The Best Castles in Anglesey

Anglesey, situated off of the Northwest coastline of mainland Wales, is the largest island in England and Wales, spanning a total of 261 square miles; the Island of Anglesey is layered with history, ranging back to ancient times where a string of prehistoric remains still exist, as well as a series of historic castles, that each offers their own unique insight into the past. Anglesey is a true island escape, particularly those with a love and enthusiasm for history; here are the best castles to visit in Anglesey:

6 great castles to visit in Anglesey

1. Caernarfon Castle

In the heart of the bustling town of Caernarfon Castle lies the wonderful, and immense medieval fortress, Caernarfon Castle. The castle’s origins date back to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, where an early motte and bailey castle was constructed on the site; the exact date in which it was erected is unknown, however, it is known to have been formed of materials such as timber and earthwork.

The castle remained in this state until the year 1283, whereby King Edward I of England started to rebuild the site in stone; the renovation was completed in the year 1330, and much of the exterior built in this period still stands today, however, the interior of the castle no longer survives. Today, the castle is open to the public.

Where: Caernarfon

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:30pm

2. Penrhyn Castle

Situated in the small village of Llandygai in North Wales, lies the beautiful and scenic Penrhyn Castle, which is a large country house, with a fantastic history.

The castle began life in the 15th century, where it was constructed as a medieval fortified manor house, which was founded by Ednyfed Fychan, who was a prominent Welsh warrior; in the year 1438, the castle was modernised again, and a large Gothic-style tower house was added to the site.

The building that stands today, however, was constructed in the 19th century, between the years 122 and 1837, after it was designed by Thomas Hopper; he built upon the remains of the original castle and gave it an entirely new appearance. It is today open to the public and welcomes countless visitors every year

Where: Llandygai

When: 15th century

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

Check out the best castles to visit in Wales.

3. Beaumaris Castle

located in the scenic Anglesey town of Beaumaris lies the wonderful Beaumaris Castle, which is incredibly well-preserved, and very popular tourist attraction for the region.

The castle was originally built in the 11th century, as part of King Edward I’s mission to invade and conquer the North of Wales; plans were started in around the year 1284, though it was not completed until 1295, due to several issues such as lack of resources and funds.

Over the following centuries, the castle was constantly added to and was at the centre of several famous wars and battles, such as The English Civil War of the 17th century.

The castle eventually fell to ruin in the 1660s, and it has never since been occupied; the castle grounds and ruins are open to the public to this day.

Where: Beaumaris

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 19:00pm

4. Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle is an impressive medieval fortification that is situated in the bustling and vibrant North Wales market town of Conwy; the castle’s origins date back to the year 1283, where construction began of an early fortress, in the midst of the Conquest of Wales, led by King Edward I; it was completed in the year 1289.

Since the beginning, this castle has played a prominently military function and has been at the heart of several conflicts, such as the siege of Madog ap Llywelyn in the late 13th century, and the English Civil War of the 17th century.

The castle fell to ruin shortly after the Civil War, and throughout the 18th and 19th century, it was a hotspot for artists and painters. The ruined castle is today managed by Cadw and is open to the general public as a tourist attraction.

Where: Conwy

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:30pm

5. Criccieth Castle

Criccieth Castle is a historic Welsh castle situated in Criccieth in North Wales, and it is scenically located upon a headland that is nestled between two gorgeous beaches, overlooking the stunning Tremadog Bay.

The construction of the stone castle dates back to the 1230s, where the castle was built in gradual stages; further additions, such as an outer ward and a new gateway were added in the 1260s and 1270s.

The original castle was constructed by Llwelyn the Great, of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, though it was captured by English forces led by King Edward I at the end of the 13th century, in the midst of his conquest of Wales.

In the early 19th century, the ruined castle was a hotspot for Romantic artists, such as J.M.W. Turner; it is today open to the general public.

Where: Criccieth

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

6. Harlech Castle

Located in the Welsh town of Harlech lies the fantastic Grade I listed Harlech Castle, which is a brilliant medieval fortification that offers stunning views of the Irish Sea, as well as an impressive, and vast history.

The castle was originally constructed by King Edward I between the years 1282 and 1289, in the midst of his invasion of Wales; the castle has always played a military role, and it has been at the centre of a string of historic battle and conflicts, such as the siege of Madog ap Llywelyn in the late 13th century.

Today, the castle is famed for being one of the most well-preserved and impressive examples of 13th and 14th-century military architecture, and it is open to the general public, who are fascinated by its layers of history.

Where: Harlech

When: 13th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 19:00pm

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