travel2009

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL2009 -

town walls, cas­tle and sim­ple streets of­fer very lit­tle to re­mind vis­i­tors of the mod­ern world. Conwy is some­thing of a para­dox. Orig­i­nally a sym­bol of English dom­i­na­tion of Wales, in time the Welsh man­aged to re­claim the town, re­plac­ing English op­pres­sion with its own me­dieval char­ac­ter.

Construction of Conwy be­gan in 1283. The cas­tle was an im­por­tant part of King Ed­ward I’s plan of sur­round­ing Wales in “an iron ring of cas­tles” to sub­due the re­bel­lious pop­u­la­tion. The highly de­fen­si­ble wall Ed­ward built around the town was in­tended to pro­tect the English colony at Conwy.

The lo­cal Welsh pop­u­la­tion were vi­o­lently op­posed to English oc­cu­pa­tion of their home­land.

Al­most all the cas­tle is ac­ces­si­ble and well pre­served and a climb to the top of any of the tow­ers of­fers the vis­i­tor spec­tac­u­lar views of the town, sur­round­ing coast­line and coun­try­side. Sail­boats and other plea­sure-craft dot the pic­turesque har­bour and quay next to the cas­tle, while flocks of sheep roam the nearby hills.

The in­ner ward is the heart of the cas­tle, con­tain­ing, as it does, the suite of apart­ments which Mas­ter James of St Ge­orge con­tracted to build for King Ed­ward and Queen Eleanor in 1283.

In each range of build­ings the prin­ci­pal rooms were on the first floor, with heated but some­what dark base­ments be­low them. Un­for­tu­nately all the floors are now miss­ing.

We re­turned to Llan­dudno and thanks to a fine sum­mer evening were able to stroll out onto the pier, en­joy an­other fine seafood meal and re­tire to the warmth of one of the many fine old homes where we bade farewell to our hosts.

RU­RAL CHARM: The pic­turesque Welsh coun­try­side is renowned for its beauty and charm.

TOW­ER­ING STONE: A me­dieval fortress dom­i­nates the walled vil­lage of Conwy.

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