Caernarfon Castle (Welsh: Castell Caernarfon Welsh pronunciation: [kastɛɬ kaɨrˈnarvɔn]) – often anglicised as Carnarvon Castle or Caernarvon Castle – is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service. It was a motte-and-bailey castle from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began to replace it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales, and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon's Roman past, and the Roman fort of Segontium is nearby.
While the castle was under construction, town walls were built around Caernarfon. The work cost between £20,000 and £25,000 from the start until the work ended in 1330. Although the castle appears mostly complete from the outside, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged. When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Despite its dilapidated condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. The castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs. The castle was used for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1911 and again in 1969. It is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd".
|Monday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 5:00 PM|
Marek Powalski | Mar 2, 2018
This was truly one of the best days out that I've had in a long time. The castle was spectacular with plenty to see and do. The staff were polite and welcoming and were more than willing to get you involved, especially in the military museum section of the castle. Unfortunately some parts of the castle were closed due to the adverse weather, but the highest part of the castle was open, and despite all of the stairs, this most certainly did not disappoint. Having been here once, I will most defiantly be back here again, hopefully at a time when the weather is better and I can take in the full wonder of the castle, something that I would recommend to anyone, you won't be disappointed.
Janette Rickman | Mar 14, 2018
This is still in use for ceremonies. Prince Charles was made Prince of Wales here. It is in the centre of the town so easy to get there. It is fairly intact too. Worth a visit, then walk down the hill to Victoria Docks for shopping or lunch.
Eoin Supple | Feb 13, 2018
You should really visit Caernarfon Castle if you're in the area. A beautiful castle with access to all of the towers and walkways. Stunning views out to the sea in one direction and up to Snowdon in the other. Interesting exhibits. Kids will love it here too.
Deborah Parker | Jan 6, 2018
Really good historical place to visit. Take it in and imagine how life was. I loved watching the 8 minute history animation, very informative in a quick easy to understand way. The towers are good exercise as lots of spiral steps. Carers and person with any disability are allowed in FREE of charge.
Matthew Gullick | Jan 4, 2018
We visited January 2018 out of season. We have a young family. Fine example, and fun to walk around, the wind was howling through the top tower. We were all very impressed and worth the drive. The complex is quite large so you can easily spend a couple of hours walking round and with this in mind we encountered no cafe. Some of the actual spiral steps to the top towers are reasonably narrow and therefore unsuitable if you are unsteady on your feet. We walked around the town following the castle, nothing to write home about, but did get lucky with a fantastic lamb shank at the local #Weatherspoons.
Andrew Parker | Apr 2, 2018
Great day out. Historic building still in amazing condition. Amazing views from the top of the towers. How they managed to build this castle using the technology of 800 years ago is mind blowing. If you have any interest in history or architecture you will love it.
Tim Boarer | Apr 16, 2018
I was well impressed with this castle, it has obviously had a lot of care over the years and one of the most complete and preserved castles I have visited. Well worth the visit and has a very recent history what with Charles the Prince of Wales being inaugurated here in 1969. Recommended
Peter Gabbott | Mar 26, 2018
Really enjoyed the castle and the museum. Great day and the weather was on our side. Plenty of parking, fair enteance fee. It was quiet and easy access for us as we were early, on a busy day i could imagine it would be much harder to get around due to the narrow staircases-well worth a visit
Anje Luzanycia-Hird | Jun 4, 2018
Absolutely loved it. Beautiful, brilliant and incredible castle. Parking was fantastic, loads to see and do so allow yourself a good few hours. Lots of climbing inside all the towers so be prepared for steps if you want to go exploring. So much history and information but also a great day out for the whole family. A must visit for everyone.
Claire Wood | Jun 13, 2018
Brilliant castle! I will definitely return. There is so much to see. Both adults and the kids loved exploring the castle. We didn't go into the little museum area so that's something we will go to another time. There was a 7 minute viewing of the history of the castle on a big curved screen which was great. Well worth a visit!
Ben A | Jun 6, 2018
One of the most impressive, "muscular" castles you will ever see. Sits right on the coast, and from the towers (most of which you can climb) you can see the ancient walls of the city, and get good views of the surrounding area. Take the train to Bangor, then "Bus 5C" to Caernarfon - get off just after the stop for "Morrison's" (or ask the driver to tell you when you are at the Castle - it is not quite visible from the bus stop). A round trip on the bus was only £3.50, takes roughly 30 minutes each way, and buses run frequently.
Alex Petty | Jun 18, 2018
A spectacular castle that has been sympathetically restored. There is access to the towers and walkways. There are informative displays of the castle’s history and fun exhibits for children too. A great place for all the family. The tower stairs are quite steep, so care is needed. Well worth the visit.
Dzhoshkun Ismail Shakir | May 11, 2018
Did not enter the castle itself, but just took a walk along the promenade. The sunset was gorgeous. Only a few people were around, so you could mostly hear the seagulls only :) would definitely recommend for a quiet serene evening with your beloved ones. Also very good for families.
Amelia Perkins | Jul 8, 2018
Absolutely beautiful Castle. Children loved it as much as us adults! There is a fantastic museum within the castle full of very interesting facts about it's history. The castle in itself is just incredible to look at and walk around! Great little gift shop on the way out too and reasonably priced entry fee. Not our first visit and definitely not our last!
Elinor Jones | Jul 10, 2018
Fantastic castle! Lots to see and do. A bit of walking up and down the towers to do and along the castle walls but worth it for the views! Interesting displays and museum within the castle. Worth the entrance fee especially as we were told our tickets were valid for the day. So we did a little wandering inside, popped out for food and went back In again on the same ticket to finish looking around.
Mohan Karthik | Jul 23, 2018
Amazing castle. Very nicely presented with story boards all over the place taking us from the early days to now. There is also a small feature presentation that takes us back the ages. Really well maintained. Lots of stairs and on a hot day, gotta be careful and bring some food and lots of water.
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