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Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle

Dare we say it, an absolute cracker of a castle with classic proportions and perfect symmetry. The last hurrah of Edward I’s massive building programme in north Wales… just a shame he never got round to finishing it!

With finances stretched to the limit and the Scots now increasingly effective in their resistance to the English monarch, his vice-like grip on Wales was beginning to slip. Edward or ‘Longshanks’, on account of his extraordinary height, was forced to focus his attention elsewhere and the rest is, quite literally, history… Technically perfect and constructed according to an ingenious ‘walls within walls’ plan, Beaumaris Castle was the 13th-century hi-tech equivalent of a spaceship landing unceremoniously on Anglesey today.

The most technically perfect castle in Britain has few equals.

You can usually complain if a neighbour’s extension plans are a bit on the large side. Seven centuries ago the problem was resolved rather differently. The population of Llanfaes was forcibly moved 12 miles (19km) away to Newborough to make way for Edward’s new castle. Want to create a fuss? You’d probably be better off keeping your head down…or risk losing it! Along with Harlech Castle, Conwy Castle and Caernarfon Castle, this monument has been part of the Castles and Town Walls of Edward 1 World Heritage Site since 1986.

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