#42 & #170 Harlech Castle
"Castell cadarn a'i safle grymus ar ben y graig"
This is NOT an official Lego site
mighty castle superbly situated on a rocky crag" is
an apt description for Harlech, after seven centuries
still the most magnificent achievement of Master James of
St. George. So pleased in fact was King Edward I that he
made James the constable of Harlech from the castle's
completion until 1293, while James was overseeing
construction of Beaumaris and Caernarfon Castles, also in north Wales.
The massive gatehouse is 80 x 54 feet and the twin
cylindrical towers guard a passageway with three
portcullis' and three sets of doors! The initial phase of
construction, in 1283, was to build the inner castle in stone up to a
height of about 15 feet, in order to protect the workforce, of up to 950
men, from attack by the Welsh lords.
impregnability of Harlech to attack was proven when a
Welsh force led by Madog ap Llywelyn was held off by 37
men in 1294. Despite being completely cut off by land, the castle was
able to be supplied from the nearby sea with shipments from Ireland. Harlech was, however, not
siege. Harlech was taken in 1404 by Owain Glyndwr but
only by starving the diseased garrison into surrendering.
Tradition suggests that Owain had himself formally crowned prince of
Wales during his relatively brief tenure at Harlech. Another long
siege five years later led by Harry of
Monmouth, Prince of Wales (and later King Henry V) forced
Owain to give up his headquarters at Harlech, resulted in
the capture of his wife and four children, and ended his
rebellion and career. Harlech played an important role in the War of the
Roses. It gave shelter to the wife of King Henry VI, Margaret of
Anjou, in 1460, and was held for the Lancastrians by a Welsh constable
from 1461-8. John Warkworth wrote "Kyng Edward [IV] was possessed
of alle Englonde, excepte a castelle in Northe Wales called Harlake"
Edward empowered Sir William Herbert of Raglan to capture Harlech in
1468. Herbert laid siege with a force to 7,000 to 10,000 men, but
it took almost a month for the constable's force of 50 men (at the end)
to surrender. Harlech was the last castle to
surrender to Cromwell in early 1647, thus signaling the end of phase one
of the English Civil War. The Parliamentarians rendered the castle
untenable, but an order to demolish was happily ignored. Though
bereft of its floors and roofs, the main structure survived very well.
It gradually garnered the attention of various artists, and with repairs
carried out in both the 19th and 20th centuries, it's become a popular
of the Gatehouse
of the Lego Model
Built December 1991
of the Lego Model
Under construction in August-December 2018
On August 7
the new model of Harlech
is laid out. It will be more than 2¼ times
larger than the 1991 model!
The next nine days are
with the dry moat level the zero elevation
of the new model.
By August 26th the
terrain of the outer
bailey is complete.
I am planning to leave
battlements off while I'm at work
on the inner castle.
On August 29 the inner
landscaping is complete.
It's time to
begin building the
magnificent inner castle!
By September 4 towers are
to rise above the level of the outer ward.
Entrances are arched, and
pentice has posts for an eventual
More definition has
occurred by Sept.
16, with portcullises in place, and some
first story windows visible.
Ystumgwerm Hall and
granary are roofed, as is the
pentice, with stairs to the
construction of the gatehouse
stair is done, and the bakehouse
appears to be functioning!
The intriguing stair from
the NE tower to the wall-
walk was fun to build!
By October 11 the windows
great gatehouse and chapel have
arrived from Hungary, and
of the SE and
SW towers is close to
...with the NE tower needing
a roof, and the NW tower
a bit more work.
be adding battle-
ments to the outer curtain.
of the completed Lego Model
Built August-December 2018
This project took many weeks longer than expected due to the huge number of merlons with arrow/crossbow slits.
I needed to order light gray Lego elements, no longer made by Lego group on several occasions. The final
Lego brick count for the model was 35,730!
view of the model from
the front (east) highlighting the
view from the
with the Mortimer Tower.
From the south the small
bastion is prominent.
The southwest view
the stair atop the trail that
winds 200 ft. up from below,
with the Bronwen Tower above.
I left the
ramp off the west side
of the outer wall, believing it to
be relatively modern.
The view from
accents the Armorer's Tower.
The north view features
main postern gate.
Finally, the northeast
with another narrow stair and
the Prison Tower
close-up of the
Outer Gate, with it's board-
roof of the massive
Gatehouse with access
turrets and four chimneys.
backside of the
Gatehouse, photographed by
from the north
highlighting the Ystumgwerm
From the south the
Chapel and Bakehouse
Here's my interpretation
what the pentice would have
A close-up of the
around the bakehouse.
the Prison Tower.
The unique stair
outside the Mortimer
upper portion of the
A close-up of the
roof of the
And the North
Postern - almost
The plan and elevations for the 2018 model are quite incomplete,
and therefore will likely not be posted. Sorry.
|1991 Lego Plan|
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