History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
There is some evidence of settlement at the west end of the site, but it is not clear whether this was the result of the Welsh or English occupation.
The rocky hill upon which the castle is built rises up dramatically from the valley floor, and is so covered in trees that in summer it is difficult to see that a castle sits atop the hill. A footpath leads from the small car park at the eastern edge of the hill, around the base of the hill to the west side, where it climbs to the castle approach. You enter the site through the outer gate, across a deep ravine by way of a rising stair, and through an inner gate. To the left of the gate is a round tower and directl;y ahead is a large well, or cistern. Stairs rise to a rectangular keep, and across a courtyard to a south tower, which was probably intended as the final refuge of the defenders if the outer defenses were overcome. At the north of the site are the foundations of a chapel tower.
Just a short distance up the road is the hamlet of Llanfihangel-y-pennant, a popular destination for walkers as it offers good access to the footpaths around Cader Idris. The historic church at Llanfihangel-y-pennant is worth a visit, as is the site of the house where Mary Jones, the young girl who helped inspire the Bible Society, once lived.
N.B. You'll see the name of this castle spelled in numerous way, from the Welsh Castell-y-Bere, to the more Anglicised Castle-y-Bere, to unhyphenated versions of both.
Our Verdict: Castell-y-Bere is one of the most romantically situated castles I've yet seen in Britain. The location is absolutely magical. If you can come in the late evening, as the sun is going down, you'll be rewarded by the superb scenery and the sense of isolation that makes this a must-see historic attraction. The ruins are not as imposing as Harlech or Caernarfon, but Castell-y-Bere posesses a location that is unmatched. Wonderful!
Address: Llanfihangel-y-pennant, Abergynolwyn, Gwynedd, Wales, LL36 9TS
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: 2 miles north west of Aberglynolwyn, off the B4405. Parking on site. Open access.
Phone: 01443 336000
OS: SH667 086
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Llanfihangel-y-pennant, St Michael's Church - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Llanegryn Church Screen - 4.3 miles (Historic Church)
Barmouth RNLI Lifeboat Museum - 5.3 miles (Museum)
Castell Cynfael - 5.4 miles (Castle)
Corris Railway & Museum - 5.4 miles (Museum)
Pennal, St Peter ad Vincula Church - 5.5 miles (Historic Church)
Tywyn, St Cadfan's Church - 6.8 miles (Historic Church)
Owain Glyndwr Centre - 7 miles (Museum)
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