Plas Mawr Conwy North Wales

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Plas Mawr Conwy North Wales

Postby Jemm » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:40 pm

Plas Mawr Conwy North Wales

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:33 pm

All of Wales is Beautiful. But if you want ghosts Conway in North Wales has to be a must go for ghost hunters, the best surviving example of a walled town in Europe many buildings date back to Elizabethan times and earlier.
Conway Castle, built between 1283 and 1289 for King Edward I (Longshanks) has had it's ghostly experiences

But you can also explore and find beautiful views from the Curtain wall that surrounds and protects the Town with a total of 22 towers!!

View of the Castle from Plas Mawr, (See Below)

Now for the story!!!!

Plas Mawr, Built around 1576 during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I

The Ghost Story goes that the Knight who owned it was serving in the Army away from home. His pregnant wife, with their young 3 year old son would climb to the top floor of the tower every day to watch for his return....

But one evening as they descended the tower the poor woman lost her footing and holding her son's hand both fell down the stairs!! A maidservant heard the fall and found her Mistress and child badly hurt. The doctor was sent for and the injured were taken to the "Lantern Room" The Wife placed on a couch, the son in a chair.

When the servant sent for the doctor returned, he came not with the doctor, but with his assistant, known as Doctor Dick, who was still not fully trained, The doctor was away seeing to another patient elsewhere and was not available. He was taken to the room where he examined the injured woman and her son. He found that their injuries were beyond his own skill and he then asked that someone be sent to where the doctor was an implore him to come immediately.

Doctor Dick tried to leave at that point but the servants begged that he stay and try to do something to keep the two alive until the doctor came, and they promptly pushed him back into the room and locked him in!

So here was the apprentice doctor, locked in a room with two dying people, He did try to do huis best, The Lady lost her unborn child, the situation got very bad with the servants outside refusing to unlock the door as the poor man within screamed and banged on the door to be let out. After a bit Doctor Dick stopped trying to get the servants to let him out and began looking for another way to escape the room.

Meanwhile, later in the night there was finally a knock on the door, the servants went hoping it was the doctor. Instead it was the Master of the house returned at last. He was told of what had transpired and ran to the room and unlocking the door entered. Within he found a scene of horror, His wife had died on the couch, his 3 year old son lay dead in the chair, and the unborn child's body was lying on the windowsill. He went back out of the room asking where the doctor was. The servants replied that Doctor Dick should still be in the room, The Knight went back inside locking the door behind him, and throughout the night he ranted and raved looking for and calling out to Doctor Dick to show himself. Just before the dawn the room went silent, the servants in terrible fear finally inlocked the door and went inside, along with the other bodies was found the knight, he had died in his rage, another version says he killed himself. Doctor Dick was never found, nor seen again, it is believed that in his utter panic he tried to escape the room by climbing into the Fireplace chimney and got stuck somewhere within, The various chimney's interconnecting with each other throughout the estate, and he died. The Knight still haunts the house and so does Doctor Dick. The servant who was sent back out to get the doctor that night was not seen again for many years, he finally turned up many years later, he had been Shanghaied that night to serve on a ship as he made his way to find the main doctor.

Several Pubs are haunted, and there is a dark ghost of a man that walks the streets of Conway and if you meet him, you will suffer terrible fortune a year later 8O

by jacobite

the Servants locked the Doctor in because he was trying to leave, and the servants didnt want him going until the main Doctor arrived, they felt he needed to stay and do what he could to keep them alive till the other doctor arrived. The Knight Locked himself in the room when he was told of what happened, he didnt want Doctor Dick escaping, nor did he want the servants to interfere.

LOL no Conway, Flint, Ruddlan, Harlech, Caernarfon and Beaumaris were all castles built by Edward I for his planned "Ring of Steel" that was built to keep the Welsh in line in the North where the Welsh were more rebellious. Most of these castles all had towns built next to them, this was done for several reasons, it meant that the town provided income, each town was settled by English settlers, The welsh were allowed in the town to buy goods, but were not allowed to sell anything within the town themselves, thus trade was controlled. Not every town was walled, some used moats, All of these castles and their towns were built near the sea, this meant that they could be resupplied by sea if needed making it that much harder for rebel Welshmen to besiege.

In the event of a siege the townsmen could also become soldiers, so the townsfolk helped to provide for the defense of both their town and the castle

Now looking at these castles is like looking at the B-2 Stealth Bomber today, it cost Edward a fortune to build and then maintain all of these castles, even with the revenue the towns would eventually bring in, the investment was enormous!!! In 12 years he spent, in British currency, 60,000 pounds (about 33 million pounds in today's terms), which was 10 times his annual income, on building the castles and walled towns at Conway, Caernarfon, Beaumaris and the refurbishment of Llywelyn's castle at Criccieth! All this while still fighting in France, and fighting in Scotland. In fact he was also funding the repairs and new builds on castles in those war zones as well!! So the total cost of what was spent in Wales, let alone Elsewhere will never be known.

Beaumaris was actually never completed, due to exhaustion of funds, more then likely caused by the war in Scotland......

The big difference between the rebellions in Wales and those in Scotland is that the Welsh made the mistake of trying to capture and hold the Castles in their Land. Thankfully this has left Wales with beautiful, and many, almost intact castles for us to explore and enjoy. Those like Flint and Rhuddlan were destroyed during the 1600's Civil War (Oliver Cromwell). But the Welsh Armies were rarely able to spare more then a few men to stay and hold the castles they managed to take, so the English usually retook them easily.

Harlech was an exception...
Harlech Castle changed hands several times in it's history, and it was always after very long sieges where just a few defenders held a whole Army at bay, such was the castle's strong design and use of terrain.
In 1294 it withstood a siege by the Welsh,

In 1404, the castle fell to Owain Glyndŵr after a very long siege who used it as his base of operations and even held a welsh Parliament there! He held it for 4 years. Another long siege in 1409 brought the castle back under English control.

But the most famous of the sieges took place during the War of The Roses!! Harlech was a Lancastrian stronghold. Besieged by Yorkist forces for 7 years it was the last stronghold of the house of Lancaster to fall. And the defenders were immortalized in the famous song "Men of Harlech" (Words at the bottom...)

In Scotland, the Scots fought their war differently, if they captured a castle, it was burned or dismantled by the Scots, forcing Edward to spend money to rebuild or repair the damage. The Scots conducted a scorched earth war similar to the tactics the Russians would use against Napoleon and later Hitler. That is why in the Scottish Lowlands, castles are few and those that do remain are badly ruined. Edinburgh and Sterling were the only castles in Southern Scotland to be spared being burned, they were too strategically important to both sides as gateways into the north. As I said Beaumaris in Wales was never completed, a big reason is that the Scots were costing Edward a fortune constantly forcing him to spend money fixing the damage they caused to the castles he was trying to use to subjugate them!!!

Men Of Harlech......

Hark, I hear the foe advancing
Barbed steeds are proudly prancing
Helmets in the sunbeams glancing
Glitter through the trees.

Men of Harlech, lie ye dreaming
See ye not their falchions gleaming
While their pennons gaily streaming
Flutter in the breeze.

From the rocks resounding
Let the war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambreais call
The haughty foe surrounding

Men of Harlech, on to glory
See your banner famed in story
Waves these buring words before ye,
"Welshmen will not yield!"

Mid the fray see dead and dying
Friend and foe together lying
All around the arrows flying
Scatter sudden death.

Frightened steeds are wildly neighing
Brazen trumpets loudly braying
Wounded men for mercy praying
With their parting breath.

See they're in disorder,
Comrades, keep close order
Ever they shall rue the day,
They ventured o'er the border.

Now the Saxon flees before us,
Victr'ry's banner floateth oe'er us,
Raise the loud exulting chorus,
"Welshmen will not yield!"

by Jacobite



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Re: Plas Mawr Conwy North Wales

Postby Dellycat » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:42 pm


Thankyou for this post Jacobite, very interesting read. I went to Conway and Caernarfon castles when I went home to visit the UK years ago. I didn't know the history of them then and wish I had the time to look into it further at the time. They are both amazing places and in such beautiful locations. I had photos of the places but fear they got lost years ago during my divorce.

Gwinni, I am so looking forward to seeing your pictures, it will bring back memories for me

While on holidays there, I stayed with friends in Llandysul in the south, and went to see Carmarthen castle as well, that is dark and impossing.
My friends told me of some castle remains on a farm somewhere near Llandeilo, but not hundred percent sure of it's name at the moment, it was a while ago(about 23 years ago). Most of the castle is just remains, like Denby, but the below ground tunnels are still there. The castle is on a hill at the back of the farm and offers stunning views over the surrounding country side. You could hire torches and go down the tunnels if you wished, we did that but fear got the better of us and we didn't venture far.
There was a very strange noise in the tunnel and the ex just bolted right out of there and not wanting to be alone, I was in hot persuit :lau:
Has anyone been there or know which place I am talking about? if so I would love to hear about that as well. I will continue to dig and see if I can find the name of it.

Edit: found the place on a map. It was Carreg Cennen castle.
Google map,-3.940573&spn=0.012431,0.038452&t=h&z=15&iwloc=addr
Looking at this on satellite view shows how beautiful the spot is.

Oh, if anyone goes there, you might find part of a camera lens over the ledge at the back of the castle, I dropped it and couldn't climb down to find it :lau:

A good website about the castle

by Dellycat

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