This website uses cookies to provide a rich user experience. Please consult our Cookie Policy to learn about what cookies this website uses, or to control the cookies you receive. You need do nothing if you are happy to receive cookies.
Look and Learn History Picture Library License images from £2.99 Pay by PayPal for images for immediate download Member of British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)

Caernarvon: A Brief History

Posted in Architecture, British Towns, Castles, History on Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Click on any image for details about licensing for commercial or personal use.

This edited article about Caernarvon originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 927 published on 7 October 1979.

Standing on the site of an early Roman settlement, Caervarvon is just inside the western entrance to the Menai Strait, at the mouth of the River Seiont, in North Wales. Its name was formerly Caer-yn-Arfon, which means “the fortress in Arvon”.

Caernarvon Castle in the time of King Edward the First. Illustration by Michael Godfrey

Caernarvon Castle in the time of King Edward the First. Illustration by Michael Godfrey

The town certainly was a stronghold, being the chief town in the mountainous Eryri region. Two important military bases figure in its history, the British fortress Caer Seiont, and the Roman station Segontium.

Founded by the Romans in AD 80, Segontium was occupied until about 380. Some of its remains are still standing on the hill slopes outside the famous Caernarvon castle, where Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales in 1969.

The choice of the monarch’s eldest son as Prince of Wales began when the future Edward II was born at Caernarvon in 1284. His father, King Edward I, presented him as the Prince of Wales – “one who could speak neither English or Welsh.”

The castle was started in 1283 by Edward I and completed by his son. Some believe that the Emperor Constantine was born at Caernarvon, and it seems that Edward I tried to preserve some feeling of this, when building the castle, as the walls bear a great resemblance to the walls of Constantinople (Istanbul) itself.

Click on a picture to find out more about licensing images for commercial or personal/educational use. We are also able to license textual material. Please contact us for details.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.