Our mission to film Battle Castle: Conwy included an intense tour of several castles constructed in Snowdonia, Northern Wales during English King Edward I’s reign.
Though Conwy is the main focus of this documentary, Caernarfon, Harlech, and Beaumaris also play a key role in our story. These enduring feats of architecture, raised to subdue Welsh adversity to English, hold fascinating insights into the military engineering and siege technology of the time. Together, they’re known as Edward’s Iron Ring. It’s a powerful term that harkens to a metal that's use is ubiquitous with medieval times … not only to build, but, as Middle Age weapons attest, to destroy. And these fortifications certainly live up to it – their ultra-high walls, longbow-inspired arrow loops and elaborate gatehouses are designed to intimidate. But outside the castle grounds, there’s another feature that’s key to the Iron Ring’s strength: town walls. In Edward's time, these barriers of stone and mortar stretched around the settlements next to the castles, providing protection for its inhabitants. And, like the castles, they have stood through the years.
Here’s a gallery of Caernarfon’s town walls captured during the film shoot:
During our scout, we not only got to tour around the walls – but we found a passageway that led us to the top of them. Walking along the walls, gazing past the greenish-yellow moss that has found a home on the stones towards the castle, the two feel like one structure, joined against a common enemy – conquest.When Madog ap Llywelyn arrived during the uprising of 1294, Caernarfon looked a lot different.But it seems this enduring relationship between the castle and the town walls was very clear.In victory of defeat, they stand united.
-Nicole Tomlinson, Writer