Harlech, Wales

I looked through some old photos of mine that I want to write about and share.  I stumbled upon some old pictures from 2003 and some more in 2008 of visits to Harlech and thought someone might be interested to see them.

Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales is home of one of the castles built by Edward I.  It was built between 1282 and 1289 and played a part is many battles.  Wikipedia provides some quick details namely that this castle held an important place in several wars.  It withstood seige by Madog ap Llywelyn but fell to Owain Glyndwr.  Later it played a part in the War of the Roses and was the last fortification to fall in the Glorious Revolution in 1647.  Honestly, I just wanted to go there after hearing Men of Harlech sang by a choir while I lived in Hyde, Cheshire, England.

In 2003, Brad Hales, Amy Hales, and I decided to venture to Harlech castle.  Neither of us had ventured south of Porthmadog as missionaries in 1998 – 2000 and thought we would venture down to the castle.  We snapped this picture on the road approaching from the north.

Harlech Castle on the hill

Unfortunately, we arrived after the castle had closed for the day.  We snapped this picture of the silhouette and the flags from the road below.

Here is another picture of the castle silhouette looking to the north across Afon Dwyryd estuary toward the direction of Penrhyndeudraeth.

Here is a road above Harlech looking in the same direction.  Notice the amazing, sturdy stone wall.

Brad Hales and his sister, Amy, above Harlech in 2003

This picture is at the same location but shot back towards Harlech.  You can see the outline of the castle towers as well as more of the estuary.

Amy Hales and Paul Ross and the breathtaking Afon Dwyryd estuary in the background

Amanda and I visited again in 2008.  Luckily, we got there with plenty of time to visit and spend time inside.  The day was a bit overcast, but we grabbed some great pictures.  You can also see the considerable difference between the film camera and digital camera!

Picture from below of Harlech Castle

This shot gives you a view of the eastern side with the imposing towers, the gate, the rocky chasm between and gives some impression of how formidable this castle would have been to attack.  Ignore the goober in the picture.

Harlech gate and guard towers

When Harlech was built over 720 years ago it was on the Irish Sea.  Notice how far the sea is from the castle now, about a mile away.  This was taken from one of the castle’s walls.

The Irish Sea from Harlech Castle

View of the Irish Sea from one of Harlech’s towers

Another picture, looking south along the western wall.

A shot looking up at the fireplaces of two other floors.  The majority of all woodwork is missing in this castle and the stone is all that remains.

Fireplaces

You can see the holes in the walls where beams would have been placed in times past.

Harlech Walls

Looking down into the hollow walls of Harlech castle from one of its towers.

We got quite the kick out of this sign.  Would someone really take children on a castle wall?  It looks like adults falling off walls or down the stairs, not children.

Classic Sign

These stairs were pretty steep.

Here is one of the walls.  Funny how no wood in the castle makes it 725+ years but yet a tree can grow out of a tower hundreds of feet up.

I know you are probably getting bored by this point so I should probably wrap it up.  This was the entry to the main quarters (king’s?).

The chimneys just came out at the top of the walls.  I guess at least the sentinels had somewhere to stay warm when on watch.

Inside one of the towers where the water seepage had worn away the wood and stone over the years to leave this intimidating scene.

One last picture looking out toward the Afon Dwyryd estuary.

Thanks to my cutie for traveling to Harlech with me, I love you!  (She is standing on a wall chimney, that is why she is my height.  The southern shoreline is behind us.

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