The Welsh Medieval Castles
built by the English under the direction of King Edward I
provided a power base for the Medieval Plantagenet King
and ensured that the Welsh were subservient to the new English
King Edward employed the most brilliant architect and builder of the
Medieval era to help with his ambitious projects - Master James of St.
George. Another architect figures in references to the ' three Castles ' -
his name was Ralph of Grosmont and he probably worked for Edward's father.
King Henry III.
King Edward I
strategy of building Welsh Castles
King Edward I decided on a
strategy of building elaborate fortresses and Castles in Wales in order to
crush and intimidate the Welsh population -
History of King Edward I & the Welsh Medieval Castles. His Welsh castle building strategy
started in 1278, following the first Welsh rebellion. In 1278 Edward
commissioned the building of four major Castles in Wales - Flint, Rhuddlan,
Builth and Aberystwyth. More Welsh Castles were built following the
second rebellion of 1282 and the building of Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech
and Beaumaris Castles were also commissioned in Wales. Not only did King
Edward I build the Welsh Castles he also integrated new townships
at the same time. These fortified townships
Welsh Medieval Fortified Townships were based on the Burghs, or
Burhs, of King Alfred the Great and the Bastides of Gascony. King Edward I was
able to keep his tight reign over Wales due to his massive power bases
provided by his Welsh Medieval Castles and his purpose-built Welsh Fortified Townships.
Welsh Concentric Castles
The Design and development of the Welsh Concentric Castles played a major
role in the history of Welsh Medieval Castle Building. The design and
building of Welsh Concentric Castles encompassed some,
or all, of the following elements:
A Stronger central Keep or
Main Tower featured in Welsh Medieval Castle Building and a round or circular
Keep was introduced
A High wall, complete with
towers surrounded the Keep and the Inner Bailey in Welsh Castles
At least one lower, outer
wall surrounded the Inner High Wall
Several Outer Walls and
Outer Baileys were often added in the process of building Welsh Castles
Several Gatehouses were
Moats were often added which
surrounded the whole Concentric Castle complex
The plans to build
Welsh Castles were mammoth! The Welsh Medieval Concentric
Castles were much bigger than the Norman Castles! The Welsh Castle
Building programme introduced thicker, stronger and higher
walls interspersed with
towers and turrets! The Inner Walls were higher than Outer walls!
Drawbridges were added! The Medieval interiors were far more comfortable!
The Welsh Concentric Castles were very expensive! Caernarvon Castle cost
King Edward I £27,000 - to build this massive Concentric
castle today would cost around £40,000,000! The key facts
about the Welsh Medieval Castle Building of Concentric Castles
are as follows:
The Welsh Medieval Castles was Expensive!
Welsh Castles featured heavy defences
Round or Polygonal shaped
Keeps or Towers were introduced
Walls were built at
different heights and levels
The Various forms of defence
such as the
Barbican, Portcullis, Gatehouse, Moat, Crenellations, Murder Holes etc
were added to Welsh Castles
Master James of St George
The English Plantagenet King, Edward I,
required an experienced Architect and Builder to help him to fulfill his
ambitious castle building plans. One of the most experienced Architects of
the Medieval era was a man called
Master James of St George.
Who was James of St George?
Why was he key to building the Medieval
Welsh Castles of King Edward I?
How many building projects
of Welsh Castles did James of St George oversee?
Welsh Castles introduced luxury!
required skilled craftsman
who were knowledgeable about the building of both military and domestic
structures. The new Welsh Castles required higher levels of
comfortable castle living! And the appropriate skills were developed to
fulfil these needs. Gone were the cold, dark and damp Castles of the
Norman era - the Plantagenet rulers were looking for Middle Age refinement
and luxury in their newly conquered Kingdom of Wales.
The History of King
Edward I, Llewellyn ap Gruffudd & the Welsh
of the last Welsh King - Llewellyn ap
Gruffudd and the English Plantegenet King Edward I. And the English King's
strategy of building elaborate fortresses in Wales in order to crush and
intimidate the Welsh population.
Who was Llywelyn Ap Gruffudd?
Why was King Edward I
plan to build the Medieval
Welsh Castles so important?
Who were the Medieval Spin
Doctors? Read about Caernarvon Castle &
Welsh Mythology and find out why was
Welsh mythology so important to building Welsh Castles
Wales becomes incorporated
into the Kingdom Of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan
Over just a relatively short
period of time a significant number of new Welsh Medieval Castles were
built. This comprehensive section of Castles.me.uk is full of interesting
facts and information about the Welsh Castles built during the Medieval
period. Full descriptions of the
History and Construction of the ten most important Welsh Medieval Castles
can be accessed by clicking the appropriate links:
History of King Edward I & the Welsh Medieval Castles
Welsh Medieval Fortified Townships
Master James of St George
Caernarvon Castle &