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Conwy Castle, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom
Tags: castle (129 pics)
Conwy Castle (Medieval English: Conway Castle; Welsh: Castell Conwy) is a castle in Conwy, on the north coast of Wales. It was built between 1283 (731 years ago) and 1289 (725 years ago) during King Edward I's second campaign in North Wales.
Conwy replaced Deganwy Castle, an earlier stronghold built by Henry III that had been destroyed by Llywelyn the Last in 1263 (751 years ago).
Conwy's design and work were overseen by master mason James of St. George using 1,500 labourers and stonecutters. An estimated £15,000 (£8.9 million as of 2008 (6 years ago)).[nb 1] was spent building the castle and the town's defences, the largest single sum Edward I spent on any of his Welsh castles between 1277 (737 years ago) and 1304 (710 years ago).
Conwy superficially resembles a concentric castle but it is more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like Caernarfon Castle, it was built on a rock promontory. This was to prevent undermining and also guard the entrance to the River Conwy. The promontory, which is about 15 metres (49 ft) high, was originally surrounded by the river on two sides. With the advent of the North Wales Coast railway in the 19th century, land reclamation around the castle has isolated it from the river.
Construction at Conwy ceased in 1289 (725 years ago). Six years later Edward I was besieged here during the rebellion of Madog ap Llywelyn. The siege lasted for several months and supplies ran low. However the castle and town were not captured. In the 14th century alterations were carried out under Edward, the Black Prince.
On 12 Aug. 1399 (615 years ago), after returning from Ireland, the unpopular king Richard II made his way to Conwy Castle where he met the Earl of Northumberland for negotiations to give up his crown. A week later he surrendered to Henry Bolingbroke at Flint Castle promising to abdicate if his life was spared. Richard II was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London, and then transferred to Pontefract Castle, where he died in Feb. 1400 (614 years ago).
In 1403 (611 years ago) Welsh forces led by Rhys and Gwilym, sons of Tudur ap Gronw, and the cousins of Owain Glyndwr, captured the castle and its English garrison. The fortress and the soldiers were later ransomed back to Henry IV. Tudur ap Gronw was the forefather of Henry Tudor. During the War of the Roses Conwy was taken by William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke under orders from Edward IV in 1461 (553 years ago).
But by the early 17th century, the once great Royal Castle had become dilapidated and was largely unused. However at the outbreak of the English Civil War Conwy was again garrisoned for the King. It was captured after a three-month siege by the Parliamentary army in 1646 (368 years ago). It was slighted and left as an empty shell.
Later the restored Charles II granted Conwy Castle to Edward Conway, 3rd Viscount Conway. In 1665 (349 years ago) the remaining timber, iron and lead was removed from the castle by William Milward on behalf of the peer and sold.
The castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and managed by Cadw. It is also part of the World Heritage Site entitled "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I in Gwynedd".
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