Newest Review: ... and a curse. This is due to the fact that it is relatively remote, lying on the Welsh coast, close to Snowdonia. This remoteness allows fo... more
Member Name: bruleo
Date: 28/10/01, updated on 28/10/01 (240 review reads)
Advantages: Good views, Near other attractions, Cheap entry fees
Disadvantages: Uneven surfaces.
Built for King Edward the First between 1283 and 1289, Harlech Castle is one of 14 that were built on the borders of North Wales. It's history is varied and violent, having been in prominent use during several key militry campaigns.
During the Welsh national uprising of 1400 (circa), Harlech laid under seige and was eventually captured by the Welsh in early 1404. It became the home of Owain Glyndwr who led the uprising then pronounced himself Prince of Wales. It possible that it was here at the castle that he was crowned. He is now renowned amongst Welsh patriots as being at the forefront of Welsh nationalism. There is even talk of creating a national holiday in Wales in honour of him and his fight for independence.
Five years later, following another long siege, the castle was retaken by the English and it is thought, that most of the damage to the curtain wall that can be seen today, is evidence of the battering that the castle took during that siege.
Having later played a prominent role during the War of The Roses, there is not a great deal of evidence that suggests that the castle was used much, if at all, until the Civil War of 1642. In fact it was the taking of the castle by the Parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell's men from the Royalists forces in 1647, that signified the end of the war, having been the last fortification to fall.
With the Snowdonia mountain range creating a stunning backdrop for this castle, the views from the battlements make a visit to the castle a must. The castle is maintained and administered by CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments and the castle is inscribed on the World Heritage list as site of outstanding natural beauty.
The castle is not the best preserved castle in the United Kingdom, but it does have the honour of being one that has a great deal of history attached to it.
Be very careful when walking the battlements; the drops either side are unprotected and it can be
extremely windy in this part of wales. It would be easy to imagine losing your balance and you would not really want to become part of the castle's history.
There are many other attractions nearby including Port Merion (of which I shall write more about another time) and, obviously the Snowdonia mountain range.
More reviews in the field of Destination National
- Power to Peckham!
- Croeso I Caerdydd (Welcome to Cardiff)
- The merits of Glasgow
- Why I absolutely detest Stratford
- Come to Glossop
- Wakefield - the Turd of the North!
- Nothing is certain in London but expense.
- Getting the 'Finger' from Northampton!
- There's no place like home
- BELIEVE IT OR NOT- BUT IT'S TRUE