10 Facts About Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle (also known as Conway Castle) was built by Edward I in the thirteenth century. It was designed to watch over the walled town of Conwy and formed part of Edward I’s plan to establish a new English colony on a significant Welsh site.

Here are ten Conwy Castle facts.

  • Conwy Castle was built between 1283 and 1287. Construction of the Conwy town walls were constructed when the castle was nearing completion. The castle and town were designed to function as one, the perimeter walls bonding the town to the castle.
  • Conwy Castle (and Harlech Castle and many others) were designed by Edward I’s master-builder, James  of St. George.
  • Edward Woodstock (The Black Prince), the eldest son of King Edward III, took charge of the castle in 1343. When he died, however, Conwy Castle started to fall into disrepair.
  • Richard II used the castle as a stronghold when evading his rival Henry Bolingbroke (later to become Henry IV).
  • During the reign of Henry VIII, some much needed repair work was carried out on Conwy Castle. During the Tudor period, the castle was put to a number of different uses, one of which being a prison.
  • During the English Civil War, the castle was ‘slighted’ intentionally damaged by order of Parliament so that it could play no military role in the conflict.
  • Conwy Castle was a ruin by the end of the 18th century. The ruined castle started to become a tourist attraction, and it was the suject of a painting by J. M. W. Turner.

Conway Castle by Turner

  • In the 20th century, Conwy Castle began to be restored. It now attracts over 150,000 visitors a year.
  • Conwy Castle sits upon a huge ridge of grey sandstone and limestone. Much of the stone from which it is built has been taken from the rock upon which it sits.
  • It has eight towers and a high curtain wall forming a rectangle shape.

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