Caernarfon Castle: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Caernarfon Castle.

  • Caernarfon Castle is located in the town of Caernarfon in North Wales.
  • The huge fortress was built by King Edward I of England to help in his fight against the Welsh.

  • The site was chosen as it offered easy access to the sea. It was built on the site of a Norman castle, and there are the remains of a Roman fort nearby.
  • The castle was built in the 13th century, and was considered a masterpiece of design. Like several other Welsh castles, it was designed by James of St. George, a skilled architect.

Caernarfon Castle

  • He used several unusual design features, probably based on his travels in the Middle East. These included coloured bands of stone, and eight sided towers instead of round ones.
  • As well as soldiers, the castle housed a constable and a watchman. Soon after it was built, a wall was built around the town of Caernarfon, parts of which still stand today.
  • The castle had several clever defensive features, including arrow slits and murder holes through which boiling liquid could be dropped. The walls are over 6 metres thick at their base.
  • Caernarfon Castle was meant to be a Royal home and a symbol of power, as well as a strong castle. Some turrets have stone eagles on them, another symbol of the King.
  • In the early 15th century, the castle withstood two attacks by the Welsh ruler Owain Glyndwr. During the English Civil War in 1646, the castle was taken by Parliamentary forces.
  • Caernarfon Castle was neglected from about 1640 until the late 19th century. Many parts of the castle were then restored and some nearby houses demolished to improve the view of it.
  • In 1911, Caernarfon Castle was the site of the investiture of Edward VII as Prince of Wales. In 1969, Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales at the castle.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous castles.