King Edward I

 

The King who built castles. Edward I earned this title by building the remarkable castle structures in Wales in the years 1277-83. Their plans and construction were initiated by Edward I in a campaign to impose dominion over the Welsh.

The program began and virtually ended with him. It was not repeated by him in his attempts to conquer Scotland, and was not imitated by any succeeding monarch in Britain. The closest came when King Henry III initiated a program of coastal fortifications in the invasion scare of 1538-43.

The Edwardian program was gigantic by standards of the time, and it involved men, materials and money on an unprecedented scale. Ten Castles were built.

Aberystwyth
Beaumaris
Builth
Caernarvon
Conwy

Flint
Harlech
Hope
Rhuddlan
Ruthin

 

Work was also undertaken on four lordship castles. These were:

Chirk
Denbigh

Hawarden
Holt

The castle building program cost around £ 80,000 and required 150 masons, 400 carpenters, 1000 diggers, and 8,000 woodcutters.

Edward’s program required a mastermind to supervise the work involved. The king was a ruler that wanted to make sure that future generations would see his monuments of power forever. He chose one of the foremost castle-builders, Master James of St. George.

As a warrior King, Edward’s success lay in his ability to organize, and his ability in military and political skills. King Edward died on July 07, 1307. What he created more than 700 years ago is a celebrated part of British History.