Welcome to the first Castle the Castle Casanovas visited (caveat: this was before we formed the Castle Casanovas, but we were little history nerds with a love of Horrible Histories, history and a strange fascination with WW2 documentaries - some would say we were destined to meet each other and form the Castle Casanovas others would say we were weirdos who found each other and realised they were with 'the one' when rapping to the Horrible Histories 'King of Bling' song drunkenly at home on one fateful Autumn evening). 

If you are new to the Castle Casanovas - Hi! Hello! - we are trying to visit every castle in the UK (with some serious caveats and a baby in tow; some say we are mad some think we are genius). You can find out the full backstory here - but otherwise just know we are trying to visit all castles in the UK and having a whale of a time (currently anyways) doing it!

We visited Beaumaris Castle in October 2020, having only been together for about two months and keeping our relationship hidden from work colleagues (we work together) except for a few very close allies (she's at it again with the WW2 references). I was extremely excited to show Steve Beaumaris Castle. If you have followed me for a long time you will know how special Anglesey is to me and Beaumaris is one of the first castles I can truly remember visiting. I could not wait to take Steve as she is a lovely, partially built castle that is immersed in history, and is often referred to as "the greatest castle never built". 

Beaumaris Castle is the last of the royal strongholds of Edward I in Wales. Edward I and his architect James had already completed Conwy, Canrnarfon and Harlech and moved onto Beaumaris. Prior to being built this area was a marshland and chosen for its strategic location by the Menai Strait. She was designed to be a fortress, but sadly remained incomplete due to insufficient funds and lack of supplies as a war began brewing in Scotland, which required funding. 

Construction began in 1295, although it is believed plans were made for her construction as early as 1284. Work ceased for a small period of time in 1306 due to invasion fears, but commenced soon after. Work officially ceased in 1330 and Beaumaris Castle remained incomplete. At the time, Edward I had spent £15,000 on her and this was a significant amount of money in those times. 

She really is a sight to behold. You enter over a stunning drawbridge, which is seen later in this post. Beaumaris is arguably the most beautiful unfinished castle and would have been the crowning jewel of the Welsh Castles built by Edward I. The walls within walls design was unique for its time and was certainly a fortress with over 300 arrow slits in her walls, she was designed for defence. 

In 1403, Beaumaris Castle was captured by Owain Glyndwr, Prince of Wales, in a rebellion against the English, however she was recaptured in 1405. During the English Civil War, she was held by Royalists, although they were forced to to hand over control to a Parliamentarian army in 1646. She was briefly recaptured in 1648, although returned to the roundheads in the same year. Sadly, she was abandoned during the restoration of 1660 and left to ruin.  

I am unsure when Beaumaris Castle was handed to Cadw to manage, however she remains in its care and is now a World Heritage Site. Completely understandable as she is just stunning! Despite her abandonment, Beaumaris Castle remains in really good condition and there is certainly lots to see. I recommend purchasing the guidebook during your visit as it is extremely useful and goes through the full history of the castle whilst taking you on a guided tour. 

Beaumaris Castle's first line of defence is her moat, which is roughly 18 foot wide. There was a dock, which allowed for supplies to be brought into the castle and this was defended by archers on gunners walk. 

Beaumaris was designed for defence with her outer and inner walls. Her outer walls had 16 towers and two gates, whilst her inner walls had 6 towers and two gate houses. Even if you had managed to penetrate the outer walls via the gatehouse, you had many obstacles to over come such as the barbican, murder holes and portcullises. If you manage to survive all of that, you are then caught in between the outer and inner walls and would no doubt be shot down by the many archers that would have lined her walls. She really did seem like an impenetrable fortress. 

You can walk Beaumaris Castle's outer walls and really get a sense of the size of her. She is massive, with her inner covering roughly 3/4 of an acre. The views are just as stunning with lovely views of Beaumaris and the Menai Strait. The custodians of Beaumaris Castle have done an incredible job of preserving her and she is 

An adult ticket is £8.30, junior tickets (ages 5-17) are £5.80, seniors (65+) are £7.70 and a family ticket is £27.40 (two adults and up to three children). Opening times vary throughout the year: 1 March -30 June 9:30am-5:00pm, 1 July - 31 August 9:30am-6:00pm, 1 September - 31 October 9:30am-5:00pm and 1 November - 28 February 10:00am-4:00pm. 

All in all Beaumaris Castle is a really good day out full of history and stunning medieval architecture. If you are a lover of castles, we definitely recommend you add her to your hit list and visit Anglesey for a little trip. 

This was castle 1 out of 87 for Wales, which means we are 1.1% of the way into our "visiting all the castles in Wales" challenge and castle 1 out of 521 for our "visiting all the castles in the UK with caveats challenge", which means we are 0.2% of the way into the challenge! 

We hope you have enjoyed the first of our Welsh castles tour and stay tuned for more posts coming very very soon! Keep up to date with our socials for updates on the challenge and to be the first to know when new posts are live!

Until Next Time

The Castle Casanovas 

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