Caergwrle Castle – Queen’s Hope

With spring and some drier weather finally here I am trying to tick off the last items on my ‘castle list’. There are many castles in North Wales, some well known and popular (like Caernarfon Castle) and some a bit more overlooked. Particularly those that were left in ruins and are more difficult to get to because of their location. But sometimes it’s exactly that location that makes them spectacular.

Caergwrle Castle

Caergwrle Castle

Here are a couple of historic facts for those of you who are interested: Caergwrle Castle, also known as Queen’s Hope in scholarly texts, is located (as the name suggests)in the town of Caergwrle, in Flintshire. Built on a steep hill near the Anglo-Welsh border, it was the final castle to be built by Welsh rulers before the loss of Welsh independence in 1283.

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From the other side. The views extend far into Flintshire and Cheshire.

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Looking up the north tower.

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“Inside” the north tower which still features remains of a fireplace and privy on.

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Dressed stones, up to head height, were robbed to build structures in the village in the 17th century.

 

Construction of the castle began in 1277, after King Edward I gave the lordship of Hope to Dafydd ap Gruffudd as reward for his service in the Welsh war concluded earlier that year. The castle  was apparently still unfinished when Dafydd revolted in 1282. By the time Edward had gathered an army to invade Wales in June, Dafydd had already retreated from Caergwrle, and had slighted the castle, even blocking up its well to deny it to the English. Edward promptly began rebuilding the castle, and gave it to his wife, Eleanor of Castile. However, a fire in 1283 gutted the castle and it was never rebuilt.

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The blocked up well.

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The castle had quite a substantial size considering it was built up on a hill.

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An old oven that once fed the army of stonemasons can still be seen.

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Looking back towards the north tower.

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An old archway.

One down on my list, three more to go. And I already picked up a leaflet in the local TIC with more castles to visit…

 

 

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One thought on “Caergwrle Castle – Queen’s Hope

  1. Pingback: The lesser known castles of Wales | design and dragons

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