Friday, March 22, 2013

The Great Unfinished Masterpiece - Beaumaris Castle, Wales

Beaumaris Castle on the Isle of Anglesey is the great unfinished masterpiece.

Following his conquest of Wales in the 13th century, Edward I, King of England, built Beaumaris Castle as part of his formidable 'Iron Ring' of castles. The Iron Ring is a slew of colossal fortresses in an attempt to subjugate the Welsh people. Edward I's fearsome Iron Ring represents Europe's most ambitious and concentrated medieval building project. Beaumaris Castle is only one of the castles in Edward I's Iron Ring.

Seven centuries ago when they began planning and building, the population of Llanfaes was forcibly moved 12 miles (19km) away to Newborough to make way for Edward’s new castle. It was also his last. Money and supplies ran out before it reached full height. Despite this, Beaumaris Castle is regarded by many as the finest of all the great Edwardian Castles in Wales. The concentric design of Beaumaris Castle meant the outer curtain was overlooked entirely by the castle's inner ward. The castle is praised by UNESCO as a "unique artistic achievement" for the way in which is combines "characteristic 13th century double-wall structures with a central plan" and for the beauty of its "proportions and masonry".

The unfinished castle of Beaumaris, located on the Isle of Anglesey, northeast of the Menai Bridge. The name Beaumaris is derived from the French for beautiful marsh, le beau marais. The fortress sits contentedly in a scenic setting overlooking mountains and the sea, partially surrounded by a water-filled moat.

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