Welsh Castles: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about castles in Wales.

  • There are over 400 castles in the small country of Wales. Some are in ruins and many date from the Middle Ages.
  • Wales is said to have more castles for than any other country in Europe.

  • Some of the most spectacular castles in Wales are those built in the 13th century by Edward I to control the Welsh. These include Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle and Caernarfon Castle, all in North Wales.
  • Conwy Castle has one of the most dramatic settings of all Welsh castles. The walls around the town of Conwy are shaped rather like a traditional Welsh harp.
  • Most castles are open to the public, although some are still lived in as private homes. Rhuddlan Castle and several others offer authentic medieval banquet evenings.
  • Caerphilly Castle in south Wales covers 1.2 hectares and is surrounded by several moats. It is the country’s largest castle and featured in the popular BBC television series, Merlin.
  • Caerphilly was the first concentric castle in Britain, with walls inside walls offering extra defense. Its leaning tower leans more than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • One of the oldest castles in Wales is Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire, the UK’s oldest surviving post Roman stone building. It was built along the Welsh/English border in the 11th century.
  • Many Welsh castles are said to be haunted. Bodelwyddan Castle is often said to be the most haunted, and the ghost of a monkey is said to haunt Carew Castle.
  • Powis Castle in Powys is worth visiting for its beautifully landscaped terraces and gardens, and Caldicott Castle also has over 50 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland.
  • Some of the most visited castles are in North Wales. Caernarfon was the site of the 1969 investiture of the Prince of Wales, and is famous for its 8 sided towers and bands of different coloured stone.

What next? Visit our castles resources page to discover more castle facts.