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Commanding Welsh stronghold in spectacular mountain setting

Dolwyddelan is as Welsh as the rugged mountains of Snowdonia that provide its spectacular backdrop.

One of a group of fortresses built to command the mountain passes, it stands as a lasting memorial to Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, or Llywelyn the Great. He was the undisputed ruler of Gwynedd from 1201 to his death in 1240.

But Dolwyddelan was finally conquered during the reign of his grandson Llywelyn ap Gruffudd by the English king Edward I. It marked a crucial stage in his relentless campaign to crush the Welsh once and for all.

Edward set his own stamp on Dolwyddelan from the day it fell in 1283. The garrison was hastily equipped with camouflage white tunics – perfect for winter warfare in the mountains. He raised the height of the keep, built a new tower and installed a siege engine complete with stone ‘cannon balls’.

Nothing lasts for ever. By the early 19th century Dolwyddelan was a romantic ruin popular with landscape artists. Then Lord Willoughby de Eresby decided to ‘restore’ the keep with medieval-style battlements.

You can still clearly see the join between his fantasy architecture and the genuine handiwork of Llywelyn the Great underneath.

More about Dolwyddelan Castle



Assistance dogs only icon Car park icon Exhibition icon Guidebook icon No drones icon No smoking icon

Assistance dogs only at this site.

The car park is 200 metres from the entrance, near the farm house.

No disabled spaces available.

A steep climb from car park to monument with a number of steps and rough terrain to negotiate, approx. 500 metres.

On-site exhibition within monument.

Site guidebook available to purchase online and in selected visitor centres.

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.


A470(T) Blaenau Ffestiniog to Betws-y-Coed.
2km/1.25mls Dolwyddelan,
Llandudno-Blaenau Ffestiniog route.
X1 From Llandudno North Western Gardens to Capel Bethel, Dolwyddelan.
NCN Route No.8 (15km/9mls).

Postcode LL25 0JD

For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0871 200 2233 or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.

Contact us

Dolwyddelan Castle
A470, Dolwyddelan LL25 0JD