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.