Dolwyddelan Castle was the traditional birthplace of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, ‘the Great’, ruler of north Wales in the early thirteenth century. He was probably born in the now-vanished castle on the rocky knoll in the valley floor. When he took control of the Dolwyddelan valley in the early thirteenth century, he built the present castle to control it.
The castle is in a superb defensive position on a rocky ridge. It has two rectangular towers linked by a curtain wall. It was captured by the English in 1283, possibly as a result of treachery, and its fall was a turning-point in Edward I’s campaign against the independent Welsh. Later rebuilding by Maredudd ab Ieuan made it more of a fortified house, and the nineteenth-century owner Lord Willoughby de Eresby ‘restored’ and rebuilt parts of it.
More detail and photographs on the Castlewales web site.