Saturday, January 7, 2012

Harlech Castle! The true castle on the cliff!

Back story of the Castle


     Harlech Castle was part of a new group of castles to be built in North Wales for King Edward I's from about 1272 until 1307. Construction on Harlech itself started in 1283 and continued until 1289 it was started right after the second Welsh war for independence. At the height of the castle's construction in the summer of 1286 nearly 1,000 men were employed.


     The castle played an important part during the War of the Roses and the English Civil war. Ownership of Harlech passed to the Crown and then transferred (1914) to the Office of Woods and Forests. The castle was then placed in the hands of the Welsh Office and now kept up with by Cadw. Cadw, a Welsh word which means keep, is the Welsh care taking office of such buildings. And finally in 1986 Harlech Castle was accepted into the World Heritage catalogue.




The Fortifications!


     The first defense is the fact that the castle sits on a sheer cliff!!! There is a wall that goes around and up the cliff for around all sides of the rock out-cropping that the castle sits upon.  I would consider this the outer-most wall that connected to the next outer wall; by a small extension that could be easily deafened. Also keep in mind that the Irish Sea was around 2 sides of the rocky out-cropping! Next comes the main gatehouse with its MASSIVE wooden door and THREE portcullis' (a hanging metal gate that allows you to see through, example here).


     As I walked through the massive entrance way I noticed very weathered grooves on the sides of the walls. There may have been another heavy inner wooden door but no definite proof as ever been found. As you would walk through this corridor you would notice holes in the ceiling and arrow-loops in the walls...all the better to kill you with! :D The inner-most walls were about 15 FEET (which is about 4.6 meters thick). The outer walls all seemed to be a little more than half as wide as the inner-most walls. The steps from the sea up to the castle had long ago been closed off "health and safety" (pfft). This was further secured later in time with a tower at the base of the cliff near the sea to protect shipments.


And now, I give you...Harlech Castle.

The stairs are the only way to the castle today...a VERY imposing sight to see when going up the stairs.


You walk up the stairway to the castle, and the ruins underneath the stairs are where the old gatehouse was.
This is the sight from the back right of the castle, everything you see USED to be ocean. Over centuries the water has receded and it is where the castle used to get supplies.

This is from the front right of the inner keep looking down to the right-front tower, the parking lot is where I stood to take the first picture and you can see the parking lot and stairs up to get a better idea of the castle.

View of the back of the Keep from the wall near the back right tower. You can go up the stairs, but they end where you see them sadly, you can get a feel for it by the size of the people! MASSIVE and imposing!

This is the back way into the castle and looked about the same as they do today, they just had a floor back then and a huge door to allow the guards to qucikly get to the outer-most walls and patrol the cliffs.
A picture of myself and Harlech in the background! I was eating at a small place in town, the food was amazing and so were the women! Though my girlfriend may not like that last bit ;) Lol.


This is a picture I took of the castle as shown in the info book you buy when you visit. This helps to give a better idea about castle's walls and set-up.

     All information is from the book I bought at the caslte and my own observances! Hope you enjoyed this edition of...A Yank in Europe! More castles and countires to come! Stay tuned!

65 comments:

  1. Does it look anything you would encounter in Tamriel?

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  2. Like the Elder Scrolls seris? Kinda...they have a lot more going on in real life, than in the game. The games usually have just a hollowed out tower not the walls usually or just walls and a small tower in the center.

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  3. good stuff on here nice job, cant wait for more, following :)

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  4. Thanks for the comment guys! :) I'll keep them coming!

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  5. What countries will you be visiting?

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  6. Yeah. What ountries you will go to?

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  7. I kept trying to respond earlier from the phone, but no luck! I have been to Ireland, Wales, and Normandy, France. I live in the UK so I'll post lots of stuff around England. I will be going to Italy, Paris, France, Germany and possibliy Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, and Belgium!! :D My visa runs out in 2013 so I'm trying!! Lol

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  8. Liking the USA in Europe idea man, now following!

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  9. You know what man, I'm from Wales, big fan of the Castles! Caerphilly is particularly impressive! Now following!

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    Replies
    1. A beautiful nation! A the women were even better!!! ...Though the gf probably doesn't want to hear that LoL

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  10. I'll have to try and make it back to Wales to see even more! Loved Wales, will be updating about the other castles and some of the secenic settings!

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  11. Awesome fortifications!

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    1. Thanks man! :) They were amazing to see in person!

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  12. I too agree that those are awesome fortifications.

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  13. Very cool, love the photos. Keep it coming

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  14. nice pics man. i wonder how they got it so thick, solid and tight

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    Replies
    1. Lots and LOTS of people working for years, though the people of countires back then were closer to slaves than citizens.

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  15. I'm gonna travel soon, glad I found this blog. Lots of good travel spots to check out in Europe! +following

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    1. I need to update soon! I shall this week with at least 2 new castles! And a local pub to get a feeling for the "real" United Kingdom!

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  16. been to europe, but not to the uk. i'd love to get there at some point. Seems like it'd be awesome just to go check out some castles

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    Replies
    1. The castles are so much bigger in person than a movie could ever do justice for them. Do it!!!

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  17. This castle looks cool, followed

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  18. That castle is gorgeous! Almost as pretty as the one Obama is going to build for himself with the tax dollars he stole from the American people.

    Followed!

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    Replies
    1. I lol'd when I read that!! Favorite comment lol

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  19. an AMERICAN (?!?!) in europe? This should be great! hehe.
    Following!

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    Replies
    1. LoL. I see what ya did there! Thanks for the follow!

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  20. very interesting blog. +following :)

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  21. nicely done,, i love harlech. also followed

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  22. cool stuff. looks amazing. following, friend

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  23. I love castles. I aspire to live in one some day...

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    Replies
    1. If your in the US your in luck! There is a construction company that will build you one according to your whims! As long as you have DEEP pockets.

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  24. These are some brilliant pictures! I wish I could see an actual castle first hand.

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    Replies
    1. It was hard getting the castle in the picture since they are so huge!

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  25. Classic shots, i wonder how it looked during that ancient age.. followed&....

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    1. Scary I would imagine!! They were also generally painted white to add a bit more to the spectacle! Thanks for the follow!

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  26. Awesome shots. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Fuck yeah Im glad I found this. As a Yank myself I've always imagined Europe in a grass is greener sort of way. Cheers to you for doing it!

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely a trip to go on! I would suggest Normandy as an American also!

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  28. Hell of a topic. Was a good read.

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  29. Lol its like Stronghold game +following

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  30. Hey man. I'm a new follower and I just wanted to say I love the photos. Your blog sounds interesting and I can't wait for more awesome stuff, keep it up buddy.

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  31. imagine the hard work to constroy that castle, its awesome

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  32. Ive been to that castle as a sapling!
    cant really remember it though as was so young so was kinda nostalgic seeing it here nice
    following!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I will be posting more castles soon! Maybe you saw those also!

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  33. Wow, this is really awesome, mate! Following. :)

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  34. Photos are amazing, keep em coming :))) & returning the follow too, sorry, thought i'd done it ages ago :/

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    Replies
    1. Your good thanks for the follow! I REALLY have a lot to post but classes get in the way! Lol.

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  35. epic pix man
    also following this fine blog!

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  36. great photos yo, followin and that

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  37. nice photos you got.
    I hope you upload more soon.
    Following!

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  38. awesome pictures! I was wondering if you would consider mentioning my website on your next post? I’ll be sure to mention yours on my blog in return. Thanks!

    Sage
    sage.harman123 at gmail.com

    check out smartphone

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