The mountains and castles of Wales
Llanberis Travel Blog› entry 4 of 35 › view all entries
July 20th, 2009 – by: Adrian_Liston
Our first stop was Caernarfon Castle. The castle was constructed by King Edward I of England, after his invasion of Gwynedd in 1283. It was modelled on the walls of Constantinople and cost £22,000 (a staggering amount at the time, more than the royal income for a year), forming one of the strongest castles in Europe in an effort to hold on to his gains in Wales. Without the series of castles we saw at Caernarfon, Conwy and Dolbadern it is unlikely that Edward the First could have conquored Wales at all.
Following Caernarfon we drove to Conwy, to see the city walls and castle also built by King Edward (between 1283 and 1289). We also saw in Conwy the smallest house in Great Britain. It was condemned for human habitation in 1900, then the owner then went around Great Britain with a ruler measuring small houses to prove that his was the smallest.
On the drive back to Llanberis we passed through Llanrwst, with its beautiful stone bridge, and Betws-y-Coed. St Michael's Church at Betws-y-Coed is closed down now but shows a rich heritage of tombstones (with an interesting transition from Welsh to English on family tombs). We stopped at Swallow Falls, where they charged us one pound to see the waterfall and we got scared out of the toffee shop by a Grandmother promising to beat her child when they got home, then climbed over the ruins of Dolbadern Castle back in Llanberis.
It was really a beautiful day spent in the mountains and castles of Wales.
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