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Dolbadarn Castle

A Grade I Listed Building in Llanberis, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 53.1165 / 53°6'59"N

Longitude: -4.1141 / 4°6'50"W

OS Eastings: 258603

OS Northings: 359793

OS Grid: SH586597

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q.7P2Q

Mapcode Global: WH54M.SX2P

Entry Name: Dolbadarn Castle

Listing Date: 28 May 1999

Last Amended: 28 May 1999

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 21854

Building Class: Defence

Location: Situated on a natural rock outcrop in a strategic position at the north-west end of Llyn Peris, the castle forms a prominent feature in the landscape.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Llanberis

Community: Llanberis

Locality: Pentre-castell

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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Probably built by Llywelyn ap Iorweth (1173-1240) towards the end of his life, the castle was partly dismantled after the English conquest, some of the timber being taken to Caernarfon for use in the royal castle there in 1284. The curtain wall and outbuildings, of which only fragmentary ruins survive, post-date the keep and may have been added by the English. The castle has been painted by many artists, including Turner.


Castle keep. Circular plan surviving to about 14.5m in height. Regularly coursed and tightly-packed slate-stone slabs, now roofless. Original entrance on north-western side with steeply pointed arch approached by wide flight of C20 external steps; another steeply pointed arch directly above. A well-preserved lean-to garderobe tower projects to the left of the entrance and a series of narrow rectangular windows to the right indicates the position of the internal spiral staircase.


Interior is roofless; internal spiral staircase remains along with the remnants of 2 large fireplaces and empty sockets for joist and beam ends of the former floor structures.

Reasons for Listing

Listed Grade I as a well-preserved example of a C13 native Welsh castle with circular shell keep.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Capel Jerusalem with former domestic accommodation to rear
    Located at the eastern end of Pentre-castell on the north side of the A 4086 immediately south of Dolbadarn Castle; a low rendered wall with iron gates forms a small forecourt to the street.
  • II Bryn Eithin
    Set back on north side of main road in Pentre-castell at left end of terrace of cottages; separated from other cottages by high rubblestone wall, which along with similar wall to road encloses front g
  • II Ty Ucha'r Ffordd
    Located on a natural rock outcrop on the south-west side of the A 4086 overlooking Pentre-castell and Dolbadarn Castle; there is a stone retaining wall directly in front of the cottage.
  • II Glandwr Cottage
    Located on the SW side of the A4085, on the S edge of Llanberis, some 200m SE of Dolbadarn Castle.
  • II Royal Victoria Hotel
    Situated on slightly rising ground at the south-eastern approach to Llanberis.
  • II Engine Shed
    Located at the foot of the Snowdon Mountain Railway directly to the south of Llanberis Station; a water tank manufactured by Bolling & Lowe of London is situated at the north-west corner of the shed.
  • I Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops (Welsh Slate Museum Buildings)
    Located at the south-east end of Llyn Padarn to the east of Llanberis, the quarry workshops sit at the foot of the vast workings of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry; the immediately surrounding land i
  • II Incline, Drumhouses and Counter Balances ('A' Incline)
    Incline rising steeply to the north-east of the former Dinorwic Slate Quarry Workshops, running initially south-eastwards and then just to the south-west of the former quarryworkers' barracks turning

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