North Wales

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Exploring the Past in North Wales

Beaumaris Castle

Due to its perfect symmetry and classic proportions Beaumaris Castle is often described as one of the most, if not the most, technically perfect castles in Britain. Built during King Edward I’s campaign to conquer north Wales, construction on the castle started in 1295. After 35 years, however, Edward ran out of money and work was halted.

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Bryn Celli Ddu

Caer Gybi Roman Fort

In the centre of the town of Holyhead are the remnants of the only three-sided Roman fort in Europe; the fourth fronted the sea. Little is known about this fort, including its latin name, but it was almost certainly part of a defence system that protected the west coast from raiders off the Irish Sea. A watch tower built by the Romans on the top of Holyhead Mountain might have been used as the fort’s look-out point.

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Flint Castle

Construction started on Flint Castle in 1277 AD, making this the earliest castle to be built by King Edward I during his campaign to conquer Wales. Using architectural features that are more commonly found in French castles, which were not then employed in any other castle, the layout of Flint Castle is unique in the British Isles. The castle was slighted during the English Civil War.

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Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle was built by King Edward I during his conquest of Wales. The castle was positioned and constructed to be impregnable from every angle,and is noted for its massive gatehouse. A secret stairway led from the castle to the base of the cliff, where a canal connected the castle to the sea.

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Lligwy Burial Chamber

The Lligwy burial chamber comprises a circle of smallish upright stones that form a low chamber that is covered by a very large roof slab, thought to be at least 25 tonnes. Early excavations of the dolmen in 1909 produced the bones of 15 to 30 people. Pottery fragments associated with these human remains are generally thought to date to the late Neolithic.

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Segontium Roman Fort

Segontium Roman fort was built in about 77 AD by the Romans as they expanded into into Wales. Records suggest that the fort accommodated a regiment of up to 1,000 auxiliary soldiers until about 394 AD. The fort was strategically placed to control access to Angelsey and protect the westernmost coast of the Roman Empire from raider coming via the Irish Sea. Segontium was also the administrative centre for north west Wales.

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Valle Crucis Abbey

Valle Crucis Abbey is a Cistercian abbey built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, Prince of Powys Fadog. This was the last Cistercian abbey to be built in Wales. In 1537 the abbey was dissolved because it was not as prosperous as the wealthy English abbeys. Today we see the relatively well preserved remains of the church and several adjoining buildings that enclosed a square courtyard.

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