Castles in Wales

A virtual tour of historic Welsh castles.

Caerphilly Castle
Situated on 30 acres, Caerphilly Castle features concentric walls, rings of water defences, and a partly toppled tower said to out-lean Pisa.

Castle Learning Center
Learn how castles were built and what castle life was like during medieval times. Explore castle nooks and crannies from the portcullis to the dungeon, or even the privy if you dare!

Castles in Southwest Wales
Castles located in southwestern Wales, including Carew, Carreg Cennen, Kidwelly, Manorbier, Pembroke, and Picton.

  • Carew Castle
    In the 12th century Gerald of Windsor built an earth and timber fortification, which Sir Nicholas de Carew later replaced the with stone structures. Carew Castle hosted the Great Tournament of 1507, the last medieval tournament in Wales.
  • Carreg Cennen Castle
    Originally built by native Welsh princes, Carreg Cennen Castle features an underground passageway that extends beyond the postern gate to a limestone cave. The castle overlooks the Brecon Beacons National Park and Black Mountain.
  • Kidwelly Castle
    A late 13th century Norman castle located in south Wales along the Gwendraeth Fach estuary. Kidwelly features a "walls within walls" defense system.
  • Manorbier Castle
    Birthplace of the scholar-priest Giraldus Cambrensis, otherwise known as Gerald of Wales. The Norman castle is located near Tenby in southwest Wales.
  • Pembroke Castle
    Birthplace of Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII. The Norman castle was built in 1093 in Pembrokeshire. Cromwell destroyed the barbican and tower fronts during the Civil War.
  • Picton Castle and Woodland Gardens
    Built by Sir John Wogan in the 13th century, Picton Castle is one of few occupied castles in Pembrokeshire. The castle and gardens are open to the public for tours. (Warning: This site uses Active X.)

Castles of Wales
Hosted by Welsh-American Jeffrey L. Thomas, Y Drych's "Wales on the Web" columnist, this comprehensive site explores the history of more than 400 Welsh castles. With historical essays, castle terminology and graphics galore, the site is a must see.

Chepstow Castle
Strategically positioned between England and Wales, this Norman castle contains Britain's earliest dated secular stone building.

Chirk Castle and Gardens
A privately owned marcher fortress, open to the public from April to September.

Criccieth Castle
Strategically located on the Tremadog Bay peninsula. Edward I captured the castle from Llewelyn the Great in 1283; Owain Glyn Dŵr recaptured it in 1404.

Dolwyddelan Castle
Built in the heart of Snowdonia, between 1210 and 1240, by the Welsh prince, Llewelyn the Great.

Edwardian Castles in Wales
The English king, Edward I, marked his dominance of Wales with an iron ring of fortresses. Each Edwardian castle could be accessed by sea.

  • Aberystwyth Castle
    Now in ruins, this Edwardian castle, also known as Llanbadarn, featured diamond-shaped concentric walls with towers or gatehouses at each corner.
  • Beaumaris Castle
    Located on Anglesey, the 13th century Edwardian castle is architecturally "the most technically perfect castle in Britain."
  • Builth Castle
    Easily overlooked earthworks are all that remain of this lesser known Edwardian castle. Upon retreating from Builth Castle in 1282, Llywelen the Last was killed nearby in Cilmeri.
  • Caernarfon Castle
    Birthplace of the first English Prince of Wales, this 13th century castle served as a royal palace, a government seat, and a military stronghold.
  • Conwy Castle
    One of the castles comprising King Edward's "iron ring" of fortresses. The castle overlooks the Conwy Estuary and Snowdonia.
  • Denbigh Castle
    Now in ruins, Denbigh castle sits where Dafydd ap Gruffudd ruled until defeated by Edward I in 1282. King Edward built the new stronghold as part of his "iron ring."
  • Flint Castle
    The earliest Edwardian castle, Flint was built in 1277 on a low promontory of the River Dee. In its prime, the castle featured three angle towers and a large donjon that was surrounded by a deep ditch. Since the English Civil War ended, Flint has stood in ruins.
  • Harlech Castle
    An Edwardian castle captured by Owain Glyn Dŵr in 1404.
  • Rhuddlan Castle
    A concentric castle, which sits along the River Clwyd, accessible in the 13th century to provision ships. The Statute of Rhuddlan, which remained in effect from 1284 until the 1536 Act of Union, was issued here.

Raglan Castle
Built by Sir William ap Thomas on the site of a Norman castle, this 15th century castle features a hexagonal tower and elaborate drawbridge similar to those found in northern France.

Welsh Castles on Britannia
A county-by-county tour of Welsh castles. The growing database comprises more than fifty castle listings.

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