Caernarfon Castle has a commanding position overlooking the Menai Strait and the River Seiont in North Wales. Construction of the castle was begun in 1283 by Edward I of England, and it was intended to be the seat of Edward’s government in Wales. As a measure of its importance to the king it differed from other castles being constructed at that time by having unusual polygonal towers, modelled on those seen at the great Roman city of Constantinople, and bands of stonework in different colours.
To further stamp his authority over Wales, Edward made sure that his eldest son was born in the castle and was given the title “Prince of Wales”. The tradition has been maintained and the eldest sons of monarchs of England have always been given this title.
Caernarfon Castle was the location for the investiture of the present Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, in 1969. The dais where the investiture took place can be seen at one end of the castle.
The unique towers are home to many exhibitions and displays of historical interest. Many of these displays are reached by way of steep spiral staircases making this part of the castle unsuitable for those who have mobility problems. If you can make it to the top of the towers you will be rewarded with views over the mountains of Snowdonia and the island of Anglesey.
The castle also houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, the oldest Welsh infantry regiment. The museum, which occupies two towers of the castle, tells the story of over 300 years of the regiment’s history, making use of film, sound, models and exhibits.
There is a video presentation giving details of the castle’s history and guided tours are available. Although there are no food and drink facilities in the castle, these are plentiful in nearby Caernarfon.
There is ample car parking adjacent to the castle. There is a charge for this but there are 4 spaces for disabled drivers or passengers. There is quite a steep slope to climb to reach the castle from the car park.
Caernarfon Castle is an unusual building with great historic interest. It is inscribed as a world heritage site. The spiral staircases and extensive grounds will provide many hours of entertainment for the more active visitors.
Tel: 01286 677617