Castell y Bere

Castell Y Bere

Military Structure
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Castell y Bere

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Castell y Bere is a native Welsh castle near Llanfihangel-y-pennant in Gwynedd, Wales.


Castell y Bere was built by Llewellyn the Great around 1221 on a lozenge-shaped rocky hillock in the Dysynni Valley near Cadair Idris

The castle is composed of two D-shaped Welsh towers, a round tower, and a rectangular tower at the highest point of the site. One of the towers would have contained a chapel. The D-shaped tower is a distinct feature of native Welsh castles. A similar tower was built by Llywelyn the Last at Ewloe Castle forty years later.

The castle's design was dictated by its high, narrow location. Access was protected by a wall, ditches, gateway and drawbridges. The castle is also one of the very few native Welsh constructions to feature a barbican.


Castell y Bere was built by Llewellyn the Great to protect the mountain trade routes between the Kingdom of Gwynedd and Powys Wenwynwyn and Deheubarth. But following the invasion of Wales by Edward I in 1277, the castle was besieged in April 1283 by English forces.

Dafydd ap Gruffydd had retreated to Castell y Bere after the capture of Dolwyddelan Castle in January 1283. The Welsh prince escaped but the castle's constable, Cynfrig ap Madog, was forced to surrender after agreeing terms.

Its strategic position meant that after its capture, Edward I ordered the castle be refortified and garrisoned. A small town was then encouraged to develop around its base.

In September 1294, forces belonging to Welsh leader......
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