A feat of Welsh medieval engineering
Castell y Bere is one of several castles built by native Welsh princes throughout Snowdonia’s landscape. This is a castle that exemplifies the talent of the Welsh for building on the rocky and uneven hills of Snowdonia.
The castle is built on a jagged rocky outcrop in the Dysynni Valley—a stone’s throw from Cader Idris and Afon Cader. Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) was responsible for its construction in 1221, and the castle’s architecture is notable. The castle had a sophisticated entrance consisting of two gatehouses and drawbridges—very modern features for the time, surpassing the standards of English defences.
In 1283, Castell y Bere was one of several castles in the hands of Dafydd ap Gruffydd, grandson of Llywelyn the Great, when Edward I’s armies conquered many of the castles, including Castell y Bere.
Bere Castle today
The remains of many of the castle’s features can be seen today, including two towers that are characteristic of a Welsh castle style, a water store, the inner towers of the castle and the gatehouse.