Upper Elements besiege the Welsh Castles
After a magnificent SMH breakfast, Upper Elements (Year 6) ventured out bright and early to take on Edward I’s castles in North Wales. With the intention of mayhem and destruction, the class had swotted up on siege-craft and had constructed catapults (albeit miniature ones) as part of their Science study earlier in the year. So, all was set for an excellent day.
The route march (on an executive coach with dvd and all mod cons) was held up by barbarian hordes (commuters) on the M6, but we arrived at Rhuddlan Castle in time for splendid welcome by the custodian. She directed us to Twt Hill, the old Norman motte and bailey, which lies close by and we were able to clamber up the mound to survey the countryside around. From there, we plotted our assault on the 13th century Edwardian castle, concentric in design, with its rings of defences and massive walls. We quickly came to the conclusion, that we would never have been able to capture it and that Edward I had done his job of making it impregnable very well indeed. So we explored every nook and cranny, up and down drum towers, along the walls and into the moat, which was dry, fortunately. We even learned that Edward I brought his wife here and built her and her ladies-in waiting a garden near the well, so that she could have a little comfort amongst all the smelly soldiers who bustled around the castle. She was Eleanor of Castille, a Spanish princess, so Sofía felt especially at home.
With packed lunches devoured and souvenir shop pillaged, we moved on to Conwy where the castle looked magnificent in the afternoon sunshine. Conwy Castle had even more to see and we could imagine the sumptuous feasts which took place in the Great Hall for Edward and Eleanor. We learnt about machicolations, garderobes and crenellated parapets and a host of other features, before setting off on a trek around the town walls towards the smallest house in the UK. When we got there, it was closed because of the bad weather, even though it was very sunny. Oh well. With souvenirs in hand, including tons of Welsh rock, we headed back to SMH for a late supper and an early night … so tired.
Mr P Garlington, Head of History