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Beaumaris Town Walls

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Map ReferenceSH67NW
Grid ReferenceSH6049676109
Unitary (Local) AuthorityIsle of Anglesey
Old CountyAnglesey

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).

Sources: RCAHM Anglesey Inventory (1937), cxlviii-cxlix, fig on p4
White in Archaeology in Wales 15 (1975), 53 No. 66
Fasham in the Transactions of the Anglesey Antiquarian Society and Field Club for 1992, 123-130

John Wiles 11.09.07