Medieval Castles: Beaumaris Castle

beaumaris-castle.jpgOne of the Edwardian castles built in Wales in the later part of the 13th centruy, Beaumaris Castle lies near the coast in northern Wales. This castle was the last one built in northern Wales as part of King Edward I’s campaign to conquer that region. The king’s attention and funds, however, turned to Scotland, and construction on the castle was never completed.

Larger than the other Edwardian castles of Caernarfon, Conwy, and Harlech, architect Master James of St. George designed the castle with concentric walls, with the gates of the outer wall offset with those of the inner wall, so enemies would not have direct access to the inner gates if the outer wall was overrun. Two immense gatehouses, one on the north and one on the south, strengthen the defenses along with a water moat, which includes a dock connected to the sea. Four projecting drum towers overlook the four corners of the castle, with a singular tower set into the curtain walls of the east and west sides.

Even though work was never completed, the project lasted 35 years with over 3,5000 workers employed at the height of construction. A sum of around 15,000 pounds was spent on the castle.


J.E. Kaufmann, H.W Kaufmann, and Robert M. Jurga. The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts and Walled Cities of the Middle Ages. De Capo Press, 2001.

*image retrieved from

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