There’s something about Mary…

Last week, I dreamed up a rather tricky question about Welsh castles.  Out of a list of seven, I asked you to pick two that were not built by Edward I – in other words, two that were built by Llywelyn Fawr or his forebears.

The correct answers were Castell y Bere, which dates from around 1220;   and Dolwyddelan, which was also built sometime in the 13th century.  I haven’t visited Castell y Bere, but Dolwyddelan is amazing – a simple, square fortress on a rocky knoll with panoramic views over the Lledr valley.

The other castles – Harlech, Rhuddlan, Beaumaris, Conwy and Caernarfon – are all the grand designs of Edward I and his superb architect, Master James of Saint George.

Well done if you got these right.  The most popular choice was Castell y Bere at 40%, followed by Dolwyddelan at 30%, then Harlech and Rhuddlan with 20% and 10% respectively.

We’re back in Scotland for our next question, which involves Mary, Queen of Scots.  Mary’s life was full of drama and intrigue, and she was in many ways the victim of fate in terms of her birthright, her courtiers and her love-hate relationship with Elizabeth I.   She stayed at many palaces and castles during her reign;  but do you know where she was born?

I’ll reveal the answer on Tuesday 29th May.


  1. This is a great question, and very tricky because she’s strongly connected with so many places. I had a stab at it but I may be completely wrong. I think I got one of the Welsh castles right, by complete fluke! Yay!

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