With many beautiful castles across Wales, it was difficult to narrow it down to just 12 but here are some interesting facts about the ones we have chosen as part of our challenge:

Caernarfon Castle 

  • Caernarfon Castle is recognised around the world as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages. 
  • This gigantic building project eventually took 47 years and cost a staggering £25,000. In todays money that would be around £29,128,384.42! 


Gwrych Castle 

  • Gwrych Castle was built between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh as a memorial to his mother’s ancestors. 
  • Gwrych Castle is a country house in North Wales, one of the first attempts at replicating true medieval architecture in Europe. 
  • Gwrych Castle was home to ITV's award-winning tv show 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' in 2020.


Carreg Cennen Castle 

  • The first castle on the site is believed to have been built by the Welsh Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth, in the late 12th century. 
  • During the War of the Roses, Carreg Cennen's owners sided with the Lancastrians. After the Yorkist victory in 1461, the Castle was deemed too much of a threat to the monarchy and was destroyed the following spring.  


Caerphilly Castle

  • Caerphilly Castle was the biggest castle in Wales when it was initially built in 1268. It is three times the size of the Principality Stadium. 
  • The castle has it owns Leaning Tower. It’s even wonkier than that of Pisa! 


Dinas Bran Castle 

  • "Dinas Bran" is variously translated as "Crow Castle," "Crow City," "Hill of the Crow," or "Bran's Stronghold." 
  • The stronghold was built in the 1260s by the local Welsh ruler, Prince Gruffudd ap Madoc, on the site of a prehistoric hillfort.  


Pembroke Castle  

  • Pembroke Castle was built in 1093 by Arnulf de Montgomery.
  • It is the only castle in Britain to be built on a natural cavern. 
  • Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, was born at Pembroke Castle in 1457. 


Llansteffan Castle 

  • The Castle originated in the early 12th century, built by the prolific Norman conquerors of Britain on the site of an Iron Age fort. 
  • Late into the 15th century, the Castle was left in disrepair but in the 19th century work began to partially restore the Castle.  


Caergwrle Castle 

  • It is believed that the Castle was first built by Dafydd ap Gruffydd, in lands given to him by Edward I after the first Welsh campaign of 1277. 
  • Its architecture is both influenced by English and Welsh castle designs. 
  • It was destroyed accidentally by fire in 1283 and then abandoned. 


Powis Castle 

  • Powis Castle was built in the mid-13th century by a Welsh prince - Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn - wanting to establish his independence from his traditional enemies. 
  • It has been remodelled and embellished for over 400 years to suit the needs of those who it belonged to - slowly moving from a fortress to a home. 
  • Powis Castle is also renowned for its landscaped garden, developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. 


Kidwelly Castle 

  • Kidwelly began in the early 12th century as a Norman ‘ringwork’ castle made of wood and protected only by an earthen bank and ditch. 
  • By the 1280s the Chaworth brothers, powerful Marcher lords, had created the stone ‘castle within a castle’ that still stands today. 



Harlech Castle 

  • Harlech was completed from ground to battlements in just seven years. 
  • 'Men of Harlech’, a song loved by rugby fans and regimental bands alike, is said to describe the siege which took place at the Castle during the War of the Roses. 



Cardiff Castle

  • The Romans were the first to build a fortress on the site of Cardiff Castle in 1AD. In the 11th century, the Normans built a keep and then in the 15th century the Lords of Glamorgan began work on the House. 
  • During World War II, with the threat of air raids from the Luffwaffe, the tunnels that run under the castle were used a air raid shelters.