- Castell y Bere
infobox UK place
country = Wales
official_name= Castell y Bere
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 Valleyand Cadair Idris. It was likely built by Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwertharound 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
lozengeshape 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 Dolwyddelanto an invading English force, Dafydd ap Gruffyddretreated 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 Llywelynlaid siege to Castell y Bere. On 18 October Edward Isanctioned 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 centuryand the castle abandoned.
* [http://www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/default.asp?id=6&lang=en&PlaceId=49 Cadw's page on Castell y Bere, with photographs]
* [http://snowdoniaguide.com/castell_y_bere.html Castell-y-Bere, Illustrated Guide]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/25922 A medieval bucket excavated from Castell y Bere]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2767947 www.geograph.co.uk : 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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