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Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle - Overview

Beaumaris Castle was the last castle to begin construction as part of Edward I’s ring of fortification around north Wales. Construction began in 1295, but progressed slowly and the intended towers and gates of the inner ward lack their upper storeys, giving the castle a low and unassuming aspect.

The strategic location and strict trade rules attached to the establishment of Beaumaris contributed to the development of the town and port into the financial and shipping centre of Anglesey up until the seventeenth century. Although the castle remained unfinished, its tactical situation made it a target of armed conflict. In 1403, rebels associated with Owain Glyndŵr captured Beaumaris and held it for two years and for three years during the English Civil War, the local Bulkeley family defended the castle for the King.

By the nineteenth century the moat surrounding Beaumaris Castle had silted up and the walls were largely overgrown with vines. Despite the outward dilapidation, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau was delighted that the chambers inside the gate tower and the chapel were in good repair. But he took the gravest of exceptions with the tennis court which the Bulkeleys, the former defenders, had installed on the lawn of the castle yard. The castle is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

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