Caernarfon Castle

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Palace (Royal)

There are major building remains

NameCaernarfon Castle
Alternative NamesCaernarvon; Carnarvon
Historic CountryCaernarfonshire
Modern AuthorityGwynedd
1974 AuthorityGwynedd
CommunityCaernarfon

Caernarfon castle is an imperious and grand fortress built following the English conquest of Gwynedd in the late thirteenth century. Its banded stone towers famously reference the great walls of Constantinople. This is a play on the visionary 'Dream of Mascen Wledig', a poem celebrating Wales' legendary imperial past. The castle was in decay by the sixteenth century and was abandoned following the Civil War. It was restored and refurbished from the mid nineteenth century. The castle, together with the walled borough (NPRN 93527), was begun in 1283 and was still incomplete by about 1330 when major work ended. It consists of seven great polygonal towers, two turrets and two great twin towered gates, all joined by massive curtain walls tracing a rough figure of eight. Galleries thread their way through the walls and across the towers. The higher upper ward and Queen's Gate are thought to occupy the earthworks of an earlier castle. At the other end of the castle is the mighty Eagle Tower, crowned by three tall turrets topped by sculptured figures. The grand appartments planned for the castle interior, including a great hall, may never have been built. Although the castle presents a great display of military might from outside the medieval borough the approach to the great King's Gate (NPRN 302417) follows an indirect line along narrows streets. From this direction the castle appears only in fragments. From the nineteenth century the castle was extensively restored and the walls and towers renewed. In this way the medieval fortress has become an archetypal castle, a setting for investitures and other grand occasions. (Coflein)

Caernarfon is the greatest and best known of all the North Welsh castles of Edward I, designed to be a stronghold, a royal palace and an administrative centre all in one. The site was already occupied by a motte and bailey castle, probably built by Hugh of Avranches around 1090

The new Caernarfon Castle, begun in 1283, was built around it and this is reflected in the shape and height of the upper ward. Before the castle could be completed, the town walls were breached during the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294. Work continued immediately afterwards and the castle, although never entirely finished, was completed in 1327. Although Edward II was born at Caernarfon, and it remained the official capital of north Wales, it was never used as a base for a ruling Prince of Wales and its political importance diminished. It remained garrisoned, however, and withstood two sieges during the Glyndwr rebellion. It was again held by the Royalists during the Civil War, this time withstanding three seperate sieges. The castle itself is divided into an upper and a lower ward, defended by a single curtain wall with two main gatehouses, the King's Gate and the Queen's Gate. Octagonal towers protect all angles of the curtain wall. The site is long and narrow with only the Great Hall and kitchens being built against the inner face of the wall. Accomodation was provided within the gatehouses and towers. In addition to the wall-walk, the walls also contain two levels of wall passages with, at the north east end, an arrangement of triple arrowslits. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

At the S end of the town and on the N bank of the Afon Seiont.

Begun in 1283 and still incomplete when building work ceased c1330. Built for Edward I of England, it combined the roles of fortification, palace and administrative centre. A motte and bailey castle had been built here in the late C11 by Earl Hugh of Chester, although it became a residence of Welsh princes, including Llewelyn ap Gruffudd, after the Welsh regained control of Gwynedd by 1115. The English conquest of N Wales followed quickly after the death of Llewelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282 and Caernarfon was built to consolidate the English gains. Edward I employed James of St George as his architect, who had previously been employed by Philip of Savoy and had designed for him the fortress-palace of St Georges d'Esperanche. James also directed the building other castles for Edward I, including Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris, using English craftsmen and labourers. The design of Caernarfon Castle echoed the walls of Emperor Constantine's Roman city of Constantinople, which also has polygonal towers and banded stonework, and was thus intended by Edward to be an expression of imperial power. Edward I and Queen Eleanor visited Caernarfon in 1284 and it was said that their son, Edward, the first English prince of Wales, was born at the castle in 1284. Construction of the castle was integrated with the construction of town walls protecting the newly established borough, the town being situated on the N side of the castle. By 1292 the southern external façade of the castle was probably complete, while on the N side the castle was protected by a ditch and the walled town. The castle was damaged during an uprising in 1294 led by Madog ap Llewelyn, but Edward I swiftly regained control of Caernarfon and the castle, where restoration work began in 1295. The uprising had demonstrated the need to complete the castle's defences on the town side, which were largely built in the period 1295-1301. Work subsequently continued at a slower pace in the period 1304-30 and included the completion of the towers, including the Eagle Tower which was completed 1316-17 and in 1316 the timber-framed 'Hall of Llewelyn', the Welsh prince's residence at Conwy, was dismantled and shipped to Caernarfon. The upper portion of the King's Gate was constructed in 1321 and included a statue of Edward of Caernarfon, who had been crowned Edward II in 1307. The castle was garrisoned for nearly 2 centuries but was increasingly neglected as hostilities softened from the C16 onwards. The castle was garrisoned for Charles I during the Civil War but was surrendered to the Parliamentarians in 1646. In the C18 the castle became one of the most celebrated of ruins in Wales, which began its present phase as tourist attraction and ancient monument. Restoration was undertaken in the final quarter of the C19 under the direction of Sir Llewelyn Turner, Deputy Constable. In 1908 ownership passed from the Crown to the Office of Works and restoration work continued. This included the reinstatement of floors in most of the towers and reinstatement of the embattled wall walks by 1911. The castle was the venue for the investiture of both C20 Princes of Wales, in 1911 and 1969.

Constructed of coursed limestone with darker stone banding to the S and E external façades between the Eagle Tower and NE Tower. The plan is polygonal, resembling a figure of 8, and constructed around an upper and a lower ward in the form of curtain walls and mainly 3-stage polygonal towers with basements (in contrast to the round towers of the town walls). The structure is in 2 main phases. The earlier is the S side, from and including the Eagle Tower to the NE Tower, was constructed mainly in the period 1283-1292, while the N side facing the walled town was built after the uprising of 1294. The curtain walls are embattled with loops to the merlons and a wall walk. Openings are characterised by the frequent use of shouldered lintels, giving rise to the alternative term 'Caernarfon lintel', and 2-centred arches. The towers have reinstated floors of c1911 on original corbels. The outer walls have arrow loops. Windows are mainly narrow single-light, but some of the mullioned windows incorporate transoms. The principal entrance is the 3-storey King's Gate on the N side. It is reached across the ditch by a modern segmental-arched stone bridge with stone steps to the outer side, replacing the medieval drawbridge. The King's Gate has polygonal towers with 2-light windows to the outer facets in the middle stage and 2-light windows in the upper stage. The entrance is recessed behind a segmental moulded arch. It has a 2-centred arch beneath string courses and 2-light transomed window. Above the main arch is a statue of Edward II in a canopied niche with flanking attached pinnacles. To the R is the outer wall of the kitchens and then the Well Tower, of 3 stages with basement. The Well Tower has a higher polygonal turret reinstated in the late C19 and full-height square projection on the W side housing the well shaft. The tower has 2-light windows in the middle and upper stages. The Eagle Tower at the W end is the largest of the towers, having been designed to accommodate the king's lieutenant. It has 3 stages with basement and 3 higher polygonal turrets. The battlements are enriched by carved heads and eagles, although much weathered. On the N side are 2-light windows and an attached stub wall with drawbridge slot. This is the planned water gate through which water-borne supplies were intended to be conveyed to the basement of the Well Tower at high tide, but it was not completed. It has polygonal responds to the gate, a portcullis slot and 2 superimposed windows between the basement and ground-floor levels. On the N side is a flight of stone steps to an arched doorway at basement level. This postern was the main entrance for those approaching by sea. On the S side the curtain wall is built on exposed bedrock and the Queen's Tower, Chamberlain Tower and the Black Tower each have a single higher polygonal turret. The outer faces have only narrow loops. On the W side of the Chamberlain Tower are stone steps to a doorway under a shouldered lintel that led into the great hall. On the E side of the Black Tower is the shorter polygonal Cistern Tower, with the unfinished Queen's Gate at the SE end. Between the Chamberlain Tower and Black Tower the curtain wall is stepped in, from which point there is a substantial raked stone plinth continuing around to the NE Tower. The Queen's Gate has double polygonal towers linked by a straight wall above the gateway, while the openings are all narrow loops. The gateway is raised above a high basement storey (and would have been reached by the building of a massive stone ramp) and is recessed beneath a segmental arch with murder holes. The Watch Tower to the N is narrower and higher than the remaining towers, beyond which is the 2-stage NE Tower, which has a 2-light window. Returning along the N side, which was built after 1295, the curtain wall and the 4-stage Granary Tower incorporate 2-light windows. The King's Gate has murder holes to the vault and porters' rooms to the L and R, leading to the interior. Internally the castle is planned around an upper ward on the E side and a lower ward on the W side. Through the entrance passage is a 2-storey projection on the R (now housing a shop), the S side of which retains 2 portcullis slots and a vault springer, indicating that a second entrance was built here, although it no longer survives above the foundations. Above the main gate is a former chapel, which retains its original piscina. The upper storey hall has window seats. On the W side of the King's Gate are the foundations of the kitchens in the lower ward, in which are 2 round foundations for copper cauldrons and springer of a former vault. The Well Tower does not have reinstated floors, but in each storey a fireplace and garderobe are retained and in the second stage is a small kitchen above the well chamber. The fireplaces all differ in detail: in the basement is a segmental arch, the lower storey a tripartite lintel, the second stage a projecting lintel on corbels with raked hood, and chamfered lintel to the upper stage. The tower has a full-height newel stair. The basement is reached by external stone steps. Between the Well Tower and Eagle Tower is a restored fireplace with a raked hood in a chamber whose outline walls are visible. The Eagle Tower has stone steps to the basement to the L of the main doorway, both lower stage and basement having pointed doorways. The upper stages have 2-light windows similar to the outer faces. The thick walls incorporate mural passages and stairs. In the lower stage is a large fireplace with raked hood and a small octagonal chamber that probably served as a chapel. The great chamber in the second stage also has an octagonal chapel, which retains a stoup or piscina. Between the Eagle Tower and the NE Tower the curtain wall and towers have mural passages in addition to the wall walk and generally have stone steps in either straight flights to the wall walks or newel stairs, and most chambers in the towers have associated garderobes. The Queen's Tower, known as the 'Banner Tower' in the C14, and the Chamberlain Tower have chambers in each storey with small square subsidiary chambers that probably served as chapels, and 2-light windows. The Queen's Tower has 3 octagonal chimney shafts behind the parapet. In the Chamberlain Tower the lower storey retains a fireplace with shouldered lintel. Both towers are occupied by the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Between Queen's Tower and Chamberlain Tower are the foundations of the great hall, while the 2 superimposed mural passages in the curtain wall have 2-light windows that formerly opened into the hall. The Black Tower is smaller than the other towers and has only single chambers in each stage, with cambered fireplace in the upper chamber, and 2-light windows. The Cistern Tower has a vaulted hexagonal chamber beneath an open stone-lined rainwater tank visible on the wall walk. In the unfinished Queen's Gate the position of porters' rooms is discernible in the flanking towers of which the S has a lintelled fireplace while both have garderobes. Portcullis slots and murder holes are in the passage. The upper storey over the passage was to have been a hall but was not completed. The Watch Tower is entered by a doorway at the wall walk level only. The NE Tower is simpler with single chambers in each stage, as is the Granary Tower, which incorporates a well shaft and has a fireplace with raked hood in the upper stage. Between the NE Tower and the King's Gate the curtain wall has corbels representing former buildings built against the curtain, and its mullioned windows incorporate window seats. (Listed Building Report)

Monumental masonry castle, an irregular area, c.150m E-W by 40-46m, is defined by curtain walls studded by 13 polygonal towers and turrets, including two twin-towered gatehouses,; walls and towers feature contrasting bands of stonework, turrets top the towers, and those of the Eagle Tower carried sculptured eagles, one remaining; castle heavily restored in the C19 and C20. The upper ward area is thought to rest upon and incorporate an earlier earthwork castle enclosure/mound. King Edward I intended the castle to be a royal residence and seat of government for north Wales. Begun in 1283 under the direction of Master James of St George, the King's mason-architect, and continuously in Crown possession since. World Heritage Site 374

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSH477626
Latitude53.1393699645996
Longitude-4.2762598991394
Eastings247700
Northings362600
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Laitude 53° 8' 20.76" Longitude -4° 16' 36.84"

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Books

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) passim
  • Kenyon, John, 2010, The Medieval Castles of Wales (University of Wales Press) p. 15-18
  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Late Medieval Siege: 1200-1500 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 83, 85, 220
  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 379
  • Avent, R., 2009, 'The Conservation and Restoration of Caernarfon Castle 1845-1912' in Willams, D. and Kenyon, J. (eds), The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales (Oxbow) p. 140-
  • Wheatley, A., 2009, 'Caernarfon Castle and its Mythology' in Willams, D. and Kenyon, J. (eds), The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales (Oxbow) p. 129-39
  • Lott, G., 2009, 'The Building Stones of the Edwardian Castles' in Willams, D. and Kenyon, J. (eds), The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales (Oxbow) p. 114-120
  • Brears, P., 2009, 'Food Supply and Preparation at the Edwardian Castles' in Willams, D. and Kenyon, J. (eds), The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales (Oxbow) p. 85-98
  • Ashbee, J., 2009, 'The King's Accommodation at his Castles' in Willams, D. and Kenyon, J. (eds), The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales (Oxbow) p. 72-84
  • Morgan, Gerald, 2008, Castles in Wales: A Handbook (Talybont: Y Lolfa Cyf.) p. 59-63
  • Davis, Paul R., 2007, Castles of the Welsh Princes (Y Lolfa) p. 67 (pre-Edwardian motte)
  • Gravett, Christopher, 2007, The Castles of Edward I in Wales 1277-1307 (Osprey Fortress series 64)
  • Avent, R., 2006, 'The conservation and restoration of Caernarfon Castle 1845-1912' in Meek, M. (ed), The modern traveller to our past: Festschrift in honour of Ann Hamlin (DPK) p. 344-52
  • Nichol, D., 2005, 'Geological provenance of Caernarfon Castle and town walls' in Bassett, M.G., Deisler, V.K. and Nichol, D. (eds), Urban geology in Wales Vol. 2 (Cardiff: National Museum of Wales) p. 204-8
  • Pettifer, Adrian, 2000, Welsh Castles, A Guide by Counties (Boydell Press) p. 19-24
  • Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 65-7
  • Morris, R.K., 1998, 'The Architecture of Arthurian Enthusiasm: Castle Symbolism in the Reigns of Edward I and his Successors' in M.J. Strickland (ed), Armies, Chivalry and Warfare in Medieval England and France: Proceedings of the 1995 Harlaxton Symposium (Stamford: Shaun Tyas) p. 63-81 (reprinted in Liddiard, Robert (ed), 2016, Late Medieval Castles (Boydell Press) p. 349-374)
  • Reid, Alan, 1998, Castles of Wales (John Jones Publishing) p. 36-9
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles of North Wales (Malvern) p. 18-25
  • Kightly, C., 1991, Caernarfon: A Royal Palace in Wales (CADW)
  • Coldstream, N., 1988, ‘The castle builders: Harlech and Caernarfon’, in ‘Architecture’, in B Ford (ed), The Cambridge guide to the arts in Britain. 2. The middle ages (Cambridge: CUP) p. 81-7
  • Colvin, H.M., 1986, 'Royal Gardens in Medieval England' in Elisabeth MacDougall (ed) Medieval Gardens (Washington D.C.) p. 10
  • Taylor, A.J., 1986, ‘Building at Caernarvon and Beaumaris in 1295-6’, in Taylor, A.J., Studies in castles and castle-building (London: Hambledon Press) p. 139-44
  • Taylor, A. J., 1986, The Welsh Castles of Edward I (London, Hambledon) p. 77-103
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 32
  • Humphries, P. H., 1983, Castles of Edward the First in Wales (London, HMSO)
  • Taylor, A.J., 1983, Four Great Castles: Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris (Newton: Gwasg Gregynog Ltd)
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 328-30
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker)
  • Carter, H., 1969, 'Caernarvon' in Lobel, M.D. (ed), Historic Towns: Maps and Plans of Towns and Cities in the British Isles, with Historical Commentaries, from Earliest Times to 1800 Vol. 1 (London: Lovell Johns-Cook, Hammond and Kell Organization) p. 1-8 online copy
  • RCAHMW, 1964, A Survey and Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Caernarvonshire Vol. 3: West (HMSO) p. 116-21 (additions) online copy
  • Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works, Vol. 1: the Middle Ages (London) p. 369-95
  • RCAHMW, 1960, A Survey and Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Caernarvonshire Vol. 2: Central (HMSO) p. 124-50 no. 1104 online copy
  • Toy, Sidney, 1953, The Castles of Great Britain (London) p. 168-71, 244-6
  • Neaverson, E., 1947, Mediaeval Castles in North Wales: A study of Sites, Water Supply, and Building Stones (London) p. 46-8
  • Toy, Sidney, 1939, Castles: A short History of Fortifications from 1600 BC to AD 1600 (London) p. 157-60, 195-8
  • Lloyd, J.E., 1931, Owen Glendower (Oxford University Press) p. 77-8, 79, 81 (assaults of 1403 and 1404)
  • Lowe, W.Bezant, 1927, The Heart of North Wales (Llanfairfechan)Vol2 p. 162-76
  • Tipping, 1921, English Homes period 1 (London) Vol. 1 p. 83-91
  • Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 261 online copy
  • Evans, Herbert A., 1912, Castles of England and Wales (London) p. 345-9
  • Hamilton Thompson, A., 1912, Military Architecture in England during the Middle Ages (London) p. 252-62
  • Clark, G.T., 1884, Mediaeval Military Architecture in England (Wyman and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 309-15 online copy
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 3 (London) p. 428-33 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy
  • Britton, John, 1835, The Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain (London) p. 137-40
  • Grose, Francis, 1785, The Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 7 p. 15-22, 30-1 online copy
  • Buck, Samuel and Nathenial, 1774, Buck’s Antiquities (London) Vol. 2 p. 367-9

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Charles Hollwey, 2015-16, 'From Chilham via Caernarfon to Thornbury: The rise of the polygonal tower' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 29 p. 263-85
  • Turner, J. 2015, 'Ten castles that made medieval Britain; Caernarfon Castle' The Medievalverse Vol. 25 p. 24-26 online copy
  • Anon, 2008-9, 'Queen's Gate, Caernarfon' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 22 p. 165 (news report)
  • Fradley, M., 2006, 'Space and Structure at Caernarfon Castle' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 50 p. 165-78 online copy
  • Coldstream, N., 2003 'Architects, Advisers and Design at Edward I’s Castles in Wales' Architectural History Vol. 46 p. 19-36 (reprinted in Liddiard, Robert (ed), 2016, Late Medieval Castles (Boydell Press) p. 41-60)
  • Avent, R., 2003, 'Uncovering repairs at Caernarfon' Heritage in Wales Vol. 26 p. 11-3
  • Mathieu, J.R., 1999, 'New Methods on Old Castles' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 43 p. 115-42 download copy
  • Butler, Lawrence, 1998, 'Masons' Marks in castles: a key to building practices' Château Gaillard Vol. 18 p. 23-26
  • Kenyon, John R., 1996, 'Fluctuating Frontiers: Normanno-Welsh Castle Warfare c. 1075 to 1240' Château Gaillard Vol. 17 p. 119-126
  • Taylor, A.J., 1984, ‘Caernarfon Castle and town walls’ 131st annual meeting, Anglesey, 1984, CAA p. 33-4
  • Thompson, M.W., 1979, 'Caernarfon Castle' 126th Annual Meeting, Lleyn and Snowdonia, 1979, CAA p. 27-9
  • Taylor, Arnold J., 1976, 'Caernarvon Castle and town walls (SH 478627)' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 132 p. 287-9
  • Evans, 1970, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 14 p. 179 download copy
  • Hauge, 1969, Country Life Vol. 145 p. 1650-2
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1967, 'Masonry castles in Wales and the Marches: a list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 116 p. 71-132
  • Hogg, A.H.A. and King, D.J.C., 1963, 'Early castles in Wales and the Marches: a preliminary list' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 112 p. 77-124
  • Johns, 1962, C.B.A. Group 2 Vol. 2 p. 12
  • Taylor, A.J., 1952-4, Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies Vol. 15 p. 61-6
  • Taylor, A.J., 1952, ‘The date of Caernarvon Castle’ Antiquity Vol. 26 no. 101 p. 25-34 (reprinted in Taylor, A.J., 1986, Studies in castles and castle-building (London: Hambledon Press) p. 129-38)
  • Taylor, A.J., 1950, History Vol. 35 p. 256-61
  • Edwards, J. Goronwy, 1944, 'Edward I's Castle-Building in Wales' Proceedings of the British Academy Vol. 32 esp p. 43-52, 71
  • Taylor, A.J., 1937, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 92 p. 356-8
  • Knoop, D., and Jones, G.P., 1932, 'Castle-building at Beaumaris and Caernarvon in the early 14th Century. A further study in operative masonry' Ars Quatuor Coronatorum Vol. 45 p. 4 - 47
  • Peers, 1915-6, Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion p. 28-74 (Detailed description)
  • Peers, 1911, Country Life Vol. 30 p. 56-62
  • Roberts, 1910-11, Llandudno Field Club Vol. 5 p. 3-21 (unimportant)
  • Turner, 1895, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 50 p. 212-22 (rather wild) online copy
  • Turner, 1874, Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 29 p. 74-6 online copy
  • Hartshorne, C.H., 1855, 'Caernarvon Castle' Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. 10 p. 242-6 online copy
  • Hartshorne, C.H., 1850, 'Caernarvon Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 7 p. 237-65

Guide Books

  • Taylor, A. J., 2004 (6edn), Caernarfon Castle including Caernarfon town walls (Cardiff: CADW)
  • Taylor, A. J., 2001 (5edn), Caernarfon Castle including Caernarfon town walls (Cardiff: CADW)
  • Taylor, A.J., edited by M R Apted, 1993 (3edn), Caernarfon Castle and Town Walls (Cardiff: CADW)
  • Taylor, A.J., edited by M R Apted, 1989 (Revised edn, reprinted with revisions), Caernarfon Castle and Town Walls (Cardiff: CADW)
  • Taylor, A.J., edited by M R Apted, 1986 (Revised edn), Caernarfon Castle (Cardiff: CADW)
  • Taylor, A. J., 1964 (Reprint of 1953 edn with amendments), Caernarvon Castle and Town Walls (London, HMSO)
  • Phillips, A., 1961, Caernarvon Castle Castell Caernarfon An Illustrated Souvenir (London; HMSO) (A short tourist guide - not of the quality of Taylor Blue Book)
  • Taylor, A. J., 1953, Caernarvon Castle and Town Walls (London; HMSO)
  • Peers, 1933, Caernarvon Castle (London; HMSO)
  • Pughe, n.d., Illustrated History of Caernarvon Castle (Caernarvon) (slight)

Primary Sources

  • Jones, Arthur (ed), 1910, History of Gruffydd ap Cynan (Manchester) p. 133 online copy (built c. 1090)
  • Hog, T. (ed), 1845, F. Nicholai Triveti de ordine frat. praedicatorum Annales sex regum Angliae, qui a comitibus andegavensibus originem traxerunt (English Historical Society) p. 333 online copy
  • Rothwell, H. (ed), 1957, The Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough, previously editied as the Chronicle of Walter of Hemingford or Hemingburgh (Camden Society) p. 250-1
  • Williams (ab Ithel), John, (ed), 1860, Annales Cambriae (444 – 1288) (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts)1283-6 online copy
  • Thompson, E.M. (ed), 1904 (2edn), Chronicon Adae de Usk (London) p. 71 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 109-10
  • Myers, A.R. (ed), 1969, English Historical Documents Vol. 4 1327-1485 p. 195-6 (assault of 1404)
  • B.M. Add. Roll 7198 (survey 14 Edw II) (British Library reference)
  • E178/109 (Survey of 37 Elizabeth) The National Archives reference
  • SP14/49/82 (Survey of 1609) The National Archives reference

Other

  • Ryder, Charles, 2011, The spiral stair or vice: Its origins, role and meaning in medieval stone castles (PhD Thesis University of Liverpool) p. 207-15 Download via