24 June 2013

Day 5 - Conwy

Today was a castle day! That's the main reason I chose to come to Wales - to see all the castles. My main goals are to see the the best Edward I castles - Conwy, Caernarfon, Beaumaris, and Harlech. Then I decided today to add a few more in, especially the Welsh castles of the Welsh princes (the original ones, not the ones who use it as a title).

First stop - Conwy Castle. 
It looks absolutely gorgeous on the outside...the inside, not so much. Mainly because the roof was made of timber, and once that went it all started falling to decay. It's main inhabitants are now pigeons, who were giving me evil looks as I climbed into their towers. I took a million pictures, but they all look the same unless you are a crazy castle lover like me. 
There are eight towers, and four towers have extra towers at the top - however only six were accessible. It looks like the ones which had the most bits of stairs left were the ones in use, and I literally climbed everywhere that was accessible. Even the tip top of this tower:
There was one room in the Chapel Tower which they had partially reconstructed, putting in a floor and the slate roof, and glass in the window. 
I would've been perfectly happy living in that one room - it had a working fireplace!
Then I thought I was going to visit Plas Mawr...except they are closed Mondays. I knew that, but I forgot that today was Monday! I lose all sense of the days when traveling. So I decided to visit another castle! 

The iPad mini was seriously the best investment for me, because I was able to look up bus and train times, and figure out how to get to Rhuddlan and back on a whim. Of course I also have to thank the super helpful and friendly Welsh people I ran into on the trip. On boarding the bus, I verified with the driver that it was making the stop I needed. A nice couple overheard, and asked me where I was going and then gave me turn by turn directions to the castle, told me where to pick up the bus on the return trip, and got up at the stop to point me out the door in the right direction! Really really nice, or maybe I just look like someone who can't follow directions (I can, I promise!) '

Rhuddlan Castle was another of Edward I castles. It is a lot smaller than Conwy, and pretty much just a shell. At Conwy you can see the outline of rooms, there are still privies, fireplaces with mantles, and marks on the stone that doors made when opening and closing. There's really nothing at poor Rhuddlan. 
Its demise was hastened by "stone robbers" as the brochure explained. 
At Rhuddlan, one of the information boards mentioned the site of another castle nearby, so I felt since I was so close, to go visit that. It was just a quick walk down a footpath, to Twthil. Twthil has no physical remains of a castle whatsoever, but you can see the traditional motte and bailey set up. The motte:
What they think it looked like:
It doesn't look so high in the picture, but it was a decent climb. There was no one there, not even sheep! I climbed up for a gorgeous view of the countryside:
Tomorrow - more castles! 

1 comment:

  1. Great post and pics! Love seeing you too! Facetime was fun tonight. Love you lots!
    Mom and Dad :)