Today we made our way from England to Wales! After three pretty painless train rides, we made it to Conwy, Wales! We left the train station and made our way up to our hostel. That part was painful because of the giant hill we had to climb to get there.
Later on we got the opportunity to get a tour of Conwy Castle which was led by Rachelle. The building of Conwy Castle began in 1283 and was completed in September of 1292. The total cost of building the castle was 15,000 pounds. Today that would be about 19,411.50 USD. The architect for the castle was James of St. George who was known as the greatest military architect of the medieval age. The castle was used for military purposes. James of St. George made the castle out of limestone and sandstone in order to make it a solid structure. Repairs and maintenance on the castle lasted from 1321 to 1627. The stonework would have stayed if it was well built but it was everntually pulled down in the renovation. The woodwork in the castle deteriorated quickly and had to be replaced. The castle began to get leaky roofs and blocked hitters which resulted in the rotting and collapsing of timbers.
In the original castle (before it was renovated) the internal buildings and towers were roofed and had shingles and slated. Under the rule of the Black Prince in 1343, six of the eight towed were deemed unsafe because of the rotting timber and lack of lead roofs. Lead roofs were substituted throughout the castle in order to bear their weight. Fifteen stone arches (only two remain today) were substituted for the original wooden trusses in the great hall and royal compartments of the castle. In 1627, the castle was sold for 100 pounds by Lord Conwy of Ragley, Warwichshire to viscount Conwy of Killitagh. In 1647, the parliament partially destroyed the defensive part of the castle to prevent future military use.
The castle has been through three wars: the Revolt of Madog ap llywelen from 1294-95, the Revolt of Owain Alyndwr from 1400-09, and the English Civil War from 1642-46. the castle has been owned by a total of six people including: King Edward 1, Llywlyn, Richard 2, Owain Alyndwr (who was the last native Welshman to be prince in Wales), Charles 1, and Cadw who is the current owner.
The town walls of Conwy were 1400 yards long and were flanked by 21 towers and pierced by three double towered gateways. Wing walls project sixty yards from the normally straight wall in order to enclose and protect the new town.
Some other interesting facts about the castle: when they had prisoners, they would usually push them into the prison instead of walking them down because the prison was so deep they would not be able to get back up (also they were injured or dead). When visitors had audiences with the king it would take place in the east room, also known as the “King’s presence chamber”.