) and was at the time, the most expensive construction of all Edwardian fortresses in Wales
It is protected by 8 massive round towers and 2 barbicans; its defence walls cover 1km and include 22 towers and 3 gateways.
Following this achievement, a Welsh rebellion led by Prince Madog, led to some castles being looted and damaged. Edward marched to Wales to stop the rebellion and chose Conwy for headquarters. When he got there, the river flooded, trapping Edward and his men inside. He was stranded there for a few days and had to face a shortage of food, but fortunately the water receded and they could escape !
CAERPHILLY CASTLE - WALES
Famous for its cheese, Caerphilly is also known for having the largest castle in Wales.
It looks like a stone behemoth surrounded by a series of moats and watery islands. It was the brainchild of Gilbert « the Red » de Clare, a red-headed nobleman of Norman descent. He built the original castle Coch, « Red Castle », which is located the other side of Caerphilly Mountain.
At the start, Gilbert’s attempts to build a castle were thwarted by the Welsh Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd but he won and finally this mammoth stronghold emerged, using walls within walls as a strong system of defence.
Finally, the threat posed by Llywellyn was quelled by Edward I and after there were castle alterations. The preservation work is the work of the 3rd Marquess of Bute.
Caerphilly Castle hosts now many cultural events a year.