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Beaumaris Castle

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Castle St, Beaumaris, LL58 8AP
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaumaris_Castle Visit Site
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Beaumaris Castle

Costing £15,000 (£12,743,966 today according to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator) by the time work ceased on the incomplete Beaumaris Castle in 1330, the structure remains, according to UNESCO, one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe”.

The castle, which was built as part of an extensive castle-building project during the reign of Edward I as part of his campaign to conquer north Wales, was designed by Master of the Royal Works James of Saint George – who also designed Conwy, Harlech and Caernarfon castle – for which he was paid a wage of 3 shillings a day (approximately £170 today). Despite undertaking initial planning in 1282 ready for work to begin in 1284, it took the Madog ap Llywelyn uprising for work to begin – which it did in 1295.

However, Edward’s invasion of Scotland then diverted funding from the project and it took a further threat of invasion in 1306 for work to begin again. Sadly the castle was never to be completed and work ended in 1330 with sections of the castle still incomplete.

Its importance in the history of both Wales and the United Kingdom was not yet done, however, and Beaumaris Castle was central to several more historic events. In 1403, for example, the castle was taken and occupied by folk hero Owain Glyndŵr, a direct descendent of several Welsh royal dynasties – including, and importantly for Anglesey, that of the Kings and Queens of Gwynedd – who led a 15 year war for Welsh independence, founded the first Welsh Senedd and who, despite his eventual defeat, was never betrayed or captured. Beaumaris Castle was retaken by the English in 1405, but it was to change hands again when during the English Civil War, Royalists were forced to surrender the castle to parliamentary forces.

A World Heritage Site since 1986, the castle draws more than 75,000 visitors each year and should be on the itinerary of any visitor to the island.

Beaumaris Pier, Anglesey

Where is it?

Reachable by following the A545 from the suspension bridge, or the A5 then A545 from the Britannia Bridge, Beaumaris Castle right next door to two car parks – the Castle Car and Coach Park and the Beaumaris Green Car Park – meaning that you can park up and stroll across to the castle in a matter of minutes. The Castle is also a short walk from the Beaumaris front and pier – with a traditional British seaside feel – from which you can book Puffin Island boat trips, and a minute or so away from local favourite Happy Valley Pavilion Café. The castle entrance is via the gift shop on Castle Street (just off the A545).

Beaumaris town centre

Opening times

Accessible year round

1 March – 30 June
The castle is open daily between 9:30am and 5:00pm

1 July – 31 August
The castle is open daily between 9:30am and 6:00pm

1 September – 31 October
The castle is open daily between 9:30am and 5:00pm

1 November – 28 February
The castle is open daily between 10:00am and 4:00pm

The castle is closed to visitors between the 24th and 26th of December and on the 1st of January.

Last admission on all open days is 30 minutes before closing.

Aerial view of Penmon point lighthouse on Anglesey

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