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Ewloe Castle

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Ewloe Castle




Ewloe Castle is situated in Wepre Park, near the town of Ewloe about a mile northwest of Hawarden.

Ewloe castle rises at northwest of the town of Hawarden and is one of the symbols of the brief triumph of the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Last that began its construction in 1257 after the reconquest of this part of Wales. Of all the native castles in North Wales Ewloe is the only with a non spectacular setting. It stands on a promontory overlooking the junction of two streams but is overwhelmed by higher ground at south. Its position, near the English border, was very strategic at control of the road to Chester. It stood within the forest of Ewloe, surrounded by woods and in a great position for hunting.

The castle is not large and its condition is now very ruinous. It is endowed of two courtyards with a U-shaped keep inside the triangular upper ward. This layout suggest the presence on the site of a formerly old castle of the motte-and bailey type, the curtains of the upper ward forms a sloping stone revetment of the motte. The outer curtain is for great part reduced to its footings. At the western angle of the outer ward the ruins of a circular tower, part nearly to full height, are perched on a rocky knoll and it can only been reached from the wall walk level.

No gate connects the courtyards, both were entered from the north side outside the castle. The communication was only at parapet level. Also the two curtains are not bonded together, they are the result of successive building campaigns. Nothing stands of the inside buildings, which were of timber.

It is not so easy to date the keep, known as the Welsh Tower. It may be an earlier work of Llywelyn the Great, because of the first floor entrance typical of the first Norman keeps, but later Llywelyn built conservative old fashioned square keeps like the one of Dolforwyn. The U-shaped towers like this usually project out from a curtain, so it is hard to find one standing alone in the middle of a walled enclosure. A similar keep was built at Castell-y-Bere to command the most vulnerable approach to the castle. However, this can be considered a unique example of native concentric defense.

Great part of the keep is collapsed, but the south front still stands to full height. The tower contained a single apartment above a storage chamber, reachable only through a trapdoor. The outer walls rose higher than the two storeys to protect the roof from burning projectiles. On the parapet slots for a hoarding are still visible.

Nothing is written on Ewloe during the 1277 invasion chronicles. The rampart at south of the castle may be an English work but Edward I built new castles in the area, Flint and Rhuddlan that could be provisioned by sea, instead to use Ewloe.

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Open sites are unstaffed and open to the public with no admission charge at all reasonable times, usually between 10.00 and 16.00 daily.

Facilities for the Disabled Facilities for the Disabled:

Disabled visitors and their assisting companion will be admitted free of charge to all monuments where an admission charge is levied. Please note that, for health reasons, dogs are not allowed on Cadw sites, but guide dogs and hearing dogs for the deaf are welcome.

A guide is available for disabled visitors to some of Cadw's most popular sites. Versions of the guide for specific sites are available in Braille by telephoning Cadw HQ (01443 336 000). The guide is best used in conjunction with Cadw site leaflets or the Cadw Map of Wales. Guidebooks are also available for many of the sites.

Expedition to Ewloe Castle Ruins


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