Castell Criccieth: Wales’ Coastal Fortress and Its Tales

Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, Castell Criccieth is a magnificent fortress steeped in history and myths. Located on the coast of Wales, this iconic castle played a strategic role in Welsh history and witnessed numerous battles and sieges that shaped the destiny of the region.

From its imposing walls to its captivating tales, Castell Criccieth has fascinated visitors and locals alike for centuries. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply curious about Welsh heritage, this coastal fortress offers a unique experience that will transport you back in time and spark your imagination.

Key Takeaways

  • Castell Criccieth is a historical site located on the coast of Wales.
  • It played a crucial role in Welsh history, witnessing numerous battles and sieges.
  • The castle has a rich history and interesting tales associated with it.
  • Castell Criccieth is an architectural marvel and boasts captivating views of the coast and surrounding landscapes.
  • Today, it is a popular tourist destination and hosts vibrant events and festivals throughout the year.

The Rich History of Castell Criccieth

Castell Criccieth, a remarkable fortress located on the coast of Wales, boasts a rich history that spans centuries. Built in the early 13th century, the castle played an important role in Welsh history and witnessed numerous notable events.

The construction of Castell Criccieth was commissioned by Llywelyn the Great, a powerful Welsh ruler, and was originally designed as a stronghold for his son, Llywelyn the Great. Over the years, the fortress underwent several expansions and modifications to fortify its defenses and accommodate its growing inhabitants.

During its existence, Castell Criccieth saw many battles and sieges, including the Welsh Wars of Independence and the English Civil War. The castle changed hands several times throughout its history, and its strategic location on the coast made it a highly contested site.

Despite its troubled past, Castell Criccieth remained a symbol of Welsh resilience and perseverance. Today, the castle serves as a testament to Wales’ rich history and its coastal fortifications, attracting visitors from around the world to admire its architectural splendor and immerse themselves in the fascinating tales of conquest and survival that surround it.

The Architecture of Castell Criccieth

Castell Criccieth’s architecture is a marvel of medieval design, with its imposing walls and carefully planned layout. The fortress was strategically constructed on a rocky outcrop, offering panoramic views of the sea and surrounding countryside.

The castle boasts a unique design, with a triangular-shaped inner ward and a circular-shaped outer ward. This shape was chosen to maximize the available space and allow for better defense against enemy attacks. The walls of the castle were built using a technique known as “opus spicatum,” which involves the use of interlocking bricks to create a herringbone pattern.

One of the most striking features of Castell Criccieth is its gatehouse, which is located on the eastern side of the castle. The gatehouse is a two-story structure with a portcullis and twin-towered entrance, which would have been used to control access to the castle.

Visitors to Castell Criccieth can explore the castle’s many features, including its impressive walls and towers. The castle’s architecture provides a fascinating insight into medieval design and construction techniques, and is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the castle’s builders.

Tales of Conquest and Siege

The history of Castell Criccieth is rife with tales of conquest and siege. Over the centuries, the fortress was subjected to numerous attacks as rival factions vied for control of this strategic location.

One of the most notable sieges took place in the early 15th century, when the castle was held by Owain Glyndwr, a Welsh rebel leader who led a fierce campaign against English rule. The castle was besieged by the forces of King Henry IV, but Glyndwr’s men managed to hold out for several months before ultimately surrendering.

Another famous siege occurred during the Wars of the Roses, when Castell Criccieth was held by the Lancastrian faction. The castle was besieged by the Yorkist army, and following a lengthy battle, the Lancastrians were forced to surrender.

These are just a few examples of the many tales of conquest and siege associated with Castell Criccieth. Visitors to the fortress can learn more about these dramatic events and the people who played a role in them.

Prominent Figures in Castell Criccieth’s History

Throughout its long and storied history, Castell Criccieth has played host to many individuals who have left a lasting impact on Welsh history. From powerful rulers to valiant defenders, these prominent figures have shaped the castle’s fate and helped to establish its place in Welsh lore.

One of the most notable figures associated with Castell Criccieth is Llywelyn the Great, the Prince of Gwynedd who ordered the construction of the fortress in the 13th century. Llywelyn was a powerful ruler who successfully united much of Wales under his command and used Castell Criccieth as a base for his operations.

Another prominent figure associated with the castle is Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh prince who led a rebellion against English rule in the early 15th century. Glyndwr briefly took control of Castell Criccieth during his campaign, using it as a stronghold against English forces.

Other notable figures associated with the castle include Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales who was imprisoned at Castell Criccieth before his execution, and Sir Rhys ap Thomas, the Welsh knight who played a key role in Henry Tudor’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Each of these figures, along with many others, has helped to shape the rich history and colorful tapestry of Castell Criccieth. Their stories are woven into the very fabric of the fortress, adding depth and meaning to this iconic historical site.

Castell Criccieth Today: Preservation and Tourism

Castell Criccieth has been preserved with great care and transformed into a popular tourist destination. The castle has undergone extensive renovation work to maintain its historic charm and ensure that its visitors can enjoy its unique atmosphere and striking architecture in safety.

With its rich history and impressive architecture, Castell Criccieth is a major attraction for tourists visiting Wales. Visitors can explore the castle’s many nooks and crannies, climb to the top of the towers to enjoy the stunning views of the coast, and learn about the castle’s history through informative exhibits and multimedia displays.

The castle’s location on the Welsh coast makes it the perfect place to enjoy a day out with the family. The site is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers a great opportunity to explore the surrounding area, which encompasses the Snowdonia National Park and the Llyn Peninsula.

The castle’s museum and gift shop provide an excellent insight into the history of the castle and the surrounding area, with a range of souvenirs and memorabilia available for purchase. Visitors can also enjoy refreshments and snacks at the castle’s tea room, which serves a range of locally sourced food and drink.

Castell Criccieth is open to visitors throughout the year, and a range of events and festivals take place at the castle, including guided tours of the castle and its grounds, historical reenactments, and cultural celebrations. These events offer a unique opportunity to experience the castle and its surroundings in a different way and make for a memorable day out for the whole family.

In conclusion, the preservation of Castell Criccieth has ensured that this iconic fortress remains a significant part of Wales’ rich history and a major tourist attraction. Its unique atmosphere, striking architecture, and fascinating history make it an excellent destination for tourists visiting Wales, and its vibrant events and festivals ensure that there is always something new and exciting to discover at the castle.

Events and Festivals at Castell Criccieth

Castell Criccieth is not only a historical site but also a vibrant destination for events and festivals throughout the year. From cultural celebrations to historical reenactments, there is always something exciting happening at this coastal fortress.

Event Date Details
Summer Fete June Enjoy traditional Welsh music, food, and crafts while taking in the breathtaking views from the castle walls.
Medieval Days July Step back in time as the castle comes alive with knights in armor, jousting tournaments, and interactive exhibits.
Bardic Festival September Celebrate Welsh culture and language with poetry readings, singing, and storytelling performances.

Be sure to check the castle’s events calendar for any upcoming festivals or events during your visit to Castell Criccieth.

Captivating Views and Surroundings

Castell Criccieth is not just a historical site, but also a place of natural beauty. The fortress is situated on a hill overlooking the picturesque village of Criccieth, with spectacular views of the Llyn Peninsula and the Irish Sea. The castle’s strategic location on the coast of Wales affords visitors panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.

As you stroll through the castle’s grounds, take in the lush greenery and the tranquil atmosphere that surrounds you. The gardens at Castell Criccieth are well-manicured and offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

If you’re a fan of hiking, the castle is located near the Wales Coast Path, a popular trail that spans the entire coast of Wales. Take a leisurely walk along the path and soak in the stunning views of the sea and the countryside.

For those who enjoy water sports, Castell Criccieth is a popular spot for surfing and swimming. The castle’s location on the coast means that there are plenty of beaches nearby, each with its unique charm and character. Whether you’re looking for a bustling beach with lots of amenities or a secluded cove, you’re sure to find it near Castell Criccieth.

The Stunning Sunsets

One of the highlights of visiting Castell Criccieth is watching the sunset over the Irish Sea. As the sun sinks lower in the sky, the castle walls are bathed in a warm, golden light, creating a truly stunning sight. Grab a spot on the castle ramparts and watch as the sky changes colors, from pink to orange to deep purple, and the stars come out to twinkle overhead.

Overall, the captivating views and surroundings make Castell Criccieth a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Wales. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or nature, this fortress has something to offer everyone.


Castell Criccieth is a true treasure of Wales, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into the country’s rich history and stunning coastal fortifications. From its fascinating tales of conquest and siege to its impressive architectural design, this fortress is a must-visit for any history enthusiast.

While exploring the castle, visitors can learn about the various prominent figures who left their mark on its history, gaining a deeper understanding of the fortress’s significance. In addition, the efforts taken to preserve Castell Criccieth ensure that it remains an important cultural site for generations to come.

For those interested in events and festivals, Castell Criccieth has plenty to offer throughout the year. From historical reenactments to cultural celebrations, there is always a lively atmosphere surrounding the fortress.

However, one of the most memorable aspects of Castell Criccieth is undoubtedly the captivating views and stunning surroundings. The panoramic vistas of the coast and picturesque landscapes provide visitors with a breathtaking backdrop that enhances the castle’s allure.

All in all, Castell Criccieth is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Wales’ rich history, architecture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to experience something new, this fortress offers a truly unforgettable experience.


What is Castell Criccieth?

Castell Criccieth is an iconic fortress located on the coast of Wales.

What is the history behind Castell Criccieth?

Castell Criccieth has a rich history, from its construction to its role in Welsh history.

What is the architecture like at Castell Criccieth?

The architecture of Castell Criccieth is fascinating, with impressive walls and a carefully planned layout.

Are there any tales of conquest and siege associated with Castell Criccieth?

Yes, there are gripping tales of conquest and siege that surround Castell Criccieth.

Who were some prominent figures in Castell Criccieth’s history?

Castell Criccieth has been influenced by powerful rulers and valiant warriors throughout its history.

How has Castell Criccieth been preserved and transformed today?

Castell Criccieth has been preserved and transformed into a popular tourist destination.

Are there any events and festivals held at Castell Criccieth?

Yes, there are vibrant events and festivals held at Castell Criccieth throughout the year.

What are the captivating views and surroundings of Castell Criccieth?

Castell Criccieth offers captivating views of the coast and stunning natural surroundings.

What can visitors expect to experience at Castell Criccieth?

Visitors can expect to have a memorable experience exploring the fortress and its historical significance.