Spectacular coastal castle built – and destroyed – by powerful Welsh princes
Criccieth is truly a castle to capture the imagination. Crowning its own rocky headland between two beaches it commands astonishing views over the town and across the wide sweep of Cardigan Bay.
No wonder Turner felt moved to paint it. By then it was a picturesque ruin – destroyed by one of Wales’s most powerful medieval princes, Owain Glyndŵr.
But it was built by two of his illustrious predecessors. First Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) created the immense gatehouse flanked by D-shaped stone towers. Then his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd – or Llywelyn the Last – added the outer ward, curtain walls and two new towers.
Still this craggy fortress wasn’t enough to withstand the invasion of Edward I. The English king made a few improvements of his own, equipping the north tower with a stone-throwing machine to deter Welsh attacks.
It was still in English hands in 1404 when the towers were burnt red by Owain Glyndŵr. Without a garrison to protect it, the town became entirely Welsh once more.
Accessible toilets available at this site for visitor use.
Bike storage area available in car park or close to site.
On street parking available nearby. Local authority pay and display available near the beach (approx. 300 metres)
Dogs on leads welcome to access ground floor levels of the site.
On-site exhibition within monument.
Gift shop at this site offering a range of products and guidebooks.
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.
Smoking is not permitted.
A portable induction loop is available.
Light refreshments are available.
Visitor toilets are available at this site.
This site is available to hire for events, filming and exhibitions.
A video presentation is available at this site.
Cadw free public WiFi available at this site.
Postcode LL52 0DP
For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0871 200 2233 or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.
Telephone 01766 522227
Castle St, Criccieth LL52 0DP