Beaumaris Castle

In April of 1295 Beaumaris Castle started to be built and was the last castle developed under the rule of King Edward I. He wanted it built there after he had conquered Wales area. In 1294 Madog ap Llywelyn rebelled against English rule and this caused a brief and bloody war that led to King Edward I taking control. At first, the castle was not going to have an outside wall, but the foundation was laid by the architect.  It was built on a marsh which is why it is the french builder called in “Beaux Marais” which translates to “beautiful marshes.” The architect’s name was Savoyard mason Master James of St. George and his goal were to construct the most perfect concentric castle. Beaumaris was the port of registration for all the vessels in northern Wales and this was the main way for the castle to receive revenue. This was much needed as the cost for the castle in 1300 was just shy of eleven thousand euros. At this point, the castle wasn’t even built and it was projected to be another couple thousand to finish the castle. In 1400 a revolt broke out in North Wales against the previous power of England led by a man called Owain Glyndwr. The castle was captured by the rebels in 1403 but was quickly taken back in 1405 by the royal forces. When 1539 rolled around the castle was in pretty bad shape as many of the rooms leaked and it was difficult to repair them without many funds being given by the royal family. It was reported that at this time the castle was hardly able to protect anything especially with only eight to ten small guns and forty bows. The castle was unable to be used as protection from the Scottish empire and by the time 1609 came the castle was labeled as an utterly decaying castle. It wasn’t until the English Civil War where this castle’s location was a prime spot to have a fortress. After the war, the castle was stripped of its valuable lead and defenses leaving the castle to “die.” In 1807 Lord Tomas Bulkeley bought the castle for a very cheap price as he was a resident of the castle and wanted to let everyone see its beauty. Beaumaris Castle was never fully built, but many say that if it was it would have been much like Harlech Castle. All the stone that made up the castle had been found from the surrounding area including the limestone that is very randomly seen on the walls. The castle has a moat and the main entrance to the castle was a gate on the side by the sea. There was originally 300 firing positions for archers and 164 slits. Many of the stones that were used to build the original walls were taken in the civil war which is why many of the stones have different shades on them.

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