Visiting the Welsh countryside is a special event for the people who have the chance to go. Most are surprised by how different this country is from the rest of the United Kingdom. One great way to experience the history and ingenuity of the Welsh people is to tour Wales castles. There are hundreds to choose from, and each one is unique and special. Many have famous gardens for tourists to enjoy.

Edward I, who came to power late thirteenth century, had a major influence on the architecture of this country’s castles. Prior to his reign most of them were built in a motte and bailey design, which is commonly seen in other areas around the United Kingdom. The Edwardian style, as it came to be known, consists of a walled exterior, turrets, and towers. It gives the appearance of the castles most people recognize and have seen in animated film features for many years.

Once such castle, that looks like it was taken from the pages of Sleeping Beauty, is Hensol Castle. It is new construction by Welsh standards, having been erected in the nineteenth century. In the 1930s it was turned into a mental hospital and operated as such until the 2003. Television and film studios have transported casts and equipment to Hensol Castle in order to incorporate it into their projects.

The Earl of March had Chirk Castle erected to guard against enemies attempting to enter Ceiroig Valley. It has been in existence since 1295. Today visitors are encouraged take guided tour and stroll through the state rooms and climb the steps leading to towers. The dungeons are also available for viewing. The yew hedges, rock gardens, and terraces located in its expansive garden should not be missed.

Cardiff Castle is a favorite of tourists who come to the capital and largest city in the country. It is a combination of Greek Revival and Victorian architecture. The city owns the castle and it lets out periodically for rock concerts and appearances by popular performers. The annual summer ball and Mardi Gras are held at the castle.

In the fourteen hundreds the Humphreys built a manor house known as Bodelwyddan Castle. It was reconstructed during eighteen hundreds by the famous architect, Joseph Hansom. After World War I, wounded soldiers recuperated in this castle, which at one time was owned by a private girls school. The Royal Academy of Arts and National Portrait Gallery have housed artwork in it. Today a portion of the premises operates as a hotel.

The investiture of the Prince of Wales took place in Caernarfon Castle. This fortification was redesigned by Edward I to fit his taste. The original castle design was motte and bailey. At one time it was the administrative center for the northern section of this country.

Touring castles is not something everyone has a chance to do. Walking through structures that have been in existence for hundreds of years is a special experience. Lucky visitors will have plenty of stories to tell their friends and family.

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