Dolwyddelan Castle
Dolwyddelan Castle
An early 13th century Welsh castle built by Llewelyn Fawr (Llewelyn the Great) to guard the approaches to Snowdonia. Another castle built at about the same time is Dolbadarn, at Llanberis. The castle occupies a natural rocky hilltop, and is surrounded by a curtain wall which follows the contour of the hillside to create a roughly hexagonal layout.
The D-shaped keep tower originally stood to two storeys, but was extended to three storeys in the late 13th century by Edward I. Edward rebuilt the smaller west tower at the same time. In the late 15th century Maredudd ap Ieuan ap Robert bought Dolwyddelan and expanded the domestic quarters. Maredudd died in 1525, and his memorial brass can be seen at St Gwyddelan's church nearby. Maredudd's descendents favoured other family homes, like that at Gwydir Castle, and Dolwyddelan gradually fell into disuse, eventually becoming a romantic ruin much favoured by landscape artists.

The ruins are in a remarkably good state of preservation, thanks mainly to the eforts of Lord Willoughby de Eresby, an enthusiastic Victorian restorer who gained ownership of Dolwyddelan through an advantageous marriage.