The main reason for visiting Aberystwyth, Wales, on Monday afternoon, was to explore the castle, or what is left of the ruins. For the last, goodness knows how many years, I have meant to visit and I was determined to do so on this holiday. As the weather was like a summers day, everyone and their granny were on the promenade, making parking a little difficult, but in the end we squeezed into a space. I had read about the castle and the book mentioned there wasn’t a lot left, you can’t see from the road that travels around the base of the castle and it is difficult to tell. So we clambered out of the car with dogs in tow and made our way up a walkway, that takes you into the grounds. Well I was amazed because there is tons left and situated in the most wonderful position for a castle. The castle is open for all to use, people were sunbathing, having a picnic and site seeing. The grounds are kept very well, but there is no guide book and although there were notice boards, they were very few and hard to read, but there is enough for your imagination to take hold and transport you back in time to one of Edward’s 1277 ring of castles.
A little history, because what is a castle with out its history, its just a pile of stones. As one of Edward’s castle, hundreds of stones masons and carpenters from all over England came to work on the building. The building was still incomplete when the Welsh rising of Easter 1282 saw it briefly captured and partly destroyed. Work was resumed in 1283. A century of decay, and neglect followed by a great rebellion in 1400 by Glyndwr, saw him capture the castle. In 1408 his men were in finally evicted. Further years of neglect and sea erosion followed, there were some repairs, by 1637 it was the royal mint. The castle endured its final siege in 1646, the castle held out against the parliamentarians for many months, but on surrendering the castle, the order was given for the walls to be blown up and the ruins abandoned.
The castle is worth a visit, as there is still a lot to see, there are wonderful views over looking the town and best of all, its free.