D is for Dolbadarn and Dolwyddelan

Besides the great castles of Edward I, North Wales is also home to several well preserved Welsh castles, such as Dolbadarn and Dolwyddelan, both built during the reign of the House of Aberffraw, back when North Wales was a independent kingdom.


Dolbadarn was built in the early 1200s to guard the Llanberis Pass, a important trade route to Anglesey, but it also served as a prison; Llywelyn ap Gruffudd had his own brother Owain imprisoned in the castle for 20 years.



The castle was the last to fall into English hands following the invasion of 1282-3 and by 1285 parts of the castle were dismantled and used in the construction of the new Caenarfon Castle.


Dolwyddelan Castle shares a very similar history with Dolbadarn, having also been built in the same time period, like Dolbadarn, the castle was captured by the English in 1283. However the castle was not fully abandoned and was reinforced under orders of Edward I, by the 15th century an additional story was even added to the keep. Though no longer occupied the castle has been well preserved since it was renovated in the early 19th century.



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