Castell y Bere

Castell y Bere

infobox UK place
country = Wales
latitude= 52.65818
longitude= -3.9715
official_name= Castell y Bere
unitary_wales= Gwynedd
lieutenancy_wales= Gwynedd
postcode_district =
os_grid_reference= SH667085

Castell y Bere is a native Welsh castle near Llanfihangel-y-pennant north of Abergynolwyn, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It is situated atop a steep, flat-topped rock from which it commands views of the surrounding Dysynni Valley and Cadair Idris. It was likely built by Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth around 1221. It is now in the care of Cadw.

Today the Castell y Bere is mostly ruins, though the castle's layout, dictated by the lozenge shape of the rocky outcrop upon which it sits, is still apparent. The castle is composed of two typical Welsh towers fashioned in approximately the shape of the letter D, and a third rectangular tower at the highest point of the land. Scholars have theorized that one of the towers contained a chapel. It was once protected by a system of ditches and drawbridges.Castell y Bere, located in an isolated area, stood guard over a major trade route through the nearby mountains. In 1283, following the fall of Dolwyddelan to an invading English force, Dafydd ap Gruffydd retreated to Castell y Bere. Soon after, the castle was besieged by English forces. Dafydd escaped, but Castell y Bere fell to Edward I of England's army after its custodian, Cynfrig ap Madog, agreed surrender terms. Seeing the castle's strategic importance in his campaign to capture the Welsh countryside, Edward refortified the castle and a small town began to crop up around it. The English held Castell y Bere until 1294.

In 1294, Welsh rebel leader Madoc ap Llywelyn laid siege to Castell y Bere. On 18 October Edward I sanctioned a relief expedition; a further expedition set out for the castle on 27 October. Neither seems to have been successful, for archaeologists, upon excavating the castle in the 1950s, found evidence that the inner courtyard's buildings had been burned sometime in the late 13th century and the castle abandoned.

External links

* [ Cadw's page on Castell y Bere, with photographs]
* [ Castell-y-Bere, Illustrated Guide]
* [ A medieval bucket excavated from Castell y Bere]
* [ : photos of Castell y Bere]


* E.D. Evans, 'Castell Y Bere', "The Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society" Vol. 3, pp. 31-44 (1957-60).

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