Overlooking the gorgeous estuary of the River Dee, you’ll find the remains of the magnificent Flint Castle.
This formidable fortress is no stranger to war and is the setting of one of the most famous scenes from a Shakespeare classic.
The start of the iron ring
Edward I built Flint Castle in the 13th century, the first fortress established in his war against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd - also known as Llywelyn the Last.
It was also the very first link in his “Iron Ring” of strongholds, the network of castles he used to conquer Wales.
These ruins also mark the site of a legendary moment in history.
Here, Edward I’s great-grandson (Richard II) confronted his rival and childhood friend Henry Bolingbroke, an event famously immortalised in Shakespeare’s play, Richard II.
After a gruelling three-month siege during the English Civil War, Parliamentary forces took the castle from the Royalists and stripped the castle of its defenses, ensuring it could never again be used in war.
Yet the castle still had other uses: in the 19th century, it was actually used as Flintshire's county jail!
These ancient stone halls could tell many a tale and are truly worth exploring.
If you take a stroll along the banks of the River Dee, you might begin to realise that Flint Castle's location wasn't just chosen for the view.
The position meant that supplies could be brought to the castle by boat, and at low tide, the river could even be crossed using a nearby ford.
This meant that English soldiers could safely cross the border with the castle ready to shelter them at the other side.
And what a shelter it was: in its prime, the castle had a huge tower, thick walls, and was even surrounded by a moat.
The remains of its tower (or “donjon”) are still extremely imposing today, so try to imagine what it would have looked like in its full glory.
The architecture of Flint Castle is truly unique and was never repeated in any of Edward’s other fortresses.
A fascinating time
We promise that even those who are familiar with castles will be surprised by this place, and it’s worth visiting for the views alone.
The nearby town of Flint itself also has plenty of places to eat, shop, and stay while you’re here, so why not start planning your visit?