Dolwyddelan II Castle

Overlooking Dolwyddelan I castle standing proud on a rocky crag is the second castle at Dolwyddelan.  Dolwyddelan II must postdate its successor which was probably destroyed with all the castles of Gwynedd in 1094.

The castle has no recorded history before it was taken by Edward I in January 1283, though it was obviously an old structure by then.  The seventeenth century myth that Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth was born
here in 1172 seems to have no substance in reality, but was merely the conceit of the then owner, Sir John Wynn of Gwydir castle (d.1627), who wished to enhance the reputation of his ancestors.  After its capture in 1283 Edward I garrisoned the castle until 1290.  By the fifteenth century it was held by the ancestors of John Wynn and they raised the height of the great keep by a storey.  It is thought the second tower in the bailey was built by King Edward.

The fortress consists of a much damaged curtain wall enclosing the top of a rocky knoll.  Towards the southern side of this is an anceint hall whose original roof line can still be seen internally.  This was later raised in height by the Wynns.  To the north was the second, probably Edwardian, rectangular tower.  To the east is a ditch at the base of the knoll, this is probably also Edwardian.  To the north is a large rectangular enclosure commanding the drovers' road over the mountains.  Quite possibly stock was kept here and taxed for use of the road.  By the thirteenth century much of the surrounding land was held by Beddgelert priory.


Copyright©2017 Paul Martin Remfry

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