Beaumaris Castle Poem
Most perfect in its symmetry, Beaumaris Castle stands
Paraded with ten Inner Towers, It dominates the lands
The Outer Wall, with moated Feet, a fine old stone defence
King Edward's First campaign in Wales to send the Madog hence.
Young James St George constructed here, the year, 12-95
But funds were shipped to Scotland which diverted all that drive.
And, incomplete, the Castle held the Welsh rebelling force
and later fell to ruins, which neglected castles do, of course.
With local stone the outer ward reflected in its moat
twelve towers and twins of Gatehouses smile down and sometimes gloat!
The Kings of England vied for power, 'divide and rule' the game
to conquer Northern Wales and bring some peace with vanquished shame.
Llywelyn fought through bloody marsh, The English held it Fair
the Stonemasons had built it well, four hundred plus the workmen there.
Two thousand more and quarriers - a monumental task
With Smiths and local Carpenters - you only had to ask!
In engineering terms it was the finest castle built,
A symbol of a vision that defies the boggy silt
Its limestone and its sandstone mix the walls with beige and green
The tidal dock supplies the finest salt-sea that a moat has ever seen.
Beaumaris Castle, in Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales, was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer north Wales after 1282. A World Heritage Site, Beaumaris Castle has a perfect concentric design, is surrounded by a water moat, and has stunning views over the Menai straits and Snowdonia mountain range.
In 1294-95, the Welsh rose in revolt under Madog ap Llywelyn. The rebels were crushed after an arduous winter campaign, and the decision was taken to proceed with a new castle in April 1295. The extent of English power is demonstrated by the fact that the entire native population of Llanfaes was forced to move to a newly established settlement, named Newborough. The castle itself was begun on the "fair marsh," and was given the Norman-French name Beau Mareys. Building progressed at an astonishing speed, with some 2,600 men engaged in the work during the first year.
In sole charge was Master James of St. George, already with many years of experience in castle-building, both in Wales and on the Continent. Even after 700 years it is not difficult to appreciate the tremendous sophistication in his elaborate design at Beaumaris. The first line of defence was provided by a water-filled moat, some 18ft wide. At the southern end was a tidal dock for shipping, where vessels of 40 tons laden weight could sail right up to the main gate. The dock was protected by the shooting deck on Gunner's Walk.