Rhuddlan Castle, Rhuddlan

#1 of 6 in Things to do in Rhuddlan
Rhuddlan. What’s in a name? ‘Rhudd’ is the old Welsh word for ‘red’ and ‘glan’ means ‘bank’. The Normans left us with ‘roe’, a word derived from the French ‘le rous’, meaning redhead. ‘Roeland’ is first mentioned in 1086 but by 1277 it was known as Rhuddlan and Edward I’s chosen location for a mighty scary castle.

For centuries, Rhuddlan had been a fiercely contested strategic location leading to much bloodshed. Edward’s muscle power triumphed long enough to build a muscle-bound symmetrical castle, showcasing the latest in ‘walls-within-walls’ technology. Edward I needed access to the sea to keep his castle supplied so he diverted the River Clwyd for over 2 miles (3.5km) to provide a deep-water channel for ships. The remains of a defended river gate still exist in the outer ring of the walls.

The castle also played a seminal role in Welsh history: it was here that a new system of English government was established over much of Wales by the Statute of Rhuddlan (1284) – a settlement that lasted until the Act of Union in 1536. After the Civil War the castle was rendered untenable – hence its present condition.


Daw’r enw ‘Rhuddlan’ o ‘rhudd’ sef yr hen air Cymraeg am ‘coch’ a ‘glan’. Roedd y Normaniaid yn defnyddio’r gair ‘roe’, a oedd yn deillio o’r Ffrangeg ‘le rous’, yn golygu pengoch. Ceir sôn am ‘Roeland’ am y tro cyntaf yn 1086 ond erbyn 1277 roedd yn cael ei adnabod fel Rhuddlan, lleoliad a ddewiswyd gan Edward I ar gyfer castell hynod gadarn.

Am ganrifoedd, bu Rhuddlan yn lleoliad strategol a welodd lawer o frwydrau gwaedlyd. Llwyddodd Edward i atal yr ymosodwyr yn ddigon hir i adeiladu castell cymesur cadarn gan ddefnyddio’r dechnoleg ‘muriau o fewn muriau’ ddiweddaraf. Roedd angen i Edward I gael mynediad i’r môr er mwyn cynnal y cyflenwadau yn ei gastell felly dargyfeiriodd Afon Clwyd am dros ddwy filltir (3.5km) i roi sianel ddŵr ddofn i longau. Mae olion porth afon amddiffynnol yn parhau hyd heddiw yng nghylched allanol y muriau.

Chwaraeodd y castell rôl allweddol hefyd yn hanes Cymru: dyma lle y cafodd system newydd o lywodraeth Seisnig ei sefydlu dros lawer o Gymru gan Statud Rhuddlan (1284) – cytundeb a barhaodd tan y Ddeddf Uno yn 1536. Ar ôl y Rhyfel Cartref ystyriwyd bod y castell yn anghynaladwy, ac arweiniodd hyn at ei gyflwr presennol.
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Rhuddlan Castle Reviews
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252 reviews
  • You can see that years have actually gone by when you see this castle. Dating from 1277, this was one of King Edward's first castles in Wales. It has a wonderful view of the town. If you walk down the...  more »
  • Spent the morning walking around and exploring the castle. Was good to pass time and discuss the landscape changes that was made to the surroundings . You can climb several staircases to stand on the ...  more »
  • Good castle, mostly ruins but some considerable effort has been put in to get you up the stairwells, higher than you could now all the stairs have crumbled. Great views from the higher platforms. Very interesting history. Lady in the shop was very nice. Good for a couple of hours maybe, 1 hour looking round and some time relaxing on the grass.
  • If you like to be surrounded by history and help to preserve our past. Then this castle is worth a visit. It has a prominent past that helped to shape the modern landscape. The staff on site are very friendly and knowledgeable too.
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