Flint Castle (Flintshire, North Wales)
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
Flint Castle was the first castle constructed in Edward I's 1277 campaign to conquer Wales. It set the pattern of castles constructed by the sea, built in its chosen location so that supplies could be sent from Chester if the castle was ever under siege by the Welsh.
The castle was constructed quickly and by 1280 the stone defenses of the castle were already in place. In 1282 the castle successfully withstood an attack from the Welsh. It is also notable as the setting of Richard II's surrender to Henry Bolingbroke in 1399 (Henry Bolingbroke subsequently went on to rule as Henry IV after Richard's formal abdication in London.)
The castle then fell into decay until the Civil War of 1646, when it was captured by the Parliamentarians and slighted, being described in 1652 as being almost buried in its ruin. It came into care of the state in 1919, and is now managed by CADW.
Flint Castle consists of an inner ward surrounded by walls with drum towers to the north-west, south-west, and north-east (the north-east being the most substantial remains in the present day). The southern corner of the castle is protected by the keep which extends out from the rest of the castle, a fairly unique feature that can also be seen at Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire.
The site is managed by CADW and is unmanned with open public access. There is a small parking area near the RNLI Lifeboat station to the south-east, however Castle Dyke Street has no lines that prevent on street parking, and on all three of my visits I've simply parked there (but be considerate! Don't park near entrances to buildings or near corners). The road is quiet, so it's not obstructing a busy highway.
And on the note of visits - it took me three visits to get decent pictures! First visit was back in October 2017 and was very grey, second visit was this month and had groundsmen and school children everywhere (grounds maintenance and education about castles is super important, but not good for photos!), third and successful visit was two days later, when I took a massive detour on my way back to Herefordshire and it was well worth it.
Pictures taken May 2018