Dinas Bran Castle

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Dinas Bran Castle
Castell Dinas Brân

Castell Dinas Brân

Alternative name (s): Castell Dinas Bran
Creation time : 13th Century
Castle type : Hilltop castle
Conservation status: ruin
Geographical location 52 ° 58 '45.1 "  N , 3 ° 9' 21.4"  W Coordinates: 52 ° 58 '45.1 "  N , 3 ° 9' 21.4"  W.
Dinas Bran Castle (Wales)
Dinas Bran Castle

Dinas Bran Castle (Welsh Castell Dinas Brân ) is a ruin near Llangollen in Denbighshire in Wales . The ruin, protected as a Scheduled Monument , is located on a free-standing mountain that towers over 220 m above the Dee .


Over 3000 years ago, an Iron Age hill fort was built on the steep mountain .

There is no archaeological evidence that there was already a Welsh or Norman castle on the steep hill in the 10th or 11th century. The preserved walls were built around 1260 by Gruffydd Maelor ap Madog , a prince of Powys Fadog . According to some sources, his father Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor began building the castle around 1230, but there is no evidence of this. In 1270 a meeting of the sons of Gruffydd Maelor ap Madog took place in the castle, at which they agreed on the division of the kingdom of their father and their mother Emma Audley awarded the area of ​​Maelor Saesneg as a widow's seat. Maelor and the castle went to the eldest son Madog ap Gruffydd . During the war between Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and the English King Edward I , the castle was burned down by the occupation in May 1277 before it could be conquered by English troops under Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln . Henry de Lacy recommended rebuilding the strong fortifications, but the king rejected it. The ruins fell after the war to the new rulership of Bromfield, which was given to John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey . Instead of Dinas Bran, he expanded his castle in Holt , so that Dinas Bran was abandoned and fell into disrepair. As early as the 16th century, John Leland described them as completely dilapidated. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the romantically situated ruin served as a motif for painters such as Wilson and Turner and as a subject for poets such as Wordsworth .

Today the ruin is freely accessible; access is via a steep, longer footpath.

Castle grounds


The ruins are located on a rectangular plateau that was probably artificially leveled. The plateau slopes steeply on all sides, especially on the north side.

The area of ​​the Iron Age fort, which is over 3000 years old, is around 1.5 hectares in size and enclosed by a rampart and moat, only on the steeply sloping north side the rampart was not built. The wall is still clearly visible, especially on the west and south sides, and is up to eight meters high. Access was through a gate secured by a flanking wall at the southwest corner of the fort.

The medieval castle, unlike contemporary English castles, was simply laid out. The rectangular facility was over 90 m long and almost 40 m wide. A stone ring wall enclosed an inner courtyard, the south and east sides were additionally protected by a deep ditch carved into the rock. Access was through a gatehouse protected by two towers, of which only the foundations have been preserved, on the northeast side of the castle. This makes Dinas Bran next to Criccieth Castle , the residence of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the only castle built by Welsh princes that was protected by a gatehouse. The gatehouse, however, was much smaller and simpler than the gatehouses of contemporary English castles. The square keep bordered directly to the south of the gatehouse , of which the western and part of the southern outer wall has been preserved. The only access to the keep was on the upper floor. The living hall and probably also the chapel were on the south side of the castle. To the west of the hall was a D-shaped tower that protruded from the curtain wall and is now the best preserved part of the ruin.

The castle in legend

According to legend, the castle was built by Brân , a mythical giant who is also associated with the Holy Grail .


  • Dinas Brân Castle , Dr. Charles Kightly, 2003 published by Denbighshire County Council.

Web links

Commons : Castell Dinas Brân  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ancient Monuments: Castell Dinas Bran. Retrieved November 8, 2013 .
  2. ^ Adrian Pettifer: Welsh castles. A guide by counties . Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge 2000, ISBN 978-0-85115-778-8 , p. 59
  3. Llangollen: Castell Dinas Brân. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 5, 2013 ; Retrieved November 8, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.llangollen.org.uk