This book provides an account of every surviving Welsh castle from Norman earthworks to the large stone castles of Edward I-Caernarfon, Conway, Harlech and Beaumaris-and those of the Marcher barons-Caerphilly, Chepstow, Pembroke, and Kidwelly. Native Welsh castles-many maintained by Cadw (Welsh Historic Monuments)-are included. The castles with only fragmentary remains are not listed.
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Introducing the book is a brief history of medieval times in Wales. The book is presented in gazetteer style by county with each castle listed alphabetically with its location, description, and historical details. Access information and cross references to relationships with other castles are listed. A bibliography and alphabetical index of the sites is included. The book also includes the most important of the town walls of Wales.
Line drawings of castle plans and coloured photographs are provided. More coloured or black and white photographs would have enhanced this useful book. A map shows the counties of Wales, giving a general idea as to the castle locations, but the individual castles are not located on the map. Although Ordnance Survey references are given in the index, detailed directions are not part of the book. The reader will need to find this information if using the book for travel.
The author, Adrian Pettifer, is well qualified to write on his subject with a degree in Ancient and Medieval History from the University of Birmingham. He has spent much time visiting British historic monuments, including castles, abbeys, churches and other ancient sites.
For anyone frustrated with finding information on Welsh castles, especially the little known ones, Welsh Castles provides the answer. Designed for both the traveller and researcher, the book is an invaluable resource and one that should be in every Welsh castle lovers library.
212 pages, 16 colour, 27 line drawings
Published by Boydell, August 2000
Hardback: £25.00 / $45.00US