History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Criccieth Castle is dominated by the massive twin towers that flank the gates. Later, Llewelyn the Great's grandson (Llewelyn the Last) added a curtain wall and a substantial rectangular tower. No sooner had Llewelyn finished his work than Edward I took the castle and strengthened the defences further.
The most impressive part of the fortification is the impressive gatehouse, which was probably built to emulate Beeston Castle in Cheshire, owned by Llewelyn's ally Ranulf, Earl of Chester. It is difficult trying to determine which bit of the castle was built by who, but current thinking is that Llewelyn was responsible for the gatehouse and inner ward, Llewelyn ap Gruffudd the outer walls, which were later strengthened by Edward I or II. Edward was also responsible for the north, or 'Engine' tower.
A small figure of Christ made of enamel and copper was found in the gatehouse, which suggests that at some point there was a chapel there. The original figure is now in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.
The location of Criccieth Castle is superb; the rocky headland juts out into the bay, with the houses and narrow lanes of the oldest section of Criccieth town clustered at its foot. To the north is a wide, sweeping semi-circle of sandy beach, while to the south the coast is more rocky, with a pebble beach. You can approach the castle from the shore (waterproof footwear helps!).
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Criccieth Castle
Address: Castle Street, Criccieth, Lleyn Peninsula, Gwynedd, Wales, LL52 0DP
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: In Criccieth, off the A497
Website: Criccieth Castle
OS: SH500 377
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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