Beaumaris Castle – The Unfinished Masterpiece of Anglesey

I have had the opportunity to visit Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey, and I must say, it was a truly awe-inspiring experience. This medieval fortress, built in the late 13th century, holds immense historical significance and boasts remarkable architectural features.

In this article, I will take you on my journey through the castle, offering insights into its rich history, exploring its unique design, and sharing my personal impressions of this remarkable landmark. Join me as we delve into the captivating world of Beaumaris Castle.

beaumaris castle moat

Arriving at Beaumaris Castle

Arriving at Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey, is an awe-inspiring experience. As you approach the castle, the scenic location really does take your breath away. Nestled on the eastern coast of the island, this medieval fortress offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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The first thing that captures your attention is the castle’s strategic position overlooking the Menai Strait. The shimmering water, framed by the backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains, creates a picturesque setting that is truly captivating.

Beaumaris castle entrance and wooden bridge

As you get closer to the castle, you are greeted by the imposing structure and the sense of history it exudes. The massive stone walls and towers stand tall, reminding me of the castle’s former glory. I can’t help but imagine the stories that unfolded within these walls centuries ago.

When exploring the castle grounds, the views from the battlements are simply breathtaking. Looking out, you can see the vast expanse of the sea, with sailboats dotting the horizon. The ever-changing colors of the sky, combined with the tranquility of the surroundings, create a sense of serenity and wonder.

beaumaris castle and moat

Exploring the Exterior

Even before you enter inside the castle, you’ll be captivated by its impressive exterior. The outer walls of the castle stand tall and sturdy, surviving well to this day, showcasing the strength and grandeur of medieval architecture. As you walk along the fortress, you’ll notice the strategically placed towers that offer both defensive advantages and a commanding view of all around.

The towers of Beaumaris Castle are not just visually striking but also played a crucial role in its defense. These fortified structures served as lookout points, allowing guards to keep a watchful eye on any potential threats approaching the castle. Additionally, these towers provided vantage points for archers and artillery, ensuring effective protection against enemy forces.

One of the most prominent features of Beaumaris Castle is its moat. Encircling the castle, the moat served as a formidable obstacle for any would-be attackers. Its purpose was to impede their progress and make it challenging to breach the castle’s defenses. The moat also added an imposing visual element, further enhancing the castle’s majestic appearance.

walking into the courtyard of Beaumaris castle wales

Stepping Inside

It was lovely and quiet when I visited and stepped into Beaumaris Castle and as I walked through its ancient stone walls, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. The atmosphere is thick with history, as if the very air is whispering stories of knights and kings.

Even though it s a ruin there is so much to explore and take in. I highly recommend getting up onto the walls and walking around with the views from up there.

walking the castle walls of Beaumaris

History Of Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle is a fascinating piece of history that takes us back to the medieval times in Wales. This fortress has a rich history and played a significant role in various conflicts of the era.

Built in the 13th century by King Edward I, Beaumaris Castle was strategically located on the Isle of Anglesey. Its purpose was to establish English dominance over Wales and suppress any potential uprisings. With its impressive concentric design and massive stone walls, the castle showcased the military might of Edward I’s kingdom.

The Welsh residents of Llanfaes at the time were all moved completely to a new place over in South West Anglesey – Newborough.

castle ruins in anglesey

It has become known as the ‘Greatest Castle Never Built’ because it was never actually fully completed. What you see today is the ruins of two thirds of what was to be one of the most technically advanced castles of its time. Edward I ran out of money before it was fully completed.

Scotland became a diversion to Edward I before Beaumaris was finished at the earlier time, but, going into the 14th Century and all the way up to 1330 the defences, inner walls etc where built upon further until a huge (at the time) 15,000 pounds had been spent.

More money to get it to its proper height etc was not forthcoming and thus albeit a great looking masterpiece… it was never truly finished.

old window Beaumaris Castle

During the Welsh Wars, Beaumaris Castle was a key stronghold that helped the English maintain control over the region. It withstood several sieges and attacks, demonstrating its resilience and strategic importance.

One notable event associated with the castle was the rebellion led by Owain Glyndŵr in the early 15th century. Glyndŵr, a Welsh nobleman, launched a revolt against English rule, and Beaumaris Castle became a target for his forces. Although Glyndŵr’s rebellion ultimately failed, it left a mark on the history of the castle and the surrounding area.

Beaumaris was spared more than the others after Parliamentarians took it at the end of the civil war in the 17th century. This was due to a fear of Scottish invasion. It did however begin to fall to ruin and was part of a stately home grounds up until the 19th Century.

Today, Beaumaris Castle stands as a remarkable testament to medieval architecture and military engineering.

Other Castles In Edward I Iron Ring Of North Wales Castles:

beaumaris castle walls from outside


Visiting Beaumaris Castle was a great experience. Stepping into this magnificent medieval fortress felt like a journey back in time. The towering stone walls, the intricate architecture, and the rich history that echoes throughout.

Exploring the castle grounds, I couldn’t help but imagine the stories of knights and kings that once unfolded here. The whole area around the castle was lovely too.

I highly recommend a visit to Beaumaris Castle for anyone with an interest in history or a sense of adventure. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a photographer looking for incredible shots, or simply someone seeking a unique and captivating experience, this castle has something to offer.

inside beaumaris castle

Practical Information:

  • Opening hours: Beaumaris Castle is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm daily, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
  • Entry fees: Adults can enter for £8.95, while children (aged 5-17) and seniors (aged 60+) can enter for £5.40. Family tickets are also available for £26.30, allowing two adults and up to three children to explore the castle together.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in history and witness the grandeur of Beaumaris Castle firsthand. Plan your visit, and prepare to be captivated by this extraordinary fortress that has stood the test of time.

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  1. Donna Bertholf says:

    I love history. This unfinished castle was so beautiful with the moat and the cleaness of the lines.

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Thanks Donna, yes it one of the best castle visits I have had the pleasure of.

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