Harlech Castle is located at Harlech, in Gwynedd, North Wales.
The mediaeval fortress was constructed by King Edward I towards the end of the thirteenth century, as part of his ‘Iron Ring’ of castles, built around North Wales to subdue and conquer the Welsh.
The castle was built on the top of a cliff, close to the Irish sea, and was virtually impregnable. The sea originally came much closer to Harlech than in modern times, and a water-gate and a long flight of steps leads down from the castle to the former shore, which allowed the castle to be resupplied by sea during sieges.
Along with Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle and Beaumaris Castle, this monument has been part of the Castles and Town Walls of Edward 1 World Heritage Site since 1986.
The castle ruins are now managed by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, as a tourist attraction [Cadw is the Welsh verb ‘to protect’].
“Men of Harlech”, the Welsh nation’s unofficial anthem, loved by rugby fans and regimental bands alike, is said to describe the siege which took place here during the War of the Roses, wherein a handful of men held out against a besieging army of thousands.
[Turn up the sound for the best experience.]
There are many versions of “Men of Harlech”, and there is no single accepted English version. The version below was published in 1873.
Echoes loudly waking,
See, they now are flying!
“Men of Harlech” also had a prominent role in the 1964 film “Zulu”, although the version of lyrics sung in it were written specially for the film.
Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming,
Men of Harlech stand ye steady,
From the hills rebounding,
Men of Harlech on to glory,
Links to other castles:
Splendid castle-landscape photography, Isabella. 🙂
Thank you very much, Phil.
I love the castles in the UK, there is so much history.
Yes, they are amazing places to visit, especially in North Wales.
Your compositions are lovely with the flowers and gorgeous blue skies! What a beautiful castle!!
Thank you, Donna, for your lovely message.
Or like in German “Achtung”?
CH – pronounced as in the Scottish ‘loch’ and the composer Bach. (guttural “kh”-type sound). Hope this helps.
Same in Breton. Common roots indeed. Cromlech is a good example. Stonehenge would be a cromlech.
Beautiful. I didn’t know about the song. Though I do remember the movie vividly… (I was a white boy in Africa. Does ring a bell) How do you pronounce ‘ch’ in Welsh? Is it like in Breton? (Like the Spanish J?)
I didn’t realise it was used in Zulu either, until I was doing the research. I believe it was Ivor Emmanuel who sang it in the film. I don’t remember him.
You always have a great choice of music for your posts. I remember that scene from Zulu.
Thank you, Sue. Wales is known for its singing and especially the male voice choirs. I didn’t know that Men of Harlech was sung in the film though. Quite a surprise.
Some great views of that solid structure!
Thank you, Graham. I tried to get it from all angles. I want to go back at some point, to actually go inside the castle and to take photos of Cardigan Bay from the top. I believe there’s a nice cafe there too.
Oh, nice! I’ve only been there once, many years ago, and saw it from the outside.
A wonderful photo journey! Thank you so much. We never made it to Harlech Castle, so must come back and meet up with you at Harlech Castle!
Thank you, dear Rebecca. I hope you do get to come back to Wales.
What a wonderful time that would be. I believe that international travel will return one day.
I do hope so. Xx
Remarkable images of Harlech Castle. Thank you for the link of Ms. Church’s song! The “Men of Harlech”, wow…
Thank you, Amy. Glad you enjoyed it.
That’s a great looking castle.
Thank you, Timothy. It’s one of the best Welsh castles, I think. It is considered to be “one of the finest examples of late 13th century military architecture in Europe.”