Aberystwyth-castle.JPG (14778 bytes)Aberystwyth Castle:  During our visit to the United Kingdom (April/May 2002) we spent a weekend in Wales and stayed in a guesthouse in Aberystwyth. In this part of Wales there is a large student population, a cliff railway, signs in both Welsh and English and on a headland, an eye catching ruined castle that was once ranked amongst the greatest in Wales.
Edward the First (reigned from 1272 to 1307) began a campaign against the Welsh in 1276. The Welsh had wanted independence (a feeling still strong over 700 years later). In 1277 Edward constructed a number of state of the art castles.  Two of these were forerunners of future castle construction (Aberystwyth and Rhuddlan). They had walls- within-walls and rings of defenses. Unfortunately Aberystwyth is the more ruined of the two castles. Construction was completed in 1289, after a setback in building in 1282 when the castle was partially burnt during a Welsh revolt.
The castle eventually lost its strategic value and fell into disrepair. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell finally destroyed the castle during the Civil War.
The image shows the tall tower that is the most notable relic. The majority of the site is a jumble of rubble. We visited the site late on an April afternoon and were awed by this impressive ruin and the atmosphere permeating the castle site.