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Harlech Castle was the southern-most of Edward I’s ring of
castles. It was completed in 1289 and (as can be seen by the
previous sketch) its size and location present a formidable bearing
on the landscape. It made for a good stronghold which is exactly
why it has experienced some of the major historic s of Wales.
Five years after its completion, it (together with other castles) was
attacked by Madog ap Llywelyn’s rebel army. The uprising was
effectively put an end to in the following year by Edward’s English
Just over a hundred years’ later, in 1403, the castle was taken over
by Owain Glyndŵr’ This being part of the fifteen year period in
which (for the only time) a sense of Welsh nationhood seemed
possible. He is considered to have been the only true Prince of
This was Glyndŵr’s headquarters - where his parliament was once
held and from where his alliance with France was forged. This
alliance was not only aligned to military aid but also involved
negotiations with Pope Benedict III to establish an archdiocese in
Wales independent of Canterbury. It was where his dreams of two
universities – one in the south and one in the north were
Even with the fall of the castle to the forces of Henry IV in 1408,
Glyndŵr continued his guerrilla resistance over the next five years.
In 1415 he refused an offer of pardon from Henry V and is
believed to have lived out his life in quiet seclusion with his
daughter and her husband – an Englishman.
In 1647 the Castle was the last royalist defence to fall to
Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces in the Civil War against King
Charles I. WIth its rich history, many artists were drawn to it, including Annie and Beatrice.

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