Send a gift or have your own piece of 13th century Royal Welsh Castle

Ruthin Castle, the facts.

Behind the cartoons and legends of King Arthur is a very real centuries-old castle with a very real heritage of Royal ownership… and a strategic importance that has helped to shape the very nature of Welsh politics and law.

Ruthin Castle is in North Wales near Chester, and has a dramatic history being one of a very small group of castles built in Wales for King Edward I more than 700 years ago. Today no less than 4 of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites and acclaimed as some of the greatest architectural achievements of their time anywhere in Europe.

Ruthin Castle is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Originally a wooden fort then re-built from 1277 to 1282, it was part of the famous ‘iron ring’ of Welsh castles, each built within a days march of the next, enabling King Edward I to control the Welsh.

Edward I 'IRON RING' »

1277 – 1640 The Royal Years »

In 1277 Ruthin was bequeathed to Dafydd ap Gruffudd in return for his treacherous help during the invasion of North Wales. In a sinister twist of fate, Dafydd, after becoming the last independent Prince of Wales, was himself hung, drawn and quartered for High Treason – his severed limbs dispatched to the four corners of the country and his head ‘spiked atop the Tower of London’.

When war flared again in 1282, Reginald de Grey defended Ruthin from the belligerent Welsh opposition. Reginald is reported as having previously been charged with raising the ‘finest army in the land’ to defeat the followers of the outlaw Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. In return for his loyalty Reginald was granted tenancy of the castle and he enlisted the King’s architect, Master James of St. George, mastermind behind the Edwardian castles, to oversee the augmentation of Ruthin.

13th Century sketch plan »

13th Century sketch in perspective »

In the early 15th Century the castle withstood assaults from the famous Welsh nationalist Owain Glyndwr but Ruthin town was less fortunate and was burned to the ground

The castle remained occupied by the de Grey family until it was later returned to the Crown by George de Grey, 5th Baron of Ruthin. It was subsequently owned by and host to an impressive list of monarchs and nobility most notably Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and Charles I.

Over hundreds of years Ruthin fell into disrepair and was sold by Charles I in 1640 to raise much needed funding.

1640 The Civil War onwards »

In the English Civil War of 1642 a swift repair of the castle was ordered to defeat the ‘Roundhead’ Parliamentarians who made Ruthin their prime target in Wales but after enduring 11 long weeks of siege and bombardment the defenders relented. Ruthin was partially dismantled following an Act of Parliament so that it could not be reused defensively.

For almost two centuries Ruthin Castle then stood proud but impotent, until the Victorian period when Maria Myddleton inherited the castle and embarked on a grand rebuilding project which is another long and fascinating story!!

The Castle plan today »

Current »

Important large sections still survive of the ancient curtain walls, towers, battlements, moat, underground passages and dungeons and of course the incredible links to its unique, brave and romantic past. There is still a real sense of awe as one walks around the ancient battlements and walls, realizing that this is where great Kings & Queens of England have walked before, and re-living the adventure of fierce battles, tragedies and passionate romances.

Now you can play a part in ensuring that this history is saved for future generations by creating a unique link to this Welsh castle with Royal heritage and making the recipient a member of the ‘Knights of Ruthin' of the elite who have helped save Ruthin Castle.

Buy more Passion & Romance - £49 +pp
Adventure - £59 +pp
Treason & Treachery - £69 +pp

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