#93 Beaumaris Castle
Isle of Anglesey, Wales
This is NOT an official Lego site
all the castles built by Master James of St. George for
King Edward I, his castle seated on the 'fair marsh' [Beau
Mareys in Norman-French] near the shore of the Isle
of Anglesey just off the north coast of Wales is the
largest (more than twice as large as Harlech) and most
symmetrical (due to the pliablility of the marshland). So
why after more than 30 years of construction (long after
Master James death in 1308) was this most perfect of
concentric castles never completed? Much of the answer
lies in the timing of its construction. Edward's north
Wales protective screen of castles already included Flint,
Rhuddlan, Conwy, Harlech and Aberystwyth, with
construction on Caernarfon well under way - when a
vigorous Welsh rebellion in the fall of 1294 took Edward
by surprise. The large number of English casualties and
the severe damage to Caernarfon Castle were savagely
revenged by the king, but the hanging of his close friend,
Roger de Pulesdon, Sheriff of Anglesey, resulted in the
rapid commencement of the design and construction of
Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey Isle.
construction proceeded rapidly from 1295 through 1298,
then virtually ceased as the King concentrated on
Scotland. As fears of a Scottish-Welsh coalition grew,
construction resumed from 1306 through 1330, but a survey
in 1343 found Beaumaris still very much incomplete with
an estimate of at least £684 (a very large sum)
necessary to complete the south gatehouse and effect
other repairs. The castle was captured by the Welsh in
the revolt of 1403, but regained by the Crown two years
later. The castle deteriorated until it was reported in
1534 "there was scarcely a single chamber in
Beaumaris Castle where a man could lie dry." In 1609
the castle was described as "utterlie decayed"
and the stones of the courtyard buildings may have been
used to build the 1829 Beaumaris Gaol. Since 1925 the
castle has been in the care of the state, with much of
the moat redug, ivy removed, etc.
looking back toward the
the roofless Mill Tower.
Bailey with archers'
slits, tower doors and overhanging
and stepped wall walks.
Beaumaris as she
would have looked if completed
September & October 2003
This castle model is
going to take a few weeks to build - probably well into October!?
[Turned out to be November!]
SSE View. The castle
is laid out to fit my building table.
The 1993 Lego plan is only for
purposes of the layout.
SSW View. The outer
curtain wall and towers can be
indentified, with the flat marsh-
land just above moat level.
SSE View. Towers are
rising, the Gunner's Walk is done
and the Sea Gate is well along.
The outer curtain wall and towers
are complete, so construction of
the inner ward can proceed.
NNE View. The never
finished Llanfaes Gate is as it might
have looked, if funds were available.
SSE View of the
dock, Sea Gate and
The residential range
and north gatehouse are well
The next pictures you'll
be seeing will be in the Photos section
below. Note the single Chapel turret.
of the Lego Model
Built September-November 2003
The model contains 27,043 bricks - 22,074 light gray.
is finally done! Here's a
general view from the southwest,
where the town is located.
view from the southeast,
featuring the gunner's walk and the
barbican in front of the south gatehouse.
northeast general view features
the never completed Iuntil now) Llanfaes
from the northwest shows
best the impressive outer curtain wall
and some of the 16 towers.
from the north
is to show off the front
and back of the great
detail of the "Gate Next
the Sea", the castle dock and the
Gunner's Walk with its mill!
detail of the South
Gatehouse shows the
small barbican that
protects the entrance.
the Chapel Tower on
the east side of the castle.
Note the lighted windows
(on-off slider on lower right).
Hall is on the northeast
inner curtain, with the stairs (right)
also leading to the Chapel.
inner ward is the range
of buildings that houses the stables
and kitchen, among other things.
the outer curtain
|Here is a
detail of the outer
curtain wall with 3-level tower,
steps to the wallwalk & latrine
on the wallwalk (upper left).
among you may have
noticed the "button" on
the tower wall
to be opened, revealing
the toggle which controls
the working portcullis!
picture I took during
construction showing the gear
mechanism needed to make
the portcullis' move slowly.
closeup the portcullis
is down. My portcullis' are
constructed from 1/8" wood
for hobby projects.
partially raised. I didn't
go too high so it was
The plans below are NOT of the model above. I love this castle (who wouldn't!) and
did the design first [on the left] in the late 1980s, when my skills were less well honed
and my dreams smaller. It was just 0.38 scale - far smaller than the 1.0 scale [1 Lego
peg =1 foot] that would suit a self-respecting Lego minifigure knight or lady. The plan
on the right from November 1993 brought the size up to 154 x 192 bricks (0.42) - still
woefully small. The final model above is 176 x 266 (0.52). It was expanded from the
1993 plan to fill my building table - as large as I can make it - so there is no exact plan!
|1980s Lego Plan||1993 Lego Plan|
|Cross-section looking toward the North Gatehouse||1993 Sea
Gate with shipping dock
(note: sea level is NOT really
higher than the marsh/moat!)
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