It is a landmark site, a true testament to the varying fortunes of war.
What a picture, what a view! Perched on a headland with the sea as its constant bedfellow. Its twin-towered gatehouse intimidates prospective attackers. So badly did the native Welsh princes and English monarchs want it, that it changed hands more often than a relay baton.
Built originally by Llywelyn the Great, this very Welsh of princes included a very English style of gatehouse. Edward I’s forces took the castle some 50 years later, undertook their own improvements and remodelled a tower for stone-throwing engines. Not as much fun for those at the bottom as it sounds for those at the top!
Owain Glyn Dŵr sealed Criccieth’s fate when his troops captured and burnt the castle in the early years of the 15th century. This was to be the last major Welsh rebellion against the English.
Criccieth Castle may also have given the name to the town rather than the other way round. Its suggested origins are ‘crug caeth’ – ‘crug’ (hill in Welsh), ‘caith’ (captives) – the name given to the jail on the hill, a function once held by the castle. Buy an ice-cream, there’s a lot of history to digest.
Please note that the visitor centre, shop and exhibition are currently closed. The site will be open and unstaffed Monday to Sunday, 10am–4pm, access through the side gate. We will update social media when it’s back open. We apologise for the inconvenience.
A toilet is available for users with a disability and limited mobility
Cadw do not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.