Pen-y-Castell, Maenan

This primitive castle of unknown history shares some of the typical features of indiginous Welsh castles. It mixes the traditional dry-stone walled enclosure built on a naturally defensible site with a keep-like structure at its most vulnerable end, and is similar to Carn Fadrun on the Lleyn Peninsula. Carn Fadrun was reported to have been newly built by Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis) in 1188.
Pen-y-Castell is situated high on the eastern bank of the Conwy valley above the village of Maenan, about 7 miles upstream from the town of Conwy. It is close to a crossroads from where roads led to the ancient towns Llanwrst, Conwy, Denbigh and Bangor. (The above is an extract from the excellent website [] and with kind permission of the author of many an historic essay on the various castles in Wales, Mr John Northall.)

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