Caernarfon Castle in Wales at night with boats floating in river in front of it

Caernarfon Castle-royal residence of Edward I

Caernarfon Castle in Wales at night with boats floating in river in front of it

Caernarfon Castle was built by king Edward I. It is one of the series of castles Edward I built in Wales to show off his power and strength. Its construction began in 1283 and continued for about 50 years. Although the castle was never finished the way it was originally planned, it is still one of the most magnificent castles in Wales.


Caernarfon was chosen as a royal capital by Kind Edward I. It is a strategical and mystical place. There are remains of a Roman fort on the outskirts of the town indicating that this location was important even a thousand years ago. The Roman fort was built around AD 77. Later stones from the fort were used in construction of Caernarfon castle.

Royal residence

The castle was intended as a royal residence for the king. One of the towers (Eagle tower) was built for him to live in. It is the brightest and most beautiful tower of the castle. It has three turrets.

King Edward I loved his first wife Eleanor of Castile. This is very rare, considering that their marriage was a political arrangement. But they loved each other and had more than 14 children. Their fourth son Edward (also called Edward of Caernarfon)  was born in this castle. He is the only son who outlived his father. Thus, the only heir to the throne he later became kind Edward II.

Eagle tower at Caernarfon castle


From an architectural point of view the castle is interesting as it does not have traditional rounded towers (like Beaumaris or Conwy). Its towers are polygonal (milty-angled), resembling the architecture from Constantinople.

Although the defensive system Caernarfon castle is not as strong as in  Beaumaris Castle,  there are still many arrow loops, death holes and spy holes, which were used to defend the castle during numerous attacks.

World heritage site

Because of its size, beauty and historical importance it is a part of UNESCO world heritage site together with the town walls which surround it.

Caernarfon castle in the morning with boats in low tide

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