Rhuddlan Castle was completed in 1282 at the then-astronomical cost of £9,613. Not forgetting two shillings and eight pennies. Its name was about to be written indelibly into the pages of Welsh history.
Just two years later, following the death of Llywelyn the Last, Edward I laid down the law in Wales for the next 250 years with the Statute of Rhuddlan.
It created the shires of Flint, Caernarfon, Anglesey, Merioneth, Cardigan and Carmarthen – and established a system of government that lasted until Henry VIII’s Act of Union in 1536.
It was at Rhuddlan that Edward declared he would appoint ‘a prince who was born in Wales, could speak no English, and whose life and conversation nobody could stain’. His own son Edward, born in Caernarfon, was named Prince of Wales in 1301.
This must have deeply insulted the Welsh chieftains but it was another century before they seriously threatened Rhuddlan again. Owain Glyndŵr ravaged the town in 1400 but the castle held firm. Only when captured by parliamentary forces during the Civil War did the awesome defences of Edward I begin to crumble.