castle rises at northwest of the town of Hawarden and is
one of the symbols of the brief triumph of the Welsh prince
Llywelyn the Last that began its construction in 1257 after
the reconquest of this part of Wales. Of all the native
castles in North Wales Ewloe is the only with a non spectacular
setting. It stands on a promontory overlooking the junction
of two streams but is overwhelmed by higher ground at south.
Its position, near the English border, was very strategic
at control of the road to Chester. It stood within the forest
of Ewloe, surrounded by woods and in a great position for
The castle is not large and its condition is now very ruinous.
It is endowed of two courtyards with a U-shaped keep inside
the triangular upper ward. This layout suggest the presence
on the site of a formerly old castle of the motte-and bailey
type, the curtains of the upper ward forms a sloping stone
revetment of the motte. The outer curtain is for great part
reduced to its footings. At the western angle of the outer
ward the ruins of a circular tower, part nearly to full
height, are perched on a rocky knoll and it can only been
reached from the wall walk level.
No gate connects the courtyards, both were entered from
the north side outside the castle. The communication was
only at parapet level. Also the two curtains are not bonded
together, they are the result of successive building campaigns.
Nothing stands of the inside buildings, which were of timber.
It is not so easy to date the keep, known as the Welsh Tower.
It may be an earlier work of Llywelyn the Great, because
of the first floor entrance typical of the first Norman
keeps, but later Llywelyn built conservative old fashioned
square keeps like the one of Dolforwyn. The U-shaped towers
like this usually project out from a curtain, so it is hard
to find one standing alone in the middle of a walled enclosure.
A similar keep was built at Castell-y-Bere to command the
most vulnerable approach to the castle. However, this can
be considered a unique example of native concentric defense.
Great part of the keep is collapsed, but the south front
still stands to full height. The tower contained a single
apartment above a storage chamber, reachable only through
a trapdoor. The outer walls rose higher than the two storeys
to protect the roof from burning projectiles. On the parapet
slots for a hoarding are still visible.
Nothing is written on Ewloe during the 1277 invasion chronicles.
The rampart at south of the castle may be an English work
but Edward I built new castles in the area, Flint
and Rhuddlan that could be provisioned by sea, instead to