A unique eighteenth century fortress, built in 1775 by Thomas Wynn, who later became Lord Newborough, in response to a perceived threat to the British mainland during the American war of independence.
Llanwnda, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL54 5TP
The Fort was purchased by the Blundell family in 1992. Scientist John Blundell wished to address the problem of fishing stock depletion and a building by the dock proved to be suitable to adapt for marine research. The Fort, which had been empty and neglected for many years, came with the dock!
The tour will feature the following areas:
- The south gate and drawbridge.
- The entrance to the fort via the narrow postern entrance, which cuts through the very wide outer wall where we will climb the wide slate steps to the gun battery and flagpole. There are many cannon to be seen which have been beautifully restored, courtesy of the ‘Friends of Belan’. From here we look over to the Menai Strait, at its narrowest point, and beyond to the Isle of Anglesey, where the lighthouse on Llandwyn island can be seen in the distance.
- The old bakehouse, passing through the north gate and under the tower to admire the unusual sundial which is set onto the tower wall. Those visitors who wish to, and can manage the difficult narrow steps, may climb the tower where there is a magnificent 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside and the distant mountains including the Snowden range to the west.
- In the courtyard, the visitors will hear about the history of the buildings, which were originally built as barracks for Lord Newborough’s private garrison and about the weighing room and the powder room where the black powder, ie gunpowder, was kept.
- The dock area, which has an interesting history in its own right, where visitors will see a working forge, old slate water tanks, cranes and winches and what, as far as we have been able to ascertain, is the only chain burning furnace in the world.
Visitors are welcome to spend more time in the grounds after the tour.