The build: Conwy was built by King Edward I of England in the late 13th century in Snowdonia, northern Wales. Part of the famous “Iron Ring” of fortifications, it was designed by Edward’s top military architect, Master James of St. George, to suppress Welsh rebellions against English rule. A striking example of Edward’s distinct vision, this fortification is strategically positioned on the River Conwy. Its deadly entrance, lofty crenellated towers, and cleverly-designed river gate are statements to its determined King and enduring domination.
The siege: This stronghold was attacked by the Madog ap Llywelyn after he launched a campaign against the English in 1294. The leader, calling himself Prince of Wales, was armed with the powerful longbow. His army targeted several castles including Harlech – which was besieged – and Caernarfon – where the town and castle were sacked. Edward was present in the castle during the siege of Conwy and the outcome of the uprising would not only decide the destiny of England’s holdings in Wales – it would also inspire the King to attempt to perfect castle engineering by raising the mighty Beaumaris.