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Harlech Castle

With the mountains of Snowdon as its backdrop and the sea not far from its foot, Harlech's spectacular location has made it one of the most photographed in the British Isles. But not only has it an unsurpassed natural setting; as a piece of castle-building Harlech is also unrivalled. It is a magnificent structure just seven years in the creation from an architect genius and has survived seven centuries as a sentinel overlooking Tremadoc Bay. Harlech castle is quite possibly the perfect castle and an absolutle must to anyone who is interested in castles.

History of Harlech Castle

1283 - Six months after the death of the first and last prince of all Wales, Llywelyn in December 1282, and the subsequent fall of free Wales to Edward I's forces, Sir Otto de Grandison's central army arrives at Harlech and immediately beings work on a new castle.

1286 - During the summer months work on the new castle reaches its height with nearly 950 men from all over Britain working on site.

1289 - The castle is completed and is soon handed over to its creator and architect Master James of St.George who is appointed constable, 'together with 30 fencible men of whom 10 shall be crossbow-men', one chaplain and other retainers to maintain the castle. (more in the History section)

Text by Fred Vincent