High on its crag, Harlech Castle dominates the mid-Wales coast

Harlech Castle has watched over the unspoilt Ceredigion coast for more than 700 years. Sioned Bannister delves into the history of one of Wales’ finest medieval fortresses

THE YEAR IS 1272. AFTER DECADES OF CIVIL WAR AND UNREST, ENGAND IS IN TURMOIL. The aristocracy are battling over land rights and the peasants are sensing unrest. A new king, Edward I, has just come to the throne and he is determined to restore peace; he plans to begin by dealing with England’s most troublesome neighbour, Wales.
Tensions between the king of England and Welsh rebels had been brewing for years, and by 1277 Edward could