King Edward I and the Building and Defense of 3 Impregnable Fortresses: Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, and Harlech Castle
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“In the region of Snowdonia in west Wales, at the end of the 13th century, conflict broke out between King Edward I and his new Welsh subjects. Traditionally, the Welsh are tribal in that they had a standing military force during this period, but because this fight was one of freedom, liberty, and autonomy, thousands of soldiers banded together to attack the center of English power in Wales; Conwy Castle (pronounced “con-way”).
Conwy Castle stands as the crowning achievement of Edward I’s castle building legacy. In early 1295 A.D., Welsh rebels laid siege to Conwy Castle as it was observed as a symbol of English oppression.
Throughout his reign, Edward I was ambitious and a formidable enemy to have as he was considered a warrior monarch. Edward I famously defeated William Wallace which earned him the nickname, “Hammer of the Scots”.
Before attempting to clutch Scotland, Edward I turned his attention to his westward neighbors in Wales. During the era, parts of Wales were autonomous with leaders only owing a loose allegiance to the present English monarch. Political power in Wales is not centralized which allowed Welsh princes to wield substantial authority, particularly in the northwest.
At the beginning of Edward I’s reign, Prince of Wales Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (pronounced “lu-ell- len ap griff-ith”) did not show up to Edward I’s coronation which Edward I took as a personal slight, one which he could not look past.
In 1277 A.D., Edward I imposes his authority but it is short lived because by 1282 A.D., the Welsh resistance fights back against their English oppressors.
To secure domination over the entire region of Wales, Edward I builds a series of 3 castles in the northwest choosing this region as it was the location in which most wealth and authority resides.”