While Staying at The Bath Tower we did of course visit Caernarfon Castle which is part of the same fortification. Started in 1283 and finished although not completed in 1330 it is considered one of the finest remaining buildings of the Middle Ages.
Commissioned by Edward I to secure the recently captured lands or northern Wales it is one of a series of castle built to defend the area, it also shows the ways of a shrewd and clever king. Caernarfon was the grandest of these series of castles and its multi coloured walls, like those of Constantinople and grand Eagle Tower with stone eagles perched on its battlements made both a bold claim with comforting security. The locals in northern Wales held their last conquerors, the Romans in great respect, now their new conqueror used a famous Roman city and the Roman’s emblem to adorn his administration castle for the area.
It is said that while visiting the Castle on 25th April 1284 Queen Eleanor gave birth to Edward I’s son within the far from complete castle walls. Later in 1301, again in a shrewd move to quell rumblings, Edward I would declare his son Edward, who had been born in Wales within the great Caernarfon Castle, Edward or Caernarfon Wales’ new Prince, there was still a Prince of Wales and what is more as Edward I’s oldest surviving son that Prince would one day be King of England. In the castle there is a stained glass window that marks this link between the castle and the title Prince of Wales.
The current Prince of Wales is the 21st to hold the title since Edward of Caernarfon, his investiture as Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle on 1st July 1969, it took a lot of planning and preparation and the large slate dias that was built for the occasion is still in place in the castle.
Thanks to Hubby for the picture directly above, I was having a rest so didn’t get this view of the dias from above Queen’s Gate.
In 1911 Edward VIII is the only other Prince of Wales to have been invested at Caernarfon Castle.
Inside the Castle walls is a large area and on the day of Prince Charles investiture it was filled with invited guests. Some sat on staging with cushions made out of Welsh tweed which they were then allowed to keep as mementoes. Others sat on special designed chairs also with specially commissioned Welsh tweed cushion. In The Bath Tower were we were staying were two of these chairs. Now I must admit at this point that when I originally saw them I thought they were out-of-place and wasn’t too keen on them, still not really my thing, but now I don’t think they are out-of-place, especially as they sit beneath the window that has a view of the castle.
Which brings me full circle from where I started only this time the picture is of The Bath Tower (shrouded in green and scaffolding) from Caernarfon Castle.
As we left The Bath Tower to go to the Castle we met a neighbour of the Tower. ‘Did you see the Queen?’ she asked. Apparently she had been at the castle an hour or so before us. However as Hubby had stood next to her admiring a horse at Royal Ascot in the 90′s and I had spoken to her and shook her hand in the 70′s neither of us felt we had missed out on that particular aspect of our royal trip to Caernarfon Castle.