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Rhuddlan Castle

Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, Wales

Location Guide

Begun in 1277 and completed in 1282, this was the second of King Edward I's great Welsh fortifications. King Edward I was also known as Longshanks.

A protected river dock forms one side of the defences of this concentrically planned castle, dominated by a distinctive diamond-shaped inner ward.

The castle sits alongside the River Clwyd, which allowed the castle to be provisioned through a special canal built for that purpose. During the castle's lengthy construction, the Clwyd was straightened and dredged to facilitate deliveries to the castle. Rhuddlan was planned as a concentric castle. It has twin-tower gatehouses in its inner ward and small towers and turrets in its outer ward. Rhuddlan is relatively unique in that it is 'diamond' in layout, the gatehouses positioned at the corners of the square baileys instead of along the sides as at Harlech, Caerphilly or Beaumaris.

An earlier castle built in 1086 called Twthill was very near the site used for this castle, some suggest an earlier fortificaton from around 800, at this time it would have been on a track through marshes, that provided a natural barrier to limit attacks from the east. It had served as a seat of Government of a Welsh King, although fought over between the Welsh and the Earls of Chester, between 700-1300 it constantly changed hands between the English and the Welsh. Edward obtained it as a part of the treaty of Aberconwy between Llywelyn II of Gwynedd and Edward I of England. Castles of Wales has an extensive article covering the history of this area and a  number of early castles in the area.

Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, eighth daughter of Edward I, was born here in 1282.

The Statute of Rhuddlan, overriding Welsh rule of law with that of the English rule of law after the defeat of Llywelyn II of Gwynedd, was signed here in 1284.

Rhuddlan was in Royalist hands during the Civil War, until forced to capitulate in 1646. In 1648 it was, like many others,  partially demolished to prevent its further use.

Today the castle looks quite impressive from the road with a substantial curtain wall and tower shells, but inside it is hollow. There are modern stairs up one tower allowing views over the site and area. Its not clear if you can climb any other towers. This castle does not have high walkways like some others of this period and is in much poorer condition.

Further information Grid



Rhuddlan Castle, Denbighshire, Wales

Ceremonial County: Denbighshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Aerial View   Multimap



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:


Castles of Wales


Castle UK


Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:

Castles of Wales

How to photograph a castle



Planning Grid


Rhuddlan Castle, Denbighshire, Wales

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Off the A525 or A547




On site


Toilets, on-site gift shop

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Castle ruins

What to take:


Nature highlights:



Castle Street




LL18 5AD


01745 590777

Opening times:

01.10.08-31.03.09: Closed. 01.04.09-30.09.09: Daily 10am-5pm

01.10.09-31.03.10: Closed 


CADW and English Heritage members (1YR plus) free, English Heritage members fist year 50%.

Entry is FREE for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.

Adult 3.00, concession 2.60, family 8.60

Photo Restrictions:

None known

Other Restrictions: None known
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities: disabled toilet
Children Facilities: baby changing facilities
Dogs Allowed: From April 2009, dogs on leads will be also welcome at Cadw monuments. please see information for dog owners

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Classification from the Grids above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park Section: Castles Key:
Page Ref: Rhuddlan_Castle Topic: Castles Last Updated: 03/2009


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