Conwy Castle was built in the Middle Ages by Edward I of England. He built it after he went and conquered Wales, taking control of it. The castle was built from 1283 to 1289 and is a part of the city walls.
It is believed that Conway Castle cost £15,000 to build, and it has survived a number of wars.
Interesting Facts about Conway Castle
Below are some interesting facts and information about Conway Castle.
- The castle was built between 1283 and 1287. The castle was built by King Edward I as part of a bigger project to build a walled town called Conwy. The walls of the town were designed to bond straight to the castle so they could function as one.
- The castle was designed by the master builder, James of Saint George. He was an architect who designed many of Edward I’s castles, including Conwy, Harlech castle and Caernarfon castle.
- The castle sits on a big rocky ridge made of grey sand and limestone. Most of the stone that the castle is built of comes from the ridge, most likely when the site was first cleared.
- Special sandstone was brought in for the carving details like windows. These came from the Creuddyn peninsula, Chester and the Wirral.
- Conwy Castle is defended by eight large towers. It also has two barbicans which are outposts or gateways that are used for defending the castle as well.
- King Richard II hide in Conwy castle in 1399. He was hiding from his rival Henry Bolingbroke (also known as King Henry IV).
- In 1401, two brothers attacked Conwy castle. Rhys ap Tudur and his brother Gwilym pretended to be castle carpenters and gained entry by killing the watchmen on duty and took control of the castle. Welsh rebels then attacked and captured the rest of the town.
- The brothers held control of the castle for three months. Eventually they negotiated a surrender and got a royal pardon by Henry IV as part of the deal.
- Henry VIII used the castle as a prison, a depot and a house for visitors. In the 1520s and 1530s Henry did extensive restoration work on the castle during the Tudor period.
- In 1627 Conwy castle was sold for £100. Charles I sold it to Edward Conway and his son, also called Edward, inherited the ruined castle in 1631.
- The castle is sometimes called Conway castle. This is because it was owned by the Conway family at multiple times in its history.
- At the end of the 18th century Conwy Castle was a picturesque ruin. It was attracting many visitors and artists like Thomas Girtin, J. M. W. Turner. and Moses Griffith were painting its beauty.
- More than 180,000 people a year visit Conwy Castle now. A visitor centre was opened in 2012 and maintenance costs are around £50,000 or more per year.
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