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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 780 entries as of June 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.


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ARTHUR’S QUOIT, Pembrokeshire

Arthur’s Quoit (or Coetan Arthur), according to legend, was thrown from nearby Carn Llidi by King Arthur. This is one of many 'Arthur's Quoits' in Britain - one source identifies more than 30. It is the remains of a single-chambered Neolithic burial chamber, or Dolmen, between 4 and 6,000 years’ old; the capstone (the bit that reminded folk of a quoit) is about 20’ long and now only supported, seemingly precariously, by one upright stone.

Post code is a guide only.  This Arthur's Quoit is located on St David's Head, where there is also the remains of a small prehistoric hut settlement, and can only be reached on foot. Park in Whitesands Bay and follow the coast path.

Location/Address: St David's Head
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA62 6PS
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: St David's Head
Tip/Nearby: Whitesands Bay
Primary Management: National Trust

Beaumaris was the last and largest of the massive castles constructed by English King Edward I to keep the Welsh subjugated.  Construction began in 1295, but Beaumaris was never finished.  Even so, it is often regarded as the most technically perfect medieval castle in Britain.  And it is a World Heritage Site.

Location/Address: Castle Street, Beaumaris
County: Isle of Anglesey
Post Code: LL58 8AP
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Cadw listing for Beaumaris Castle
Tip/Nearby: Conwy Castle
Primary Management: Cadw

The Brecon Beacons in south-mid Wales is predominantly a mountainous area, famed for its use by Britain's elite forces for training, as well as for its peaks, waterfalls, forests and heritage sites. This is serious walking and climbing country.

Location/Address: Plas y Ffynnon
Cambrian Way
County: Powys
Post Code: LD3 7HP
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: Britain's National Parks
Primary Management: National Park

Enormous medieval castle, with iconic polygonal towers, constructed from the late 13th century on the orders of Edward I as part of his strategy to subjugate the Welsh. It was built on the site of an earlier Norman castle and close to where a Roman fortress had once stood. The castle and town then became the English administrative HQ for North Wales and was besieged many times - and captured too.

Caernarfon Castle is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd".

Location/Address: Castle Ditch
County: Gwynedd
Post Code: LL55 2AY
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris castles are part of the same World Heritage Site.
Primary Management: Cadw
Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is simply enormous. Huge. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second-largest in Britain, after Windsor. It covers a 30-acre site and is a mass of concentric defensive walls, surrounded by moats and artificial lakes. It was built by the Norman Gilbert de Clare, known as Gilbert the Red for his red hair, mainly between 1268 and 1271, in order to subdue the Welsh - and it still dominates the area. The castle declined as it became redundant and it was rescued from total ruin by the Bute family in the 19th century.

Location/Address: Castle Street
County: Glamorgan
Post Code: CF83 1JD
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Listing on Cadwy's website
Tip/Nearby: Castel Coch
Primary Management: Cadw
Cardiff Castle

First a Roman fort, then a late 11th century Norman castle, Cardiff Castle became a medieval fortress involved in the Anglo-Norman wars against the native Welsh. It was held by both Royalist and Parliamentary forces during the Civil War and managed to escape the destruction meted out on many of its contemporaries. Eventually, in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute turned Cardiff into the world’s greatest coal exporting port and his son John, the 3rd Marquess, was reputed to be the richest man in the world. The 3rd Marquess employed the architect William Burges to create a Victorian Gothic revival mansion, transforming the castle with astonishingly opulent interiors, brimming with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings. After the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, in 1947 the family gave the Castle and much of its parkland to the city of Cardiff and it is now one of Wales’ most popular visitor attractions.

Location/Address: Castle Street
County: Cardiff
Post Code: CF10 3RB
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Useful Website Address: Cardiff Castle's website
Tip/Nearby: City centre
Primary Management: Local Authority
Carew Castle

Carew Castle was built by the Norman Gerald de Windsor, constable of Pembroke Castle, on the site of an Iron Age fortification. Gerald had married the renowned beauty, Princess Ness, and the manor of Carew was part of her dowry. Gerald's son assumed the name de Carew and he and his descendants enlarged the castle. By the 15th century, it was in the hands of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, a supporter of Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth (1485). However, Sir Rys' grandson was executed for treason and the castle came into the hands of Sir John Perrot, who undertook extensive modernisation. Perrot, in turn, fell from favour and the castle returned to the de Carew family, changing hands three times during the Civil War, only to be abandoned in 1686. It is leased to the National Park Authority, which has undertaken extensive restoration work.

Location/Address: Castle Lane
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA70 8SL
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Carew Tidal Mill is on the same site
Primary Management: National Park

Castell Henllys is a reconstructed Iron Age village, or fort, but the only one in Britain built on an original Celtic site. So the idea is that you walk in the footsteps of the Demetae tribe that lived there 2,000 or so years ago. It is very much geared to schoolchildren, but it is fascinating for all ages. As well as roundhouses, enclosures etc, there is a visitor centre and you can stroll through the surrounding countryside and take a picnic. Regular events are held.

Location/Address: Meline
Nr Crymych
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA41 3UR
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: Castell Henllys
Tip/Nearby: In the National Park off the A487 between Newport and Cardigan.
Primary Management: National Park

The formidable looking Chepstow Castle dates from 1067 - building began less than a year after William the Conqueror became king. It was constructed in stone from the very start - not wood, as was the case with many Norman castles, in a strategic position overlooking an established crossing point over the River Wye. Building continued through its life right up to the 17th century. It was besieged twice during the English Civil War, eventually falling to Parliamentary troops. By the 18th century, Chepstow Castle was in a state of decay and becoming a tourist attraction.

Location/Address: Chepstow
County: Monmouthshire
Post Code: NP16 5EY
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Tintern Abbey
Primary Management: Cadw

Chirk is a picture-book medieval fortress as well as a sumptuous home, with wonderful gardens and a spectacular wrought-iron entrance gate. Roger Mortimer, Marcher Lord, began the castle in 1295 as one of King Edward I's chain of castles along the Welsh/English border. Since 1595, it has been owned by the Myddleton family. From 1910-1946, it was leased to Lord Howard de Walden and was scene of lavish entertaining in the 1930s.

Location/Address: Chirk
County: Wrexham
Post Code: LL14 7AF
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Chirk Castle
Tip/Nearby: Llangollen canal, Offa's Dyke.
Primary Management: National Trust
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