|An attractive cluster of stone-built houses, hostelries, cafes and shops, within narrow streets, are dominated by Harlech’s main attraction its castle.
Standing magnificently atop a 200ft rocky crag, Harlech castle was built in 1283, as a poignant reminder to the Welsh of their dominance by the English. Taking six years to construct, it was one of the ‘iron ring’ of castles, built for King Edward 1, to prevent the Welsh from challenging the sovereignty of England.
When originally built, the sea lapped at the base of the rocky outcrop, giving natural security from three sides when under attack and ease of supply if under siege. The eastern flank was protected by a devious succession of defences, including a moat, three portcullises and a magnificent gatehouse. The castle’s lofty position gave it commanding views in every direction. The sea has long ago receded, but even today, Harlech Castle’s unrivalled position, its majestic stature and panoramic views of the mountains and the sea, give today’s visitor an impression of the invincibility of the fortress.