Llewelyn the Great: Llewelyn Fawr has fascinated me ever since I began discovering Wales. His bravery never wavered for the love of his home in Wales. And even so young in years, taking on English Kings. Llywelyn showed a wisdom beyond his age with early signs of diplomatic skills, and for the ruling of his beloved shire of Gwynedd.
Originally built by Llewelyn the Great was born sometime between c.1210 and 1240 in Dolwyddelan Castle
A Castle that was on the top of a rocky knoll on the valley floor below. East facing, it was built to guard the road into the core of his kingdom to watch over his vital upland cattle-pastures.
It was defended by rock-cut ditches and a steep drop, dominated by a rectangular keep-tower, later heightened to three stories.
After Llywelyn’s death the Castle eventually passed into the hands of his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and was used in the wars against the English King Edward 1.
It was on the very day of its capture in January 1283, the kings masons began strengthening the walls probably by adding to this tower.
The fall of Dolwyddelan was a turning point of the campaign allowing the English army into the heartlands of Gwynedd.
Dolwyddelan Castle eventually become irrelevant as as inland Castle did not match Edward’s long term strategy of supplying his fortresses from the sea.
I discovered that the people still lived in the castle throuhout the 15th Century. Maredudd ap Ieuan, a nobleman from the Llyn peninsula occupied the Castle. Maredudd was the Head of the Royal House of Cunedda with intentions to expand his territories into the lawless lands of 15th Century Snowdonia.
The Castle still remains, just to the south of the village of Dolwyddelan, with a stunning backdrop of wild Snowdonia mountains, the picturesque ruins that later enticed poets and Georgian’s for its romantic landscape for painters.
It has been restored to something like it’s former grandeur and today. And it remains a lasting memorial to Llywelyn the Great for his strategic achievements and, to the men who actually built it.
Thank you for Reading.
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