Thursday, 29 October 2015

A castle too far!

         Wed 28th October

                     Once again on a train,this time heading for Bangor in order to catch a bus to Caernarvon in order to see Teddy the First's masterpiece and they weren't far from the truth but you would have thought he would have built a railway station beside it as well.Some people are not forward thinking.

                     Caernarvon castle is situated right at the harbour in the town square.It reminds me of Edinburgh castle but on a smaller scale especially with all the gift shops and cafes surrounding it.

   Before we ventured into the castle we saw a sign for a boat cruise around the Menai Strait so as we had plenty of time we got our seeboots on and climbed aboard.It was a pleasant little cruise and the captain explained about the appearing sandbanks and amongst other things told us about the local wildlife.Also shown were the beaches were Maurice Wilks tested his new creation the Land Rover at Newborough away back in 1947.He then informed us about Fort Belan which was built by Thomas Wynn,local constable, as a defence against privateers during the American War of Independence and also used during the Napoleonic Wars.
                           He then informed us how one of Wynn's descendants would fire blanks from the cannons on special occasions but decided one day in honour of his mother-in -laws's birthday to fire a real cannon ball which dismasted a schooner in the Strait.He was fined £25 for that escapade.

                             Back on land we ventured into the castle expecting to be there for about an hour-wrong!There is a lot to see and there are many intertwining passages all around the castle to get lost in.
                 There were exhibitions about the Welsh princes preceding Edward and also a display about Queen Eleanor and the reasons for her young teenage marriage to Edward.
                  There was also an exhibition about Roman emperor Macsen Wledig(Magnus Maximus) who had a dream about a beautiful woman and sent out messengers throughout the empire to find this woman.She was eventually found to be a British princess in North West Wales.He proceeded to marry her and their descendants allegedly included the Welsh princes and King Arthur.This appealed to King Edward's naivety and he stated that they were his ancestors.I wonder if he wants to buy the Forth Bridge from me?
                                       Opinion time-I do believe Arthur existed but not in the way Geoffrey of Monmouth or Sir Thomas Mallory made him out to be.I believe he was a Romano-British commander around the time of the first Anglo-Saxon invasions but why let the truth get in the way of a good story.
                        The Royal Welch budgie feathers(sorry Fusiliers)have their museum in Caernarvon castle and it is a brilliant exhibition showing and depicting the history of the regiment from its origins in 1689 right up to its modern deployments.
Just a coincidence that the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers have their museum in Alnwick castle.


All in all a good two hours were needed to go around the castle in order to see all the nooks and crannies as well as all the exhibits.

We are supposed to be heading for Beuamaris castle tomorrow but there is mutiny in the ranks(mainly me).To misquote Boy Browning we may have gone a castle too far.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are having a great time, those castles look great.