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Aberystwyth Castle

Visited August 2014

Location Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby Yes
Parking Yes- on street/public car park
Facilities None
Map

 

Aberystwyth is a large seaside town in north west Wales. Perfect for a stroll along the prom, prom, prom as the song goes.

 

That would then put you in just the right place to view the remains of a vast, stone castle, a symbol of the might of Edward I, and his relentless suppression of the Welsh.

 


 

 


Review

 

The castle today is almost totally ruined. There are remains of towers, and the gatehouse which is probably the most photographed and therefore the most recognisable part of the castle. However it is hard to reconcile this hodgepodge of masonry ruins with a once mighty castle, concentric in design.  At one time the castle would have been on a par with Edward I's other castles, namely  Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech Castles. While the other castles are now UNESCO world heritage sites, poor old Aberystwyth did not fare so well.

 

Like Edward's other castles, the building of Aberystwyth was overseen by Master James of St. George. However, it appeared to only have been maintained for a short while, once its usefulness was over it fell into decline and was then slighted after the civil war. The proximity to the sea did not help matters, and much damage to the remaining stonework has been done by storms over the years. The locals also re-used much of the stone for building, so it is a miracle anything is left at all today.

 


 

 


 

The site consists of the remains of four towers with curtain wall between them, and the gatehouse tower. Inside the castle ward  are 13 standing stones which represent the pre-1974 counties of Wales. The ruins have been fashioned into a park, including a children's play area, with putting and crazy golf nearby , so there is plenty to do with little ones. There is also a war memorial just out on the headland next to the castle. The ruins are free to enter.

 


 

 


 

Once you are ready for a stroll along the prom, we recommend a walk to Constitution Hill, with its cliff top railway to make ascent easier! There is a café at the top, and a Victorian camera obscura. On fine days there is often a bouncy castle at the top of the hill, but even in August it was too windy for that on the day of our visit. See our 'Other Places of Interest ' section for details.

 


 

 


 

More info:  Aberystwyth Castle

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