• Lucy

Dolwyddelan Castle (Conwy County, North Wales)

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

Dolwydellan Castle is amazingly located and was built to guard the mountain pass through the vale of Conwy in the foothills of Snowdon.

Thought to have been built in the early 13th Century by Llewelyn the Great, it initially consisted of a singular rectangular tower with two floors ( a basement and a chamber with a fireplace, the tower was entered via step onto the upper floor). This main keep is the one that is still viewable and accessible.

The second west tower was likely constructed by Edward I in 1283/84 and was linked to the main keep by an irregular curtain wall, leaving a courtyard in the centre.

For a long time Dolwydellan was reputed to be the birthplace of Llywelyn the Great, though it is now thought that he was born at Tomen Castell, a small tower that previously stood on a nearby hill, and that he built Dolwyddelan Castle. After Edward I's conquest of Wales the castle was modified and occupied by English forces until c. 1290, it then fell into disrepair as inland castles were considered obsolete and outdated.

It was restored and partly re-modelled in the 19th century by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who added the distinctive battlements. It was reported in the 1800s the the one tower likely collapsed.

In the present day it is managed by CADW. There is a small parking area at the foot, accessible from A470, and a small climb up to the castle itself. The views and amazing location make this little trek well worth the walk!

Photos taken October 2017.

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