This strategic spot beside a ford of the River Clwyd, just three miles from the sea, has been a flash-point in Welsh history since 795AD. It may be a very long time since the Welsh were brutally defeated by the Saxons but the lament “Morfa Rhuddlan” is still sung to this day. It might once have been a symbol of oppression. But these days Rhuddlan is very proud of its castle.
The beautiful town is also great for outdoor walks and adventures with public footpaths allowing visitors to get great photo opportunities and take a piece of Denbighshire with them.
Still impressively commanding both town and river, it was part of the chain of fortresses created by Edward I along the North Wales coast – medieval Europe’s most ambitious building programme. Rhuddlan is central to the Welsh story. It was here in in 1284 that Edward laid down the law for the next 250 years. And here that he presented his baby son to the Welsh nobility as the very first English “Prince of Wales”. You can scramble up an evocative Norman mound, marvel at one of the great stone fortresses of Wales and see a 700-year-old church. You can wander a medieval street plan unchanged since the days of Edward I. And if you extend your walk just a little, to the town’s nature reserve, there’s a very slim chance you could spot an otter. The town was also the location where Edward I signed the Statute of Rhuddlan, laying down the way by which the Principality of Wales, created by the princes of Gwynedd, was to be governed.