Beaumaris is architecturally and aesthetically the jewel in Anglesey’s crown. With magnificent views across the sea to the mountains, and boasting a medieval castle deemed to be one of the most technically perfect in Britain, a wealth of delightful boutique shops and its brightly coloured painted houses, it’s no wonder that so many flock to this maritime haven.
Historically, Beaumaris was once called Porth Wygyr, the Vikings' port, and then took its name from the French 'beau' (beautiful) and 'maraix' (marshes), as named by the French workers who were employed alongside English masons to build the castle. Edward I was keen to take advantage of its strategic placement for controlling the Menai Strait, and thereby moved the port from Llanfaes, a Welsh rebellion stronghold, decamped its residents to Newborough, commissioned the building of the castle on these fair marshes, and rebuilt the port.
The castle was the last of the ‘iron ring’ of fortresses commissioned by Edward I to suppress the Welsh but was never finished.