Hi I’m Dom, Last year, in the wake of the pandemic, when lots of indoor activities were still closed or restricted my son Indigo and I decided to set ourselves a challenge; to visit and review every castle in Wales.
I’m English, my son is Welsh, speaks some Welsh and was born and raised in Wales. I’ve lived here for 15+years, so, whilst it’s not the land of either of our fathers, it’s definitely the ‘Land of my Choice’.
So, whilst this is a blog specifically about Wales and Welsh history and heritage, there will be very little Welsh language featured. My apologies.
Castles, Castles, Castles…
We can’t move for all the bloody Castles, ruins, towers, hillforts and monuments, they are literally everywhere here in Wales.
I’ve always had a love for castles, I’m a historical re-enactor and have been lucky enough to visit and camp in many Castles in neighbouring England and I’ve always enjoyed visiting them, a passion I’m glad I’ve instilled in my son.
We started the summer 2021 by visiting one of our favourite Castles, Carreg Cennen near Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, we’ve visited it before and enjoy it’s impressive defences and dramatic siting atop cave ridden cliffs, it’s one of my favourites, very special. (I’ll explore Carreg Cennen with you properly in a future blog post).
Whilst we were exploring our familiar fort the conversation started of;
HOW MANY CASTLES ARE THERE IN WALES?
I didn’t know.
Indigo didn’t know.
Google didn’t seem to know.
Faint o gestyll?
[How many castles?]
(alright I may try and squeeze in a bit of Welsh here and there)
One figure we found was for 641 castles. That sounds a lot, of course it does, Wales is recognised as having more castles per square mile than any other country, (And we have Dragons!)
So 641 castles, that to me sounds like a challenge. I pitched the idea to my boy;
‘What all of them?’
‘Sure why not, we love castles, it’s something fun we can do, an interesting challenge…’
‘but how long will it take?’
‘Years, 641 castles, it will take us years, at least five’
‘Alright then, lets do it!’
So here we are.
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