Everyone knows about the Prince of Wales, but very few are acquainted with the historic castles of Wales. Rhuddlan Castle is a significant historical monument in the country of Wales, considered one of the mightiest English fortresses out there. Let’s look at how it has traveled through history and how it fares in the world of today:
Table of Contents
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2 Early History
- 3 Current Times
- 4 Interesting Rhuddlan Castle Facts
- 5 Visiting Rhuddlan Castle – Tips and Tricks
The heart of Rhuddlan boasts a diamond-shaped enclosure. It’s surrounded by six towers and is one of the safest places inside this architectural marvel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Rhuddlan Castle Located?
Erected in the heart of Denbighshire, Wales, Rhuddlan Castle is one of the sturdiest fortresses that history has ever seen.
When was Rhuddlan Castle Built? Who Build It?
Although the history of the Rhuddlan castle spans back to the 8th century, the structure that we see today was raised on the behest of Edward I in 1277.
When is The Best Time to Visit the Castle?
Spring is a great time to visit, as the weather is pleasant, tourists are few and far between, and the weather is perfect for roaming the grounds.
FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TRAVEL TIPS
The earliest mentions of Rhuddlan Castle date back to the 8th century, when its surroundings consisted of marshes against a backdrop of the mountains of North Wales. It is believed to be the host of the settlement of Rhuddlan, which was the center of the racial struggles between the Welsh and English borders.
Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder was the son of King Alfred. It was he who erected the first fort in the area, against Scandinavian raids. It was very close to Rhuddlan, and many believe that the ditches and banks in the outskirts of the town were formed during its construction.
Prince Gruffydd vs. Earl Harold
Rhuddlan emerged into the forefront of history in 1063, when it was the seat of power for the Welsh Prince, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. He was most notably known for bringing Wales together under one ruler. He was later driven out of Rhuddlan Castle by the Earl Harold Godwinson.
After the Norman Conquest
The Norman invasion led to the seizure of Llywelyn’s castle. In its place, a motte-and-bailey castle was set up at the behest of William the Conqueror, the site having been marked during the Norman invasion. The castle was built by Robert of Rhuddlan, who served as Lord of North Wales under William the Conqueror for a time. Ultimately the Welsh reclaimed their country, but the earthen mound remains of Rhuddlan’s establishment remain to this day known as Twthill.
Llywelyn vs. Edward I
The 11th and 12th centuries saw some major conflicts between the English and the Welsh. This ultimately led to a war between the last native Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and the English King, Edward I. Edward’s invasion of northern Wales led to Llywelyn’s surrender. The castle that we see today was actually built in 1277 to commemorate the English control of the captured region. Construction finished in 1282 in the midst of a new war over the imposition of English customs on the people of Wales.
There’s very little that happened after that in the castle’s history. There was a Welsh uprising in 1294 and the Glyndwr rising in 1400, but Rhuddlan withstood all that with grace and sturdiness. The castle was controlled by the Royalists during the Civil War, but they surrendered in 1646. After that, Rhuddlan Castle was partially dismantled so that no one could use it again.
Revisit More Historic Places Below or Read Further
Rhuddlan Castle is managed and preserved by the Welsh government body of CADW today. It’s listed as a heritage site and visited by a number of tourists throughout the year. It’s a historical legacy that speaks of wondrous architectural marvels and is certainly appreciated by professionals and laymen alike.
Interesting Rhuddlan Castle Facts
- The earliest construction and design work of Rhuddlan Castle was carried out by Master Bertram – a king’s engineer under Henry III. However, he was replaced by James of St. George, who saw Rhuddlan to completion.
- The design of Rhuddlan Castle is “concentric” and has an incredible inward defense system. Its symmetrical plan, walls-within-walls design, and artificial moat add to the castle’s beauty and historic value today.
- The heart of Rhuddlan boasts a diamond-shaped enclosure. It’s surrounded by six towers and is one of the safest places inside this architectural marvel.
- Edward I always built his castles along the coast, so that supplies could get in by sea even during a siege. The inland location of Rhuddlan led to his decision of redirecting the Clwyd River; he hired hundreds of ditch diggers for the job.
- Rhuddlan Castle’s construction cost a whopping £9613 (at today’s conversion rate: $13,240 USD) back in the day.
Visiting Rhuddlan Castle – Tips and Tricks
Rhuddlan Castle marks the successful English invasion of Wales and is one of those buildings that mark an important zeitgeist in time. It’s a must-visit if you’re in Wales, here’s everything you need to know to make the trip easier:
How to get to Rhuddlan Castle?
You can easily get to Rhuddlan Castle from the market town of Conwy. You just have to take the Betws-y-Coed train to Llandudno Junction, from where you’ll take another train to get to Rhyl. From here, you can take a bus to Rhuddlan, and enjoy a pleasant 7-minute walk to the castle. The whole journey will take around 2 hours and cost you £21-£42 ($28-$56 USD).
Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips
You can visit Rhuddlan any day between April 1 to November 30th. It opens at 10:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm. The last entry is logged in half an hour before closing time.
Ticket prices vary. For adults, it’s £4.30 ($6 USD) per person. Families can get in at £14.20 ($20 USD) while the ticket price for children is £3.00 ($5 USD). Disabled people and their companions can get in for free.
How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?
Two hours and thirty minutes are enough to tour the castle in its entirety, including a leisurely exploration of the grounds.
Some words of advice and tips:
- Wear comfortable shoes, take a long walk, and see for yourself if this castle was really worth moving an entire river for.
- You can pack yourself a small picnic and enjoy the lush green surroundings with some good company while you’re at it. You can even bring your dog!
- Rejoice if you’re coming by car, because parking is easily available.