Architectural ingenuity and natural advantages combine in a must-visit Welsh-built fortress
It may be remote. But it’s a magnet for all castle lovers. Strung along a jagged rocky outcrop in the Dysynni Valley at the foot of Cader Idris, Castell y Bere is especially good at evoking the spirit and atmosphere of Wales’s native castles. Built by Welsh ruler Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) to protect Gwynedd’s southern frontier, construction began in 1221 with the castle remaining in use until 1294.
Though much of the Castell y Bere’s strength can be attributed to its commanding location, its design is a testament to the ingenuity of its Welsh architects. The sophisticated entrance featuring two gatehouses with drawbridges and possibly portcullises was extremely advanced for its time, even by the standards of English fortifications.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
Postcode LL36 9TS