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Above: view of the gatehouse at magnificent Harlech Castle in north-west Wales
Photograph copyright © by Jeffrey Thomas
Wales is often called the "Land of Castles" and rightly so, as it is home to some of Europe's finest surviving examples of medieval castle construction. Over the years I've visited and explored many of the region's famous and lesser-known castles, from mighty Chepstow in southeast Wales, to picturesque Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey, and charming Ewloe in the north.
The Castles of Wales web site, launched in November of 1995, provides visitors with a lot more than simply a few photographs of the most famous Welsh castles. Our pages cover a wide range of topics related to Welsh castles and Welsh medieval history, and many of our essays are written by leading academics and historians in their respective fields of study. We provide information on over 400 different Welsh castles, accompanied by high quality photographs, as well as profiles of the men responsible for their construction and an explanation of the turbulent times in which they lived. Although we provide detailed information and photographs for the most famous Welsh castles, the thing that separates the Castles of Wales web site from other sites on the net is the fact that we also provide large, high quality photographs for many of the lesser-known Welsh castles with less impressive remains. In some instances our photographs of these forgotten castles are the only ones available on the Internet or in mainstream publications. We also feature a smaller section on Welsh Abbeys and Other Religious Sites, monuments that, like the Castles of Wales, represent an important component of Welsh medieval heritage and history. If you take the time to explore the site via the main menu below, we believe you will be pleased with both the variety and depth of information provided.
The Castles of Wales survive today in a variety of conditions, ranging from completely ruined to castles that still serve as stately homes for their owners. Many are currently under the care of CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments, an organization whose members are dedicated to preserving the many ancient monuments found throughout the land.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our many contributors, but particularly to our principal historians and researchers John Northall, Paul M. Remfry, Lise Hull, and Richard Williams, for their many valuable and insightful contributions to this website. I could not have created so comprehensive a project without your help. Diolch yn fawr iawn!
Please note that I have decided to begin the process of updating the site (beginning July 2023), repairing or eliminating broken links and generally tidying up the pages. This will be a long process, so I ask your patience as the process unfolds. Thanks.
Castle Terminology Complete Castle Database Abbeys & Other Religious Sites in Wales Recommended Castles Pre-Medieval Historic Sites in Wales Castle Builders Drawings and Illustrations of Welsh Castles Historical Essays What's New/Contributions Welsh Castle Timeline Welsh Language Pages Vanished/Lost Castles Recommended Links Lost Castle Spotlight Reference Sources
"In a country with relatively few great churches
and abbeys, and even fewer unfortified manor houses,
the Castles of Wales form the most imposing group of
monuments left from the Middle Ages. In terms of
grandeur they are second only to the dramatic landscape."
Adrian Pettifer - Welsh Castles
The Castles of Wales Website is non-profit, educational resource created, written and maintained by Jeffrey L. Thomas. All text and photographs are copyrighted © by the Castles of Wales web site and/or their respective authors and contributors, with all rights reserved. You may follow this link to view a list of principal contributors, or this link to view comments from other organizations regarding this project.
The Castles of Wales Website is copyrighted ©1996-2024 by Jeffrey L. Thomas.