Photo gallery: Castles of Wales

Unless otherwise noted, these are reachable without a car. The date in the headings refer to the year the photos were taken. I have not included photos of the famous castles of Edward I, as there are many of those around the web and in books.

Dolbadarn Castle, North Wales (1986)

Dolbadarn Castle overview

This Welsh castle is in a fabulously ‘romantic’ location. Most of the curtain walls and outer buildings are gone, but the keep is still quite impressive.

Craigmillar Castle tower

Dating from the 1230s, Dolbadarn, although quite small, would still have presented a difficult challenge to capture.

Pembroke Castle, South Wales (1988)

Pembroke Castle keep

In the far south-west of Wales, Pembroke is renowned for its keep, which still has its stone roof, a very rare survival. Twelfth century.

Carew Castle, South Wales (1988)

Carew Castle from the lake

Carew is less than 10 km away from Pembroke. Seen from the lake, the medieval portion of the castle (ca.1300) seems formidable indeed…

Carew Castle Elizabethan

…but the Tudor apartments with their large windows renders the defense of this side of the castle rather problematic.

Chepstow Castle, South Wales (1988)

Chepstow on the cliff

Chepstow is right on the banks of the River Wye, as this photo shows. The keep dates from the late eleventh century, soon after the Norman invasion; many of the other surviving buildings were added in the thirteenth century. One of the finest castles in the UK.

Raglan Castle, Mid-Wales (1990)

Raglan Castle as seen by an attacker

Although there was probably an earlier castle on the site, the magnificent (even decadent) surviving castle is from the mid-15th century, and shows strong French influence.

Raglan Castle, the drawbridge mechanism

The slots for the massive timbers for raising the bascule bridge can be clearly seen. Tragically, the keep was badly damaged, then heavily slighted, in the Civil War.

White Castle, Mid-Wales (1990)

White Castle

One of the ‘Three Castles’ (along with Grosmont and Skenfrith) in mid-Wales, White Castle can be reached from the town of Abergavenny – by taxi if necessary. This view is from the inner gatehouse, looking across the inner ward.

White Castle bridge

The modern bridge reaches across a deep moat from the outer ward to the gatehouse of the inner ward. Fortified very early on in the late eleventh century, wood was replaced with stone in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Tretower Castle (1990)

Tretower Castle

Overview of the 12th- and 13th-century Tretower Castle. It lies only 200 metres away from the medieval and renaissance Tretower Court, in the valley of the River Usk, not far from Abergavenny.

Tretower closeup

This compact motte-and-bailey castle is approximately 25 metres across, with the circular keep circa 12 meters in diameter. If you are in this part of Wales, Tretower is well worth visiting.