Trust Regional Historic Environment Record
Beaumaris Castle, Beaumaris
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 1573 Trust : Gwynedd Community : Beaumaris Unitary authority : Ynys Mon NGR : SH6073076250 Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval CASTLE Status : Listed Building I, Scheduled Monument , World Heritage Site , Cared for by the State
Summary : The last of Edward I's castles in Gwynedd, Beaumaris was never finished but remains, if not the most imposing, the most refined of the castles of Master James of St George.
The site of the castle and the new English borough was close to the Welsh town of Llanfaes whose population were moved across the island to the 'Newborough' to make way for it. Building work did not actually commence until 1295, after the crushing of a revolt led by Madoc ap Llywelyn and sparked by the expulsion of the population of Llanfaes. Work was halted between 1300 and 1306 by Edward's wars in Scotland but them recommenced and continued until 1330. Although the planned accommodation was never completed, the defences were. Even so, it fell during the Glyndwr revolt and was held for two years by the rebels.
The castle was used as a prison during the 16th century and was held by the Royalists during the Civil War before falling to the Parliamentarians in 1648.
The castle consists of a square inner ward with north and south gatehouses and an octagonal outer ward with north and south gates offset from them. It is surrounded by a moat linked to the sea by a dock which allowed ships to berth right up to the castle walls. A mill, driven by the tide and by the moat sluice, was also part of the unique design.
Description : Beaumaris Castle begun in 1295 by Edward I and completed circa 1298, but several parts unfinished barbican C14th. Garrisoned for the King during the Civil War, but submitted 1646. Now roofless and placed in custody HMOW 1926. (RCAHMW, 1937)
Beaumaris Castle illustrated guide. <2>
Condition unchanged. Survey of 12/10/67 correct. <3>
14th century oratory with vaulted roof. <4>
An evaluation trench and core sampling revealed that the castle moat would have been tidal if connected to the sea. (Owens, Lynes & Smith, 2015)
Beaumaris was the last of the ring of Edwardian Welsh castles to be built, and was constructed following the uprising of 1294 led (in the north) by Madog ap Llywelyn. The castle with its associated borough supplanted the Welsh town of Llanfaes, and became the foremost port in north Wales. The castle, because its design was not constrained by topographical features but built on low lying flat land next to the Menai Strait, is the most perfectly concentric of all the castles. Though huge resources were allocated to its construction in the first few years, the castle was never fully completed. It was garrisoned for the King during the Civil War, but submitted in 1646. The site is listed grade 1, is a scheduled ancient monument and a world heritage site. (Berks and Davidson, 2006)