and all things Welsh
Criccieth Castle is situated on the headland between two beaches in Criccieth, north Wales, on a rocky peninsula overlooking Tremadog Bay.
Construction on Criccieth began in the early 13th century at the behest of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, and was later continued by his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. Because of its strategic location, it was a focal point in the war between England and Wales ó eventually it was captured by Edward I during his second campaign in North Wales (1282-1283).
Criccieth's most notable feature is its twin-towered gatehouse, rare among Welsh-built castles. It was built by Llywelyn, probably between 1230 and 1240, and was possibly copied from an English model.
In 1283 the castle was taken by Edward's army and rebuilt, including adding another tower to the wall of the inner ward and strengthening the "Engine Tower" (now in ruins), which served as a foundation for a siege engine.
In 1294, Madoc ap Llywelyn, cousin to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, began an uprising against English rule that spread quickly through Wales. Several English-held towns were razed and Criccieth (along with Harlech Castle and Aberystwyth Castle) were besieged that winter. Its residents managed to survive until spring when the castle was resupplied.
The castle seems to have been used as a prison until 1404, when Owain Glyndŵr captured the castle, tearing down its walls and setting the castle afire, a scourging from which the castle never recovered. Even today some walls still show these scorch marks.
Criccieth was also one of several locations Romantic artist Joseph Mallord William Turner used for his famous series of paintings depicting shipwrecked mariners.
Today the castle is maintained by Cadw, and includes an exhibit with information about Welsh castles.
Gwynedd LL55 0DP
Adult - £2.90, Concession - £2.40, Family - £8.20
Spring Opening Times:
1.04.06 - 31.05.06: 10.00 - 17.00
Summer Opening Times:
1.06.06 - 30.09.06: 10.00 - 18.00
Autumn Opening Times:
1.10.06 - 31.10.06: 10.00 - 17.00
Winter Opening Times:
1.11.06 - 31.03.07: 9.30 - 16.00 Friday and Saturday, 11.00 - 16.00 Sunday. Open site at all other times.
Most sites are closed on 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January. Full details are available from Cadw Site Operations Unit, tel. 01443 336000. Last admission to all sites is thirty minutes before closing.
Facilities for the Disabled:
There is a ramp leading to the reception and the exhibition area on the ground floor. The steps to the exbibition on the ground floor and the viewpoint can be avoided by using a side door which can be arranged with the keeper. A steep path leads up to the castle. There are information panels. Benches are provided.
There is a dropping-off point for visitors by the entrance. A public car park is 100mtrs/110yds away.
Disabled visitors and their assisting companion will be admitted free of charge to all monuments. Please note that, for health reasons, dogs are not allowed on Cadw sites, but guide dogs and hearing dogs for the deaf are welcome.
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