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Hawarden Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Penharddlech; Penarlag; Hawurd; Harden

In the community of Hawarden.
In the historic county of Flintshire.
Modern authority of Flintshire.
Preserved county of Clwyd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ31976537
Latitude 53.18085° Longitude -3.01984°

Hawarden Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The ruins of an elaborate masonry castle constructed from c.1297 are sited upon what are presumed to be the earthworks of an earlier 'motte and bailey' castle. The castle was partially demolished c.1660. The surviving remains include up to two lines of additional ramparts enclosing the castle, the total perimeter being c.150-170m in diameter. The site is greatly affected by landscaping associated with Hawarden Castle Park. (Coflein)

Motte and bailey castle underlying later stone castle but of same plan. Consists of steep sided conical mound 21m in diam with bailey to NE. Built by Hugh Earl of Chester. Rebuilt in stone late C13. (Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust HER)

Ancient site upon which Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester established a Norman castle. The present motte and irregular bailey presumably relate to this. Entirely destroyed by Llewelyn the Last in 1265, the present buildings constitute its successor. Late C13, and probably with some input from the royal engineer, Master James of St. George, given its affinities with contemporary Royal works in N Wales. Attacked by Llewelyn's brother Dafydd in 1282 during the latter's rising. The castle saw much action in the first Civil War and was slighted by order of parliament in 1647. Consolidated, and no doubt "improved" as a ruin by the Glynnes, the owners from 1653. Restoration was carried out by George Shaw in the 1860s and by R.S. Weir in the 1920s. Description: The castle is of conventional motte and bailey type, though extensive additional earthworks to the E and SE were probably erected during the Civil War. A circular, late C13 2-storey keep surmounts the motte with an octagonal first-floor hall plus chapel and inner chamber. A curtain wall survives in part, especially to the N/E where it ascends the motte to join the keep. To the E the bailey. Remains of first-floor hall, with 2 large cusped lancets and some corbelling. Other associated ruins, those at the base of the motte apparently later. To the N the remains of a sophisticated postern (?) gate with deep drawbridge pit. (Listed Building Report)

The monument consists of the remains of a castle, dating to the medieval period. A castle is a defended residence or stronghold, built mainly of stone, in which the principal or sole defence comprises the walls and towers bounding the site. Some form of keep may have stood within the enclosure but these were not significant in defensive terms and served mainly to provide accommodation. Hawarden Castle consists of a masonry castle built upon an earlier motte and bailey castle. The earlier castle was constructed by Hugh, Earl of Chester, and consists of a steep sided conical mound with a bailey to the north-east. The masonry castle was constructed from c.1297, and was partially demolished c.1660. The remaining structure includes a shell keep on the motte, a curtain wall around the bailey, and a hall with an elaborate barbican. The site has been greatly affected by the landscaping associated with Hawarden Castle Park. (Scheduling Report)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 20/04/2017 03:56:11