Northern Monument #14
Ewloe Castle, built around 1257, is a relic of a brief triumph that the Welsh had over the English Crown in the mid 13th century. Until then, this part of north east Wales had been the starting point for repeated Norman invasions of Gwynedd for more than 150 years. The castle was built from local stone. Its design – such as the Welsh Keep – suggests it was conceived and built entirely by a Welsh workforce. Two decades after its construction, in July 1277 Edward I began the first Welsh War by marching his forces out of Chester and up the west coast of the Dee Estuary. Ewloe Castle is not mentioned in chronicles of the 1277 invasion suggesting the Welsh had abandoned the castle before the attack; retreating to stronger defensive positions. As Edward I's castles at Flint and Rhuddlan could be provisioned by sea, Ewloe was never used by the English military. By the late medieval period some 2 centuries later, the site was in ruins. Much of the castle's dressed stone work from its curtain walls and keep were carted away for reuse in later buildings. Despite having avoided its use as a defensive position, in essence, Ewloe castle still stands as a monument that represents a time before Wales was fully integrated into the empire, and the woodlands could still hide enemies at any given point in time. Something that's really quite hard to imagine in this day and age!