Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Which is the shortest lived Castle in Wales?

Any idea? It is at  Caergwrle, a village in Flintshire next to Abermorddu and Hope just 5 miles from Wrexham. The name itself tells of interesting times. The Mercians called it Corley (ley=clearing in woodland, known for a good crop of corn) Caer was added when the castle was built and the name became cymricized into Curlei or Gwrle. It was built in 1277 from money given by Edward 1 of England to prince Dafydd ap Gruffudd who had allied himself to the English crown against his own brother, Llewelyan. However, within 5 years Dafydd changed sides and then pulled his own castle down. Eventually, Edward 1 seized it and began rebuilding but then abandoned it in 1283. Dafydd was rewarded for his treachery by being the first person in England to be disembowelled before being hung, drawn and quartered. Ouch!

It is a pleasant walk up through the woodland to the hilltop overlooking the valley.
On the hill top there is a broad flat area thought to have been a place of trade in pre Roman times. The Caergwrle Bowl was found here made from tin and shale and gold and now in the Cardiff National Museum.
The castle was ambitious in design. This was the bread oven.

This is how the Castle would have looked when completed. 

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