Clwyd - Wales

Soon after the invasion of Wales in 1277, King Edward I ordered the construction of this little castle, built mainly of red sandstone, on the west bank of the River Dee where once stood a Roman supply fort, known as, Castrum Leonis, from the lion sculptuer above its gateway.

In 1288 Edward gave the Castle and its lands to John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey to

complete the castle building programme. It is thought the King's Ingeniater (engineer) responsible for its design was James of St. George.

On the 9th December, 1463 a gift was made,

"to a mason off the Abote of Chester that came to see my lordys work at Holt".

This work was in progress for Sir John Howard who afterwards became,1st Duke of Norfolk.

A print in the 'British Museum' shows the castle under the name of, 'Castle Lyons' as a

five-towered castle and almost triangular in format and with a double drawbridge, with

a Moat loping down to the River dee.

During the Civil War the castle was often at the centre of events. In September, 1644, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, a Royalist commander made it his headquarters before the battle of Rowton Heath.

In 1645 when the castle was commanded by Sir Richard Lloyd it came under siege by Thomas Mytton, General of the Parliamentary forces who wrote,

"The siege of Holt hath been of late of great difficulty".

The castle was the last in Wales apart from Harlech to hold out against the Parliamtary forces. Sir Richard finally surrendered on faverable terms on 13th January 1647. The castle was not 'Slighted'.

Later it is believed, the castle was dismantled, quarried for building material for the construction of Eaton Hall, five miles away and to help repair the town and bridge.

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