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Historic Buildings of Caernarfonshire, Wales

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  • Edward II, king of England (1284 - 1327)
    a short summary from Wikipedia: Edward II King of England Reign: 7 July 1307 – 20 January 1327 Coronation: 25 February 1308 Predecessor: Edward I Longshanks Successor: Edward III of Windsor...
  • Maurice Wynn, MP for Caernarvonshire (1529 - 1580)
    Please see Darrell Wolcott: The Muddled Pedigrees of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir; . (Steven Ferry, March 28, 2020.) Ben M. Angel notes: I've not confirmed a cause of death from any reliable source, most ...
  • Llewelyn Fawr ab Iorwerth, Prince of Gwynedd (c.1172 - 1240)
    source: Llywelyn the Great born Llywelyn ap Iowerth Prince of Wales, Gwynedd, and Powys Wenwynwyn; Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon 1218-1240; Last held by Rhys ap Gruffydd, Successor D...

Historic Buildings of Caernarfonshire, Wales

See Historic Buildings of Britain and Ireland - Main Page

Image right - Conwy Castle

See Table of Welsh Place names (Table listing where places are in Current [Post 1974/1996] Welsh Counties/Historic Counties

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If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
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The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in the county of Caernarvonshire, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.

Castles, Baronial and Historic houses

... in alphabetical order

❊ Indicates an available image in Gallery attached to the project

Including Castles, Abbeys, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest

Bold links are to GENi projects and profiles; others are to external websites

A

  • Aberconwy House - Conwy's only surviving 14th-century merchant's house. It now belongs to the National Trust
  • Aberffraw Castle - birthplace of Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd
  • Ardda'r Myneich (Monks Hill), - ruins of a house which lie in the fields above the road between Porthlwyd and Dolgarrog bridges which was the hiome of a man privy to Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot. Dr Thomas Williams (1550–1622), rector of St Peter's Church, Llanbedr-y-Cennin, was charged with having papist sympathies. He had warned Sir John Wynn of Gwydir to stay away from the Houses of Parliament on that fateful day.

C

  • Caernarfon Castle - built by Edward I of England to secure his domination of north Wales. Edward's architect, James of St. George, may have modelled the castle on the walls of Constantinople, to which they bear striking resemblance, possibly being aware of the town's alternative Welsh name Caer Gystennin. The castle remains intact, as it has never suffered a sustained attack.
  • Criccieth Castle, - ruins standing prominently on the headland. Built around 1230 byLlywelyn ab Iorwerth, known as Llywelyn the Great. He had controlled the area since 1202. The first record of the building though was in 1239, when the administrative centre of Eifionydd was moved from Dolbenmaen. On Llywelyn's death in 1240, a struggle ensured between Llywelyn's son; his legitimate son Dafydd who was the named heir, and his bastard son Gruffydd who might have gathered support against his half-English half-brother. Gruffydd was held prisoner in Criccieth Castle, until he was handed over to Henry III of England in 1241, and moved to the Tower of London. Dafydd ap Llywelyn died in 1246 without leaving an heir, and was succeeded by his nephew Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, known as Llywelyn the Last. Llywelyn was defeated by King Edward I and stripped him of much of his territory. A rebellion sparked by Dafydd, Llywelyn's younger brother, resulted in the final defeat and dissolution of ancient Gwynedd; Llywelyn was slain in battle at Cilmeri, and Criccieth became one of King Edward's strongholds. Edward extended and reshaped Criccieth to serve as one of the castles of his "Iron Ring" around the newly conquered territories. A township developed to support the garrison and a charter was granted in 1284; the charter was intended to create a plantation of English burgesses who would provide food for the soldiers from the arable land behind the Dinas and the grazings on the slopes beyond. In 1294, Madog ap Llywelyn led a national revolt against the English and Criccieth was besieged for several months over the winter; 41 residents sought refuge within its walls, joining the garrison of 29 men under William de Leybourne, until supplies were brought in from Ireland the following April. The following year, the castle was again used as a prison, housing captives taken in Edward's wars in Scotland. In 1337 three Welshmen who had settled in the borough were expelled as it was meant to be reserved for Englishmen, but times were about to change. Hywel ap Gruffudd was appointed constable of the castle in 1359, the first Welshman to hold the post. The following year he became mayor of the town, holding the office for twenty years; in a poem of praise, Iolo Goch described him as "a puissant knight, head of a garrison guarding the land". By 1374 eight jurymen from the borough had Welsh names. After Henry of Lancaster deposed King Richard II, Wales and Chester resisted the new king; in 1400 serious civil unrest broke out in Chester, and 16 September 1400, Owain Glyndŵr, a descendant of the Princes of Powys and outlawed as a traitor, launched a revolt. Although the garrison at Criccieth had been reinforced, a French fleet blockaded supplies and the castle fell to Glyndŵr in the spring of 1404. The castle was sacked; its walls were torn down; and both the castle and borough were burned. The castle was never to be reoccupied, while the town was to become a small Welsh village, no longer involved in affairs of state.

D

  • Dolbadarn Castle, runins - built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in the 13th century, stand above the village of Llanberis, famously painted by Richard Wilson and by J M W Turner
  • Dolwyddelan Castle *, is the reputed birthplace of Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great).

E

  • Eden Hall: Small but historic gardens near the town centre of Penmaenmawr.

F

  • Fort Belan Llanwnda, built in 1775.

G

P

  • Pen y Bryn - manor house, recorded from the Elizabethan period, on a promontory on the east side of the valley at Aber. It overlooks the village and the Menai Straits to Anglesey. With its adjacent buildings and ground works it forms a double bank and ditch enclosure now known as Garth Celyn. A neolithic burial urn was discovered when a driveway was being made to the house in 1824. There is no evidence of mediæval activity on this site, but it has been claimed as the site of the pre-Conquest royal llys.
  • Penarth Fawr, Pwllheli - a 15th century house
  • Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, - a dower house was built in 1856 in lower Llanbedrog for Lady Love Jones Parry. The house is now an important centre for the arts.
  • Plas Mawr, Conwy - Elizabethan house built in 1576 by the Wynn family. It has been refurbished extensively to its original 16th-century appearance and is now in the care of Cadw.
  • Porth Gwylan, Tudweiliog, which is owned by the National Trust.

Q

  • Quay House, or The Smallest House in Great Britain, Conwy The house is named in the Guinness Book of Records as "The Smallest House in Great Britain", with dimensions of 10 feet x 6 feet, stands on the quay. It was in continuous occupation by individuals and families from the 1500s until 1900, when the owner a (6 foot fisherman named Robert Jones) was forced to move out on the grounds of hygiene. The rooms were too small for him to stand up in fully. The house is still owned by his descendants today, and visitors can go on a tour around it for a small charge.

Y

  • Ysbyty Ifan, until 1189, was known as Dôl Gynwal which came to the attention of the Knights of St John, who set up a a hospice there, whence the village's name, which means "Hospital of John". The church marks the spot where the old hospice stood, and it contains many remnants that tell of the area's rich history.

References and Sources

Caernarvonshire Specific

General

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