When you think of castles in North Wales, the first one that comes to mind is Conwy, situated in the medieval town it’s easy to see why it’s so poplar! I’ve been to Conwy Castle many times in my life, as that’s where I grew up and I never really gave much thought into visiting any of the others in North Wales.

Then I discovered Rhuddlan Castle… it may not be in the same great condition as Conwy but it makes up for it with stunning views and wonderful architecture. I’ve wanted to photograph it for a while now and last week I finally got the chance to.

Me & my husband went there one late afternoon because I knew that’s when it would be quiet and I could have the castle to myself! Because as us photographers know, there’s nothing more annoying than people photobombing and getting in the way of a perfect shot! 😛

Here’s a bit of history about the castle  from Wikipedia:

The story of Rhuddlan goes back much further than the fortress built by Edward I. Prior to the Norman occupation of lower Gwynedd, Rhuddlan was at the heart of a Welsh cantref. From here the Lords of Rhuddlan commanded the Perfeddwlad (lands of north east Wales) on behalf of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (1007 – 5 August 1063), the last ruler of all Wales. The town itself, however, began as a Saxon “burgh” founded by Edward the Elder.

In the late 11th century, the Normans invaded Gwynedd. Rhuddlan’s strategic position ensured that it was fought over by the Princes of Gwynedd and the Earls of Chester, with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who had been driven out by Harold Godwinson, re-taking the town. The remains of a Norman castle at Twthill, built in 1086, is just to the south of the current castle; it was built by Robert of Rhuddlan, a supporter of King William I of England.

In July 1277, at the outbreak of the Welsh Wars, Edward I left Chester and established an advance base at Flint, where building work immediately began on Flint Castle. With naval assistance from 25 ships of the Cinque Ports fleet, the army pushed along the coast. By August Edward had moved his forces on to Rhuddlan, which, as was his custom, he was able to supply by river. Three months later the town was ceded to the English Crown following the Treaty of Aberconwy between Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Edward I.

 

Today Rhuddlan Castle is managed by Cadw, a Welsh government body with the mission to protect, conserve and promote the building heritage of Wales.

I’m glad there are organisations like Cadw that are willing to look after and protect places like Rhuddlan Castle as they a part of our heritage and it would be a shame to see them go. They are a reminder of our past and I think it’s important to remember that there have been many great civilisations before ourselves.

Some more history for you….

The story of Rhuddlan goes back much further than the fortress built by Edward I. Prior to the Norman occupation of lower Gwynedd, Rhuddlan was at the heart of a Welsh cantref. From here the Lords of Rhuddlan commanded the Perfeddwlad (lands of north east Wales) on behalf of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (1007 – 5 August 1063), the last ruler of all Wales. The town itself, however, began as a Saxon “burgh” founded by Edward the Elder.

In the late 11th century, the Normans invaded Gwynedd. Rhuddlan’s strategic position ensured that it was fought over by the Princes of Gwynedd and the Earls of Chester, with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who had been driven out by Harold Godwinson, re-taking the town. The remains of a Norman castle at Twthill, built in 1086, is just to the south of the current castle; it was built by Robert of Rhuddlan, a supporter of King William I of England.

Elizabeth, the eighth daughter of Edward I, was born at Rhuddlan in 1282, the same year work at the castle was completed. Two years later the Statute of Rhuddlan was signed at the castle following the defeat of Llewellyn the Last, who had attacked the castle unsuccessfully. It ceded all the lands of the former Welsh Princes to the English Crown and introduced English common law.

In 1294 the castle was attacked during the Welsh rising of Madog ap Llywelyn but was not taken. It remained in English hands and was one of the places where King Richard II of England stopped in 1399 on his way to Flint, where he would be taken prisoner by his rival, Henry IV. It was attacked again in the following year by forces of Owain Glyndŵr in 1400. This time the town was badly damaged but the castle held out. In the latter 15th and early 16th centuries the castle’s condition deteriorated as its strategic and administrative importance waned.

Rhuddlan Castle was again garrisoned by Royalist troops during the English Civil War, and remained a stronghold of King Charles I of England until well after the Battle of Naseby, being taken by Parliamentary forces under Thomas Mytton after a siege in 1646.[1] Two years later, Parliamentarians partially demolished the castle to prevent any further military use. By the time Pennant passed through in 1781, it was largely ruined.

So, as you can see this magnificent castle has had quite the history! I hope enjoyed the pictures and also learnt a little more about the castle and Rhuddlan 🙂

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All information for this blog is from Wiki

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