SNPA Strapline

Visiting Snowdonia

Harlech Castle


Castell Carndochan

This castle has an unusual location, on a high craggy hilltop overlooking the lower part of the Afon Lliw, near Llanuwchllyn. The badly ruined curtain wall encloses the foundations of a square tower and two semi-circular or round towers. The largest tower was rectangular with an apsidal end. There is no documentary evidence for the building or use of this castle, but it is generally regarded as the work of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth because of the similarity of the apsidal building to examples at Castell y Bere and Ewloe Castle, in Flintshire.

Castell Carndochan

Castell Carndochan (© SNPA)

The tower at Carndochan does not seem to have been built on the same alignment as the rest of the castle and it may have been constructed at a different time, either earlier or later. There are hints that this crag may have been defended in the prehistoric period. It would be an ideal location for a hillfort and a decorated glass bead of Iron Age date has been found on the moor beyond the rock cut ditch.

Carn Dochan – Euros Bowen

Cymreigiad o graig
yng ngwely’r mynydd
ar enw Carn Dochan.

Castell yn niogelwch
y Tywysogion
yn gorwedd ar Garn Dochan.

Cen yn gwrlid
gwyrdd a choch
dros dymhorau Carn Dochan.

Y brodiad aur
y cerrig gwyn
yn cadw erchwyn Carn Dochan.

The poem refers to Carndochan’s historical connections with Welsh history and the Princes of Gwynedd, as well as the cairn’s natural surroundings: the rocks, lichen and the effects of the seasons.

Euros Bowen (1904-88)

Euros Bowen was an abundant writer and poet, who was rector at Llanuwchllyn for a while. He was an innovative poet, who was famed for experimenting with the meters and themes of his poems. Some people believed that his work was too complex and he is now remembered as one of the most controversial figures of the Welsh literature.