History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Dolbadarn was one of three castles built by Llewelyn around the same time to defend the major routes through Snowdonia (the others being Dolwyddelan and Castell-y-Bere). The castle ruins consist of perhaps the finest surviving Welsh round tower and adjoining stone walls. The main structures were reached by way of a portcullis.
One of the interesting features of the tower is that the spiral stair inside the thickness of the wall reverses direction halfway up, a deliberate feature to make it difficult for sword-wielding attackers to reach the upper floors.
It is possible that Dolbadarn was used to imprison Owain ap Gruffudd between 1255 and 1277. After the defeat of Llewelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282 Dolbadarn was captured by Edward I.
Edward had no need for Dolbadarn, preferring instead to build a new and much stronger castle at Caernarfon, and Dolbadarn was dismantled and left to decay. We know little more of its later history, save that Owain Glyndwr may have briefly used it to imprison his enemies during his early 15th century uprising.
The castle is reached by way of a short footpath that can be muddy in wet weather, so do wear good waterproof footwear!
About Dolbadarn Castle
Address: Llanberis, Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales, LL55 4UB
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: on A4086
Website: Dolbadarn Castle
Phone: 01443 336000
Dolbadarn Castle Photos
OS: SH586 598
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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