Sunday 17 August 2014

Wales: Harlech Castle

While in Wales I got to choose to visit another Castle - this time Harlech Castle.  I especially wanted to visit this castle due to its links to King Henry V who I dressed up as for the 2012 Sasha Festival in Stratford Upon Avon .  This Castle was recaputred by the English in 1409 under the command of Harry of Monmout, the future King Henry V and Victor of Agincourt.  It was built by King Edward I with work starting on it in 1283.  It was originally next to the sea, but it now lies on a cliff face inland due to the changes in geology of the coast.  Funny though King Edward I never lived in this castle.  Fancy having a castle built and not living in it.  If I built a castle I would want to live in it!  King Edward's master mason and military engineer, James of St George and his wife Ambrosia lived in the castle instead.

Later on Owain Glyndwr held Harlech as his royal court for four years from 1404.  He was a Welsh ruler and the last native Welseman to hold the title Prince of Wales.  He instigated a very fierce and long-running revolt against the English rule of Wales, but was unsuccessful.   This is a fascinating story in itself!

Anyway on to the castle.

Most impressive.

Lots of nooks and crannies to climb and explore and get close to.

I love exploring castles, there is a certain atmosphere and mystery about them.

What is in here?

Not a lot, just a hollowed out area in the walls...perhaps partially eroded away?

You can see the ocean from the grounds.

Impressive towers on each corner and two rings of walls.

Lots and lots of steps to climb up to the top!

My little legs were aching by the time I got to the top, but I didn't let on I was a bit tired!

This looks like prison bars, but it is to protect people from falling off where walls and floors have worn away.

Finally we got up to the ramparts and the view was pretty impressive!

Isn't this amazing?

Here I am - pretty cool huh?

On the way up looking at what would have been one of the floors - that is why there is a fireplace that seems to be half way up the walls...originally there would have been a wooden floor, but it has of course long since rotted away.

Not sure what these were...I wondered if they used them for canon balls?  But they might also have been part of the castle itself.

View of the castle while walking around the ramparts.

It would have given such a good vantage point for the knights who may have defended the castle from intruders.  You can see that the castle would have been impregnable from almost any angle.

Looking out through the protective rail....

What can I see?  Something strange that is for sure.

Is that an animal up there? 

Looking down where the boulders and other remains are.

Down in the dungeons...uh oh...

Help let me out!

I feel so small behind these bars...

I am 'King of the Castle'...

Hello!  Down there...

How are you all doing? 

Bye for now, hope you enjoyed seeing the castle with me..  


  1. Certainly did, thank you, Henry! - Jocelyn

  2. You deserved to be King of the Castle 'King Henry' after all that climbing. I wish they'd restore those missing floors to make the castle more like it would have been when it was lived in.

    1. Wouldn't that be wonderful if they did... Sadly I think there are certain things they can restore and some things they can't.

  3. I am very familiar with Harlech Castle as we used to family caravan holiday near there in Black Rock Sands twice a year for a good twenty-five years so always visited it and Criccieth Castle on an annual basis as part of the holiday tradition.
    Glad that you enjoyed your visit and thanks for the delightful memories it brought back to me.

    1. How wonderful, so glad these brought back some happy memories. Such a beautiful part of the country..

  4. Lovely post Henry and the castle is brilliant as are the views. xx

    1. Thank you Theresa, so glad you enjoyed the post and the fabulous views.

  5. Hi (King) Henry. Thanks for sharing the castle with us. We have only one castle in New Zealand. I bet you could feel the history as you explored the castle. Angelo

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. You certainly could Angelo. History feels so much more real here as you can actually visit it!