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Dinas Bran Castle

An ancient and almost impregnable stronghold, 750 feet above Llangollen, of the Welsh princes probably built just before 1270 by Madog, prince of this part of Powys. The builders made cunning use of the natural defences afforded by the steep drop to the north and west - and also of the original Iron Age hillfort on the site. To the east and south, where the slopes are more gentle, a deep ditch was hewn out of solid rock. Towers and a barbican added further protection. The limestone hill formed such a good natural reservoir, the garrison would have no water supply problems should the castle be besieged. However, two wells were built to supplement their water supply and the castle was later taken by the English.

History of Dinas Bran Castell

600's - An Iron Age fortress is constructed consisting of earthen ramparts topped with a wooden palisade protected by a deep ditch. Within the fortress a village of roundhouses are built for the lord and his people.

700's - Elisedd ap Gwylog, one of the founders of the kingdom of Powys, rules his dominion from Dinas Bran.

1073 - The timber built Dinas Bran, or "Crow Castle," in its translation, is first mentioned in historical record as being in total ruin, although the site and name 'Dinas' are of Iron Age origin. (more in the History section)

Whatever route you take to get to the castle, the view from the top is well worth the effort and is without doubt the most spectacular of any castle in all of Wales. The crumbling ruins are simply stunning, set against such dramatic scenery in every direction. Watching the sun set from this ancient fortress is a special experience. A visit to Dinas Bran is an absolute must for anyone interested in castles, history or appreciates stunning atmospheric scenery.

Text by Fred Vincent