- Harlech Castle
Infobox Military Structure
coordinates=coord|52|51.60|N|4|6.55|W |display=inline,title |region:GB-GWN_type:landmark
caption=The main gatehouse of Harlech Castle.
James of St. George
used=1290-1647 (or later)
CadwCite web|url=http://www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/default.asp?id=6&PlaceID=78|title = Harlech Castle|publisher=Cadw|accessdate=2007-05-09]
controlledby= Constables of Harlech Castle
battles=1294, 1404, 1461–1468, 1647
Harlech Castle, located in Harlech,
Gwynedd, Wales, is a concentric castle, constructed atop a cliff close to the Irish Sea. Architecturally, it is particularly notable for its massive gatehouse.
Built by King Edward I during his conquest of Wales, the
castlewas subject to several assaults and sieges during its period of active use as a fortification. The seven-year siege of the castle, during the War of the Roses["The Oxford Companion to British History" - Oxford University Press (1997) page 454; Dictionary of Ancient & Medieval Warfare by Matthew Bennett (2001)] , has been memorialised in the famous song, " Men of Harlech".
Begun in 1283 as part of Edward I's second Welsh campaign, the castle was part of Edward's iron ring of castles around
Snowdonia, a string of new castles to hem the prince in. [Cite book
title = Castle
author = Marc Morris
publisher = MacMillan
ISBN = 0752215361
date = 2003
pages = p105] Construction began in 1283.Cite book
title = Castle
author = Marc Morris
pages = p115] Like many of the castles in the area, Harlech was designed by Master
James of St. George. The castle took seven years to build, and cost an estimated £8,190 to build. [Cite book
title = The Kings Works in Wales
author = Taylor, A.J
ISBN = 0-1167-0556-6
pages = p1029
date = 1974
HMSO] Following its completion, James was appointed Constable of Harlech Castle, a position he held for over three years. [Cite web
url = http://whc.unesco.org/archive/advisory_body_evaluation/374.pdf
publisher = UNESCO
title = ICOMOS World Heritage List No 374
accessdate = 2007-05-09]
All the royal castles of Edward's second Welsh campaign were sited so that they could be kept supplied at all times.Cite book
title = Castle
author = Marc Morris
pages = p113] Harlech was not always isolated; the sea used to come to the foot of the cliffs.The castle is built to a concentric plan, with one line of defences enclosed by another. The outer walls are much shorter and thinner than the mighty inner walls, and have no towers defending them besides the small
gatehouse. The inner ward is roughly square, with a large round tower at each corner. The domestic buildings, including the great hall, are built against the inside of the inner walls. Since the surrounding cliffs made it practically impossible to attack the castle except from the east, this side is faced by the imposing gatehouse. The gateway is flanked by two massive "D-shaped" towers, and defended by a series of doors, portcullises and murder-holes. Notably, there are large windows on the inner face of the gatehouse. The west wall of the inner wardalso has large windows (as it forms one wall of the great hall).
The outer ditches at Harlech were cut into the rock. In the height of construction, in 1286, the workforce was 546 general labourers, 115 quarriers, 30 blacksmiths, 22 carpenters and 227 stonemasons.Cite book
title = Castle
author = Marc Morris
pages = p117]
Harlech is also notable for an unusual feature: the "way from the sea". Edward's forces were often in danger from land-based attack, but he enjoyed total supremacy on water. Many of his castles included
sally ports which allowed resupply from the sea, but Harlech's is far more elaborate. Here, a fortified stairway hugs the rock and runs almost convert|200|ft|m down to the foot of the cliffs, where (at the time of construction) the sea reached. Today, the sea has retreated several miles, making it more difficult to envisage the concept in its original setting. James of St. George's plan was a triumph; when the castle was besieged during Madoc ap Llywelyn's campaign, this stairway was used to supply the castle.
Like many of Edward's castles, Harlech was originally designed to be attached to a fortified borough.
After the completion of the castle, Master James was made constable between 1290–1293, a high status job, that gave him time to work on Edward's castles that were also under construction.
In 1294, Madoc ap Llywelyn, cousin to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, began an uprising against English rule that spread quickly through Wales. Several English-held towns were razed and Harlech (along with
Criccieth Castleand Aberystwyth Castle) were besieged that winter. As noted above, the "Way to the Sea" helped the defenders survive until the siege was lifted the following spring.
In 1404, the castle fell to
Owain Glyndŵrafter a long siege when starvation reduced the determined and fearful garrison to just twenty-one men, becoming his residence and family home and military headquarters for four years. He held his second parliament in Harlech in August 1405. [R.R. Davies, "The Revolt of Owain Glyn Dŵr" (Oxford: University Press, 1995), pp. 115f] Four years later, after another long siege of eight months, Harlech Castle was retaken in 1409 by Prince Henry (later Henry V) and a force of 1000 men under John Talbot, during which Edmund Mortimerstarved to death and Glyndŵr's wife, Margaret Hanmer, two of his daughters and four grandchildren were captured, later to be imprisoned and die.
Wars of the Rosesin the first part of Edward IV of England's reign (1461–1470), Harlech was held by its Welsh constable Dafydd ap Ieuanas a Lancastrian stronghold. Following the Battle of Northampton, Margaret of Anjouand the infant Henry VII of Englandfled to Scotland via Harlech. Following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, Edward controlled the country and Harlech eventually became last major stronghold under their control. Sir Richard Tunstallarrived as a reinforcement to the Lancastrians in the latter half of the siege in 1465. In 1468 it was the last Lancastrian fortress to surrender; it was able to withstand the seven-year siege through its being provisioned from the sea. It is the longest known siege in the history of the British Isles. [Bert S. Hall, Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe by (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001) - page 212.] This famous siege inspired the song " Men of Harlech" according to tradition. ["The Oxford Companion to British History" - Oxford University Press (1997) page 454]
English Civil Warthe castle was the last royalist fortress to hold out against the Parliamentary forces. The surrender, on 16 March 1647, over a year after King Charles had himself been captured, marked the end of the first phase of the war. The parliamentarians slighted the castle after its fall.
Harlech is part of the "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Harlech, Beaumaris, Caernarfon and Conwy (Gwynedd)"
World Heritage site, reflecting its importance and remarkable state of preservation. [Cite web
url = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/374/
title = Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
accessdate = 2007-05-09
UNESCO] The castle is now in the care of Cadwand is open to visitors.
Dan Cruickshankselected the Castle as one of his five choices for the 2006 BBC television documentary series" Britain's Best Buildings".cite web | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/bbb-harlech.shtml | title=Britain's Best Buildings | accessdate=June 3 | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=Cruickshank | first=Dan | authorlink= | coauthors= | date= | year= | month= | format= | work= | publisher=BBC Four | pages= | language=English | doi= | archiveurl= | archivedate= | quote= ]
* [http://snowdoniaguide.com/harlech.html Harlech Castle Illustrated Snowdonia Guide]
* [http://www.harlech.com/ Harlech information]
* [http://shawnbrown.com/maps/castle1.html Floor Plan: Harlech Castle] (speculative reconstruction / artistic interpretation)
* [http://www.britishtours.com/360/harlech-castle.html Harlech Castle VR]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2767708 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Harlech Castle and surrounding area]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Harlech Castle — Harlech Castle, Gesamtansicht Torhaus von Harlech C … Deutsch Wikipedia
Harlech Castle — (1461–1468) By holding out for most of the 1460s, the Lancastrian garrison in the Welsh castle at Harlech prevented the establishment of effective Yorkist government in WALES and encouraged Lancastrian resistance throughout England. Harlech … Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses
Harlech — Castle vor der Kulisse des Snowdon Harlech ist ein Ort an der Cardigan Bay in der Grafschaft Gwynedd im Nordwesten von Wales. Harlech, bekannt für die von Eduard I. erbaute Burg, ist heute Verwaltungssitz des ehemaligen Kreises Merionethshire und … Deutsch Wikipedia
Harlech — infobox UK place country = Wales welsh name= constituency welsh assembly= Dwyfor Meirionnydd latitude= 52.86044 longitude= 4.10549 map type= official name= Harlech unitary wales= Gwynedd lieutenancy wales= Gwynedd constituency westminster=… … Wikipedia
Harlech — a town in Gwynedd in Wales. It is famous for its castle, on a high rock above the town, built in 1289. * * * ▪ Wales, United Kingdom castle and village, Gwynedd county, historic county of Merioneth (Meirionnydd), Wales, on the coast of Cardigan… … Universalium
Harlech railway station — Infobox UK station name = Harlech caption = Harlech station as seen from Harlech Castle. manager = Arriva Trains Wales code = HRL locale = Harlech borough = Gwynedd lowusage0405 = 112,652 lowusage0506 = 112,606 lowusage0607 = 99,656 platforms = 2 … Wikipedia
Castle — This article is about medieval fortifications. For other uses, see Castle (disambiguation). For a list of all castles, see List of castles. For similar but unrelated structures in Japan, see Japanese castle … Wikipedia
harlech — ˈhärˌlek adjective Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: from Harlech, Wales : of, relating to, or constituting a subdivision of the European Cambrian see geologic time table * * * Harlech [Harlech] a to … Useful english dictionary
HARLECH — an old Welsh town in Merionethshire, facing the sea, 10 m. N. of Barmouth; its grim old castle by the shore was a Lancastrian fortress during the Wars of the Roses, and its capture by the Yorkists in 1468 was the occasion of the well known… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Castillo de Harlech — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Castillos y murallas del rey Eduardo en Gwynedd1 … Wikipedia Español