Wales, the cultural hot-spot of the United Kingdoms has a long and rich past which has nourished this region with delicious cuisines, culture, customs and castles. With over a hundred current castles, Wales is rightfully known as the ‘Land of Castles.’ You are likely to encounter quite a few stunning creations on your visit here. These castles display the splendour and grandeur of the ancient and medieval times through their architectural styles. Wales offers a large variety of architectural masterpieces in these castles. From Tudor banqueting to Victorian decadence, these architectural wonders will undoubtedly fascinate you. Here are some of the most magnificent of the 100 castles.
Built by King Edward I of England, in 1283, this grand stone castle is still one of the most visited castles of Wales. Situated in the North West of Wales, it is blessed with the natural beauty of the sea and green pastures that surround it. This Edwardian castle with its polygonal towers was established as a symbol of the English rule in Welsh. This mighty castle has survived many great wars and battles throughout the ages. Rich in history, charm and architecture, the Caernarfon Castle makes for a great tourist destination.
Located on the North coast of Wales, the Conwy Castle is another one of Edward I’s chain of beautiful castles in his fortification of Wales. Made out of limestone and sandstone, today this castle lies in sublime and picturesque ruins. Built between 1283-89 this Conwy Castle has seen many wars including the Revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn and the Revolt of Owain Glyndŵr. This enticing Castle has been considered as one of the best architectural works of Edward I. The interior is a maze of great halls, chapels, and royal chambers that evoke a sense of awe in the tourists.
Unlike the Caernarfon and Conwy Castles, the Powis castle was a product of a dynasty of Welsh Princes. Today the National Trust runs the property under the name of ‘Powis Castle and Gardens.’ It features the notable Clive Museum, Reynolds Portrait and the infamous State Bedrooms. Despite its rich history, the lovely gardens of French and Italian style is what attracts tourists the most. On a sunny day, these gardens are the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the beautiful Welsh countryside.
This magnificent castle which was the birthplace of Henry VII is located beside the beautiful river Cleddau. The Castle was originally the seat of the Earldom of Pembroke. Not only does this castle have a rich historical past, but it also has made quite a few appearances in the TV world. After its partial restorations in the 20th century, Pembroke castle continues to be the largest privately owned castle in Wales. Open to public, the Pembroke Castle proudly displays exhibitions which depict its history. What more, there is even a Castle Café for the use of tourists!
This Victorian Gothic revival style of architecture was built in the late 11th century. Since then it has been a part of many wars such as the Glyndŵr Rising and the English Civil War. It has also been renovated numerous times during the Victorian era. The Cardiff Castle is well known for its Burges interiors and beautiful paintings. The interiors of this beautiful Castle have been described as “three dimensional passports to fairy kingdoms and realms of gold.” Today this splendid castle has been a venue for numerous social and cultural events. Among its many attraction the two-storey banquet hall and the gigantic library are the most well-known.
Located on the northern bank of the river Tywi the Dinefwr castle offers luxurious views of the Tywi valley and river. The Dinefwr Castle boasts of impeccable architecture, wonderful gardens and a close proximity to the National Nature reserve which showcases a variety of rare flora and fauna. The 18th century park is one of the best specimens of man-made landscapes. Among its various other attractions, the Dinefwr Castle is also known for its visually arresting croquet lawns.
Occupying about 30 acres of land, the delightful Caerphilly Castle located in the South of Wales is the largest castle of Wales. Its remarkably intricate water defense system is said to be one of the best in England. This historical landmark was built in the later half of the 13th century as part of the Anglo-Norman expansion into South Wales. The Caerphilly Castle is extremely famous for its large gatehouses and introducing to Britain the system of concentric castle defenses. The castle surrounded by artificial lakes and lying in partial ruins has an almost surreal beauty to it.
This classic medieval Castle is located just north of the village of Raglan in south east Wales. The Raglan Castle is an imposing, luxurious and fortified castle with a large hexagonal keep which is famously known as the ‘Great Tower.’ Even when lying in ruins, its grandeur and valor is impressive. Some of the architectural attractions of this castle are the astounding Closet Tower, the Fountain Court, and the lovely gardens. This stunning castle is a symbol of wealth and social aspiration rather than being a bold military presence as it was built in the medieval eras which were quite peaceful.