Beaumaris is the second largest town within the county of Anglesey. Its name comes from the Norman French 'beau marais' for fair marsh - the name adopted by Edward I when he evicted the Welsh inhabitants of the nearby hamlet of Llanfaes to make room for his new castle and borough of Beaumaris.

Although Beaumaris is considered the most technically perfect castle in Britain, with its perfectly symmetrical concentric walls within walls design, it is an unfinished masterpiece as the money ran out before the fortifications were complete. Construction began in 1295 in response to a recent Welsh rebellion when the castle was intended to secure control of the Menai Strait, but was eventually abandoned after 1341.

Beaumaris boasts the oldest courthouse in existence in Britain dating back to 1614 which features a curious mural showing two farmers fighting over a cow whilst a lawyer is busy milking it. There is also a Victorian model prison, the Beaumaris Gaol in Steeple Lane, which has the only working treadmill in Britain as well as a gibbet still fixed to the wall.

The town is also notable as being the location for Britain's first council estate, while the parish church of St Mary and St Nicholas, boasts the remains the coffin of Princess Joan, wife of Llywelyn the Great.

There is also a Beaumaris which is a suburb of Bayside in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Table of References

  • http://www.gazetteer-wales.co.uk/
  • http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/
  • http://snowdonialtd.org/snowdonia/Beaumaris/beaumaris.htm
  • http://www.beaumaris.com/
  • http://www.beaumaris.org.uk/

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