Beaumaris Castle is one of Wales' six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, despite never having been finished. The 700-year-old fortifications here were highly advanced for their time and still look formidable today, even when dwarfed by the mountainous backdrop of Snowdonia National Park.
Edward I ordered the construction of Beaumaris Castle in 1295 as a royal palace on the Isle of Anglesey. It is one of a series of forts around North Wales that the medieval monarch called his "iron ring". It sits on the edge of the town of Beaumaris, overlooking the Menai Strait, and is regarded as one of the most technically outstanding castles of its age.
Beaumaris Castle has two sets of perfectly symmetrical concentric walls and is surrounded by a moat for good measure. It was designed by the king's military architect, James of St George. A lack of money meant it never reached full height, but any visitor will surely agree that it is a masterpiece.
The fort was briefly occupied by Welsh forces in 1403, but was recaptured by royalists just two years later. It then served as a defensive stronghold for the Cavaliers during the English Civil War, from 1642 until 1646, when they surrendered to the Roundheads.
Today, visitors can fully explore the castle's many nooks and crannies, and discover its awesome defensive fortifications for themselves. A new visitor centre helps tell the story of Beaumaris and brings its history to life.