Caergwrle Castle (Flintshire, Wales)
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Caergwrle Castle (pronounced by some as ‘Caer-gooor-lea’ and also known as Queen’s Hope) was built by Dafydd, brother of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in the years after 1277 in support of Edward I. The castle was still incomplete when Dafydd took up arms against Edward I in 1282.
After the Welsh abandoned the castle, sabotaging it before they left, Edward I had the castle repaired and garrisoned. In February 1283 the castle was given to his wife Queen Eleanor (Eleanor of Castile), but a fire broke out in August that year causing much damage. Edward and Eleanor escaped unharmed. Plans for a town at the foot of the castle were subsequently abandoned. The castle was granted to John de Cromwell in 1307 and by 1335 it was described as ruined. It was then further dismantled for materials in 1675.
The castle is situated on a rocky hill where it is thought a Roman-period/post-Roman hill fort was originally located. The castle consisted of two D-shaped towers and a large circular keep with an irregularly shaped court. The west curtain wall is no longer present, nor is much of the keep.
It was the final castle to be built by Welsh leaders before the loss of Welsh independence. Today the ruins are maintained by Caergwrle County Council and are free to access at any time.
Site visited December 2018.
Photos © Completely Castles 2018