Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynydd, North-West Wales.
King Edward Ist of England conquered Wales in 1277 and set about fortifying the rebellious area of North Wales. He began work on the strategically important Caernarfon Castle in 1283, when the Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, mounted an uprising.
The site enabled Edward to control traffic along the Menai Strait – a very important objective for his continued supremacy in the area.
There was a motte-and- bailey castle [a fortification with a wooden or stone keep, situated on a raised earthwork called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade] in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward began replacing it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of North Wales and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale.
There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon’s Roman past – nearby is the Roman fort of Segontium – and the castle’s walls are reminiscent of the Walls of Constantinople.
Caernarfon Castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs. It is part of the World Heritage Site “Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd“.
In 1911, Caernarfon was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales for the first time. He later became King Edward V111. In 1969 the precedent was repeated with the investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Caernarfon castle is a beautiful castle and well-worth a visit.