Conwy castle was built in only four years from 1283 to 1287 by the English King Edward I as one of the key fortresses in his 'iron ring' of castles to contain the Welsh. The rectangular castle springs from the rock on which it stands giving it its strength, high walls and the eight large round towers also give the castle an imposing presence.
Conwy Castle is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Summer: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Winter: 10:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Children (Under 16): £4.35
Children (Under 5): Free
The main square in the town of Conwy,Lancaster Square is host to several events and festivals throughout the year,including the 700 year old'Conwy Honey Fair',which was founded by King Edward I in the 13th century and is held on September 13th.
A Grade II listed statue of 'ap Gruffydd'd Granfather-Llywelyn ap lorweth'(Llywelyn I the Great') who united and ruled Wales for forty years of fractious peace with England until his death in 1240,lies in the centre of the square.This painted bronze statue,on a column over a drinking fountain was sculpted by 'E.O.Griffith' and unveiled in 1898 to commemorate the introduction of the town's water supply.
There are plenty of shops and cafe's surrounding the square and the town's Police Station is also here.Its a nice place to sit on one of the many benches with your lunch and watch the locals go about there business.
The church was founded in the 12th century as the Abbey Church of the'Cistercian Abbey of Aberconwy'.This was the buriel place of many of the Princes of Gwynedd,including 'Gruffydd ap Cyan,Llewelyn ap Maelgwyn Liywelyn the Great and his sons Dafydd and Gruffydd.'After King Edward I conquest of Wales in 1283 he chose to build Conwy Castle and its fortified town on the site and forced removal of the Abbey to 'Maenan' in the Conwy Valley.St.Mary's became the Parish Church for the new English town of Conway.
Parts of the walls notably on the north side survived from the original Abbey,while the lower stages of the tower,the south transept and the porches were erected in the 14th century.In the 15th century the tower was completed and the aisle roofs raised in the 16th century.Parts of the interior to note are the 15th century Rood Screen,once probably the finest in North Wales,and the Medieval chancel stalls.
Open Days:Saturdays 10am till 4pm and Sundays before and after services.
Conwy visitors centre is just a few minutes walk from the castle and has a wide range of information,maps and memorabilia about the town of Conwy and surrounding towns and areas.There is also a clothes shop inside the centre selling traditional Welsh clothing,rugby shirts etc.Staff are friendly and very helpful.
Open every day(except Christmas Day) 9.30am till 5pm
Conwy Quay is the name given to the Harbour and Waterfront in Conwy,both a working harbour and a popular tourist destination.Both working fishing boats and leisure boats are anchored along the Quay.Regular boat trips sail from the harbour jetty along the estuary of the River Conwy.Mussels have been brought ashore here for hundreds of years and its here were you will find the Conwy Mussel museum and purification plant.The Quay also plays host to many events throughout the year including the feast food festival and Conwy river festival.Other popular places on the Quay include Britain's smallest house and the Liverpool Arms pub.
Also known as the 'Quay House' is a tourist attraction on the Quay in Conwy.The 3.05 metre by 1.8 metre (10ft by 6ft) structure was used as a residence from the 16th century till 1900,as its name indicates it is reputed to be Britain's smallest house.
The house was lived in until 1900,when the owner was a 6ft 3inch (1.9 meters) fisherman named 'Robert Jones'.The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully and he was eventually forced to move out when the council declared the house unfit for human habitation.The house is still owned by his descendents.In June 2006,there was a 50% loss of tourists to the house because of nearby roadworks.The upstairs is so minute that there is room for only one single bed and a bedside cabinet.Visitors cant walk around the 2nd floor but can view from the small steps.
Open from 1st April till 31st October,10am till 5.30pm,sundays 11am till 4.00pm.
Price:£1.00 per adult,50p for children.
The city walls that surround the old town of Conwy are one of the best examples of medieval city walls found in Europe.They were constructed between 1283-1287 after the foundation of Conwy by Edward I,and were designed to form an integrated system of defence alongside Conwy castle.The walls are 1.3km long and include 21 towers and 3 gatehouses.The project was completed using large quantities of labourers brought in from England,the cost of the castle and walls together came to aropund £15000,a huge sum for that era.
The walls are accesible from three entry points and stairwells and can be walked around completely.The walls and castle are part of the UNESCO World heritage site administered by Cadw,the Governing body set up to protect Historic monuments and sites.
Entry is free.
Built between 1283-1289 by Edward I of England during his second campaign in Wales,replacing 'Deganwy Castle' an ealier stronghold built by Henry III that had been destroyed by 'Llywelyn the Last' in 1263.The castle was designed to have an outer and inner ward.Each ward was protected by four towers more than 70 feet(21 m) high,30 feet(9.1 m) in diameter and consisting of several floors.The inner ward's towers also had additional defence of archers' turrets.Access to the castle was originally up a stepped ramp-of which a small part remains-across a drawbridge,through a gateway with portcullis and into the barbican.Entrants then turned left through the main gateway into the outer ward.This housed the main living quarters for the garrison and the prison tower.The Castle today is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and part of the World Heritage site in Conwy.
Open daily-9am till 5pm(Apr-Oct),9am till 4pm(Nov-Mar).Closed Christmas and New Year.
Entry is-£4.70 per adult,family ticket for-£14.00(2 adults,2 children).
The castle protected the small market town of Conwy, and the town obviously has a history as long as the castle itself. That means you should definitely not overlook it. It's a classic English country town, with tight winding lanes, and houses crammed inside the old medieval walls. Nowadays there are many Welsh people in the town, and a Welsh flag flies proudly above everything, but the whole place has a distinctly English feel to it.
Conway might be a very small town, but it has not one, not two but three bridges linking it with Llandudno. Two of them are also of great historic value. The railway bridge was built by Robert Stephenson in 1849 and was the first tubular bridge ever built. The suspension bridge was built by another engineering legend, Thomas Telford in 1826, and was one of the first of its kind in the world. Both bridges were echoes of bigger bridges which would later span the Menai Strait further along the coast.
It's a bit of a tourist trap, but it does genuinely hold the Guinness Record for being the smallest house in Britain. The "house" looks more like an extension that has been painted red to distinguish it from the rest of the building, but it's worth a look if only for the poor woman who posts sentry outside dressed in traditional Welsh garb.
A great way to get a view of the castle, and the town itself, is to walk the city walls. It gives great views of the town and castle, but also allows you to peek into the bedrooms and kitchens of every local in the town. Whether you think that is a good thing or bad probably depends on your perspective, but there aren't many places in the world as claustrophobically walled as Conwy.
The estuary is the final stage of the short River Conwy, which rises in the moors of North Wales, some 25 miles further inland. At Conwy the estuary is crossed by three magnificent bridges, strewn with pearls of white sailing boats, and overseen by the fatherly castle.
The castle once perched on a rock overhanging the estuary in what must have made the castle an even more dramatic prospect than it is today. Land reclaiming around the edges of the town, however, has pushed the castle back from the waters edge.
Although the Welsh had no siege engines, Conwy Castle was once captured, but more through cunning than clout. Rhys and Gwilym, cousins of Owain Glyndwr, hero of the Welsh and last native Prince of Wales, led a group of just 40 men to attack Conwy Castle. A Welsh Carpenter, known in the town, walked in through the gates and killed the two guards. He flung open the gate, and the Welsh rebels ran in. They didn't hold it for long, though, and gave it up in return for a pardon. Thus Conwy Castle has never had to suffer the batterings of trebuchets and siege rams, enabling it to be preserved through the centuries.
The castle was built on a rocky plateau above the Conwy estuary, primarily to defend the English settlement from the native Welsh who lived in the valleys and raided from the river. It also served as a symbol to the Welsh of the overwhelming power of the English, and thus subdue their urge for rebellion. It mostly worked, and the Welsh were subjugated for centuries, trapped in the valleys of the hinterland, while the English settled the coast.
The River Conwy is from source to where it discharge's into Conwy Bay slightly over 27 miles (43 km) long
The river starts up on the Migneint moor where small streams flow into Llyn Conwy the river flows in a northernly direction and is joined by the tributaries of the Rivers Machno and Lledr before reaching Betws-y-Coed, where it is also joined by the river Llugwy. The river then continues to flow north through Llanrwst, Trefriw and Dolgarrog being joined by other smaller rivers before reaching Conwy Bay at Conwy.
During spring tides the river will be tidal as far as Llanrwst.
The River is noted for its salmon and sea trout.