Castle of Colwyn

Colwyn Bay Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 14 › view all entries
Conwy is by any standards one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe."
Conwy along with Harlech is probably the most impressive of all the Welsh castles. Both were designed by Edwars I's master castle builder James of St. George, and while Harlech has a more storied past, Conwy's eight massive towers and high curtain wall are more impressive than those at Harlech.

Unlike Harlech however, Conwy Castle and town are surrounded by a well-preserved wall lending an additional sense of strength to the site. A similar town wall exists at Caernarfon Castle, but is far less complete and gets lost in the modern town. By contrast, Conwy's well-preserved wall helps the town maintain a medieval character lost by other Welsh castle-towns over the years.

Construction of Conwy began in 1283. The castle was an important part of King Edward I's plan of surrounding Wales in "an iron ring of castles" to subdue the rebellious population. The highly defensible wall Edward built around the town was intended to protect the English colony planted at Conwy. The native Welsh population were violently opposed to English occupation of their homeland.

Approaching Conwy, the castle seems to suddenly rise out of the hills. The majestic old suspension bridge connecting the castle with the main peninsula, depicted in many representations of the castle over the years, still guards the main approach to the castle.

The castle dominates the entrance to Conwy, immediately conveying its sense of strength and compactness to the observer. The eight great towers and connecting walls are all intact, forming a rectangle as opposed to the concentric layouts of Edward's other castles in Wales. Almost all of the castle is accessible and well preserved. Journeying to the top of any of the towers offers the visitor spectacular views of the town, surrounding coastline and countryside. Sailboats and other pleasure-craft dot the picturesque harbor and quay next to the castle, while flocks of sheep roam the nearby hills.


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Colwyn Bay
photo by: lorenzmartins