Wales: The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd

One of the most popular and historically significant UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in Wales are the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd. They are considered as some of the best examples of 13th century military architecture. They include Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Beaumaris Castle. In this video, we take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd. Footage courtesy of Visit Wales.

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The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward

Some of the most notable fortresses in Wales are the castles and town walls of King Edward located in the county of Gwynedd. Designed by the chief architect of King Edward I of England, these castles were built in the late thirteenth century. Today, they are considered some of the finest examples of military architecture from that period. By listing them as a World Heritage Site, UNESCO has designated these fortified structures as places to be preserved because of their importance to humanity’s heritage.

Conwy Castle

In the town of Conwy, you will find Conwy Castle, which was used in King Edward’s second campaign for North Wales. Part of the UNESCO site, this castle is also considered a scheduled monument, meaning that it is important to the nation’s history, as well.

Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle was constructed on a cliff near the Irish Sea, and is remarkable for its immense gatehouse. During the civil battles known as the Wars of the Rose, this castle was the site of a seven-year-siege.

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle was once used as seat of government and as a dwelling for members of the royal family. After it underwent repairs in the 1800s, the castle was used twice the next century for the investiture of the Princes of Wales.

Beaumaris Castle

Found in Anglesey, Beaumaris Castle was built during King Edward I’s attempt to conquer northern Wales. It was the last of King Edward I’s fortresses and was never completed.

Key Medieval Fortifications

These well-preserved monuments comprise only half of the total number of castles that Edward I built or rebuilt. Having undergone very little restoration and possessing structures such as gates, towers, and curtain walls, these castles are seen as key models of medieval fortifications. As such, they are culturally and physically significant to the history of Wales.

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