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Beaumaris Town Walls

In the community of Beaumaris.
In the historic county of Anglesey.
Modern authority of Anglesey.
Preserved county of Gwynedd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH60487628
Latitude 53.26410° Longitude -4.09330°

Beaumaris Town Walls has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The borough of Beaumaris (NPRN 32989) was first chartered in 1296 when the castle was established (NPRN 95769). It is thought that town walls were planned at this stage but were not carried through. A short stretch of very wide foundation remains outside the castle's south gate. Following the emergencies of the opening years of the fifteenth century a grant was made for a ditch in 1407 and thirty burgages - building plots - had been destroyed to make way for the for the walls by 1414. The town was readied for war in the 1640s when the work on Bryn Britain, some 240m to the south-west, was fortified against it in 1642-3 (NPRN 400076). The circuit is depicted on Speed's map of 1610, however, only fragments remain and the circuit is not known in detail. The ditch was recorded in excavations in 1975 and 1985. The walls enclosed a roughly rectangular area about 300m by 330m on the west side of the castle. From the castle's south gate the wall ran along what was then the waterfront to the south-west, where its southern angle has been lost to erosion. It then turned to the north-west with a gate where it crossed Castle Street, and forming the western side of the churchyard further to the north. The ditch was recorded here in 1975. There was a second gate where it crossed Church Street from where the wall returned north-eastwards to the castle. The ditch was recorded here in 1985. The RCAHM recorded three fragments of wall. These were: (1) a 35m stretch of 2.0m wide wall running away from Church Street parallel to Rating Row (centered on SH60427623); (2) a 25m stretch of wall south of the churchyard parallel to Steeple Lane, 2.0m wide and 3.3m high (centered on SH60417608); (3) a fragment on the north side of Castle Street (at SH60467601). (Coflein–John Wiles 11.09.07)

The Borough of Beaumaris was created in 1296 but it was not until after the town was taken back from rebels supporting Owain Glyndwr that a protective wall was actively promoted. In 1407 the burgesses were granted £10 toward encircling the town with a bank and ditch, but it was quickly superseded by a town wall, underway by 1414. Sections of wall on the sea front were repaired in the 1530s, but subsequently the town wall appears to have fallen into decay. John Speed's map of 1610 suggests that the only complete section by that time faced the sea and therefore protected the town from its mostly perennial threat. The West or Water Gate at the end of Castle Street was still standing in 1785 and a long section of wall to its N was only taken down on the late C19 when Margaret Street was built. The extant section behind Church Street and Rating Row is the only substantial section of the wall to have survived.
A section of rubble wall approximately 20m long, 3m high, and 1.75m thick. It is broken by an inserted arched entrance to a cottage. The W end abuts the rear of 44 Church Street. (Listed Building Report)

The now vanished town walls can be traced from existing fragments. Starting from the Green, the wall runs along the promanade and then turns at an angle formed by Margaret st and Steeple Lane and follows on to the castle. Construction began in the early C15, with repairs carried out by the crown until 1540, although it appears that the walls were never completed. It seems probable that the wall never joined the castle walls at either end. By 1669 much of the Northern section of the wall had disappeared, although repairs were carried out on the wall into the early C18.

Provided also, that the seide petition or act of resumption, extende not to eny persone or persones havyng of oure graunt eny wages, for the kepyng of oure towne and gatis of Bewmaries, within oure ile of Anglesey in Northwales; nor unto the somme of, which we have graunte yerely unto the wallyng oute of oure foreseide towne. (Act of Resumption of 1449 - showing the particular favour for the town shown by Henry VI)
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This record last updated 20/04/2017 03:46:44