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Caernarfon Castle – A castle fit for a King

Published on 22 May 2023 by Amy Greenwood

Standing the test of time, the medieval fortress of Caernarfon Castle has dominated the town for 700 years. Built in the era of King Edward I, who brought Wales under English rule in the late thirteenth century, Caernarfon Castle is one of the Iron Ring of Castles in Wales built by Edward. Four of these castles, including Caernarfon, form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Towering above the River Seiont, Caernarfon Castle originally took 45 years to build, and stands out with a number of tall polygonal towers. Over the years the castle has hosted some large scale events including the investiture of the then Charles, Prince of Wales in July 1969. The event didn’t pass by without opposition with nationalist groups, who felt that it was symbolic of Wales’ occupation by the English Crown.

The King’s Gate at Caernarfon Castle

Having been closed for a number of years, the majestic King’s Gate at Caernarfon Castle has recently reopened after a major transformation. This revamp isn’t a quick fix, something akin to TV’s Changing Rooms. This major £5 million pound investment, and three years of work, have seen the transformation of the main gateway of Caernarfon Castle into an accessible visitor centre with glazed lift access to all the upper levels of the castle, with the addition of a rooftop deck. This ensures the castle is accessible to all, a much welcomed development. The stunning new rooftop deck provides spectacular views of the castle’s interior and surrounding area scenery.

What else is new at Caernarfon Castle’s King’s Gate

As part of the large investment, there have been many developments within the King’s Gate to include interactive presentations of the castle’s rich history, an educational and events space, accessible facilities and new refreshment space within the tower. These additions, among others, provide the opportunity to see parts of the castle close up that haven’t been seen for centuries. All of this work, of course, has been undertaken to ensure that significant conservation works have taken place to the structure of the building.

Located in the centre of the thriving town of Caernarfon, Caernarfon Castle should be on every visitor’s to-do list when visiting the area, and staying at one of many nearby Dioni properties. Caernarfon Castle is operated by CADW and open to the public year round. Pre booking of tickets is advisable, especially during holiday periods and weekends, via the CADW website.

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