Caernarfon Castle is pretty magnificent. It is one of those 'fairytale' style castles, but has unique polygonal towers, and it has a fabulous location by the mouth of the River Seiont.
The castle was built between 1283 and 1330, and was intended to be both a royal palace and a seat of government. It is hugely fortified, and was well set up to ward off the enemy, with its many 'murder holes' and numerous 'arrow slits' within the thick walls.
Inside there are narrow passages that join up the various towers and rooms, surrounded by a inner grassy courtyard. The passage ways are maze like in some places, with dead ends and ups and downs to confuse you, and give you the chance to lose your kids/husband if required!
You can climb up narrow spiral staircases to the tops of the towers, for fabulous views of Caernarfon and the surrounding area. Well worth a visit Caernarfon Castle is fun for all the family.
Caernarfon (Carnarvon in English) is certainly the most famous of the Many Castles of Wales; Begun in 1283 on the site of what was first a Roman fort and then a Norman motte and bailey castle built by 'Hugh of Avranches' sometime around 1090. The original motte was incorporated into the Edwardian castle, but was sadly destroyed around 1870.
King Edward I built Caernarfon castle to mark a pinnacle in his conquest of Wales, The castle was designed as a military stronghold, royal palace and as the seat of government.
The sheer scale and majestic controlling presence easily setting apart from apart from the rest and even to this day retains in no uncertain terms the intention of its builder King Edward I.
The castle was designed built to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and Edwards ultimate dream castle, and certainly even after all these years Caernarfon's immense strength and imposing power remains.
The castle stands at the mouth of the Seiont River and with its highly unique polygonal towers and Great intimidating battlements dominates the old walled town of Caernarfon which also founded by Edward I to house the builders and then castle employees.
Edward certainly made sure of the symbolic status of Caernarfon by making sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born there in 1284.
In 1969 the Caernarfon gained worldwide fame by hosting the Investiture of Prince Charles as The Prince of Wales.
The castle houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers which is Wales's oldest regiment.
Many special events are held throughout the year.
Adults £5.10, Reduced rate £4.70
A Family Ticket is available at £15.00 for 2 adults and up to 3 children (under 16 years.)
The Castle is Open:
1st April to 31st October - 09.00 - 17.00 daily
1st November to 31st March - 09.30 - 16.00 Monday to Saturday, 11.00 - 16.00 Sunday
It is closed:- 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January.
Segontium Roman Fort saw active service between AD77 and AD395, it was originally built in wood but was gradually rebuilt using stone from from around AD140.
In it's heyday, garrisoned by the 20th Augustan Legion and surrounded by a shanty town which would have been inhabited by traders and and by the familys of the soldiers it would have represented an impressive urban complex in what would then have been a totaly rural part of the world.
The on site museum offers some fine examples of roman coins and other items that have been found on site.
The Museum and Fort are free to visit
they are open Tuesday to Sunday and on Bank Holiday Mondays.
opening times are 12:30 to 16:30
Both the Castle and the town wall were largely constructed by 1285 although work continued on them for many years after.
Archways in the town walls at the ends of Market st, church st and at North Gate st are not original and were added during the 18th and 19th centuries to ease traffic flow.
Victoria Dock was built in the 1870's due to an increase in shipping for the Local Slate industry. As the industry declined the dock was used less and less but was then redeveloped into a Yachting marina and was chosen as the location for Y Galeri arts Centre.
Situated just outside the city walls it is now very much a part of a great new development which contains Fu's Chinese restaurant, Yr Harbwr bar and restaurant, Celtica Retail Centre, A Premier Inn and a Travelodge.
After visiting the castle, you could go for a stroll along the promenade following the old town walls up to the mouth of the river Seiont.
If you like fishing there are several fishing trips available from the harbour.
If you have time to kill you could visit the Maritime Museum at Victoria Dock.
It is worth exploring Caernarfon picturesque streets before or after visiting the castle.
Caernarfon town is located on the Menai Straits close to Snowdonia National Park makes it an ideal base for touring Gwynedd, Snowdonia, and Anglesey in North Wales.
The Segontium Roman Fort ruins (free entry) are a reminder of the Romans, who occupied the city for three hundreds years.
Caernarfon castle is one of the most impressive castles in Wales.
Its polygonal shaped towers make this castle unique. King’s Tower is the tallest one.
The castle is situated next to the river Seiont and the Aber Bridge dominating the walled town.
The castle was strategically built over an old Roman Fort in Caernafon which is located between North Wales and Anglesey.
Its main function was as a military base but also was used as a seat of government for North Wales.
One of the most imposing buildings in Caernarfon is the classical building of the County Hall.
The County Hall was built the 13th century, however the present building with it's fluted ionic columns dates from the 1860s and is currently used as the County Court.
The old market town, which is clearly surrounded by the town walls, it is easily explored on foot.
The impressive medieval fortress and town walls were built as part of the iron ring of castles to secure his English foothold in Wales after the death of the last Prince of Wales.
Segontium is the remains of an auxiliary Roman fort, probably established in the late 70s A.D. and modified through to the late fourth century. It has a nice position overlooking the Menai Strait.
There is also a museum at the entrance to the site.
Caernarfon is the most famous and, perhaps, most impressive Castle in all Wales - which is just as its builder, King Edward I, intended. Raised on a site already rich in history and legend, its every aspect was designed to trumpet his pride in the conquest of Wales and his claims to imperial power! To emphasise the status of Caernarfon as his Welsh capital and royal palace, Edward contrived the birth here, in 1284, of the son who would become the first English Prince of Wales.
The entry includes entry to Regimental Museum and Exhibitions.
Caernarfon Castle totally dominated this small Welsh town. It was begun in 1283, not only as a strongold, but also as a seat of government and a royal palace. To futher emphasize its importance Edward made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284.
The castle also gained fame for the investiture of the current Prince of Wales in 1969, a grand affair indeed.
Admission charge £4.75 - Adults
OS map 115: SH 477626
Caernarfon Castle consists of a series of polgonal towers, linked by battlements, with gates.
The most famous of the towers is the Eagle tower, which you can climb to the top (loads of steps) .The first prince of Wales was born here in 1284
This great twin-towered gatehouse demonstrates the immense strength of medieval fortification. If completed, it would have been defended by a drawbridge, five doors, six portcullises and numerous 'murder holes' and arrowloops.
Spring Opening Times:
1 Apr 06 - 31 May 06: 9.30 - 17.00
Summer Opening Times:
1 Jun 06 - 30 Sep 06: 9.30 - 18.00
Autumn Opening Times:
1 Oct 06 - 31 Oct 06: 9.30 - 17.00
Winter Opening Times:
1 Nov 06 - 31 Mar 07: 9.30 -16.00 (Monday - Saturday, 11.00 - 16.00 Sunday)
Most sites are closed on 24, 25 and 26 Dec and 1 Jan. Full details are available from Cadw Site Operations Unit, tel. 01443 336000. Last admission to all sites is thirty minutes before closing.