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Welcome to the
Castles of Wales

Above: aerial view of the spectacular ruined castle of Dryslwyn in south Wales
Photograph copyright © by Jan Kohl and castlegraphics.com


Welcome to the Castles of Wales Website. Wales is often called the "Land of Castles" as it is home to some of Europe's finest surviving examples of medieval castle architecture. Over the years I've visited and explored many of the region's castles, from mighty Chepstow in southeast Wales, to picturesque Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey, and charming Ewloe in the north.

I created The Castles of Wales in 1996 to provide visitors with information on the hundreds of castles found throughout the land, not simply the most famous ones. Our extensive database provides information on over 400 different Welsh castles, accompanied by high quality photographs. Our essays include profiles of the principal Welsh castle builders  along with an examination of the turbulent times in which they lived. We also feature many of the lesser-known castles of Wales, some of which are as historically significant as their better-known counterparts. Our essays and photographs are contributed both by historians and published authors, as well as amateur historians and castle enthusiasts. If you're just beginning your exploration of Welsh castles, a good place to start is our Historical Essays or Recommended Castles pages.

We also offer sections on Welsh Abbeys and Other Religious Sites, and certain pre-Medieval sites and monuments, both of which are important components of Welsh heritage and history.

The Castles of Wales survive today in a variety of conditions, ranging from completely ruined and difficult to find, to nearly complete castles that still retain their medieval appearance. Many are currently under the care of CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments, an organization whose members are dedicated to preserving the many ancient monuments found throughout the land. 

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our many contributors, but particularly to our principal historians and researchers, John Northall, Paul M. Remfry, Lise Hull, Catherine Armstrong, Irma Hale, and Richard Williams, for their valuable and insightful contributions to this website. Also a special thanks to Jan Kohl for his wonderful aerial photographs. Diolch yn fawr iawn!

Jeffrey L. Thomas

Would you like to contribute to the Castles of Wales website? We currently have a need for decent quality photographs for the following castles:

Abergavenny Castle Kenfig Castle
Cardiff Castle Llawhaden Castle
Carndochan Castle Llansteffan Castle
Coity Castle Newcastle Emlyn Castle
Dinas Powys Castle Oxwich Castle
Flint Castle Pembroke Castle
Goodrich Castle Pennard Castle
Harwarden Castle Weobley Castle
Lesser-known castles, especially the ones with no photographs


Enjoying the ruins and scenery at Dryslwyn Castle, 2002

   Please Select a Topic

Historical Essays Castle Terminology
Main Castle Index Abbeys & Other Religious Sites in Wales
Recommended Castles Pre-Medieval Historic Sites in Wales
Complete Castle Database Drawings and Illustrations of Welsh Castles
Castle Builders What's New/Contributions
Lesser Known Castles Welsh Language Pages
Vanished/Lost Castles Recommended Links
 Lost Castle Spotlight Reference Sources

"In a country with relatively few great churches
and abbeys, and even fewer unfortified manor houses,
the Castles of Wales form the most imposing group of
monuments left from the Middle Ages. In terms of
grandeur they are second only to the dramatic landscape."

Adrian Pettifer - Welsh Castles



The Castles of Wales Website is non-profit, educational resource created, written and maintained by Jeffrey L. Thomas. All text and photographs are copyrighted © by the Castles of Wales web site and/or their respective authors and contributors, with all rights reserved. This site was last updated April 2024.

The Castles of Wales Website is copyrighted ©1996-2024 by Jeffrey L. Thomas.