Day 186 Mile 186: King For A Day. Coming to the end of a trip away the opportunity arose to go for today’s run around Caernarfon Castle and part of the town. The castle was built by Edward I which (all history aside) also being an Edward, gives me a slight feeling I should be waltzing about in a paper crown and a bedsheet cloak. This however would be a touch insensitive as largely the reason why the castle is here is due to the war between England and Wales which broke out in 1282 but realistically had been simmering a millennia as colonisation from many district cultures the such as Romans and the Normans (to cite two well-known examples) spread inexorably westward.
The current form of Caernarfon Castle was built by Edward I based on the site of that built in the Norman Conquest but recaptured by Wales in 1115. The construction of the new stone castle was part of a programme of building which transformed Caernarfon; town walls were added, connected to the castle, and a new quay was built.
Caernarfon’s appearance differs from that of other Edwardian castles through the use of banded, coloured stone in the walls and in its polygonal, rather than round, towers. There has been a lot of debate over these features. Historian Arnold Taylor argues that the design of the castle was a representation of the Walls of Constantinople. The conscious use of imagery from the Byzantine Roman Empire was therefore an assertion of authority by Edward I, influenced by the legendary dream of Emperor Magnus Maximus. In his dream Maximus had seen a fort, “the fairest that man ever saw, within a city at the mouth of a river in a mountainous country and opposite an island”. Taylor argues that Edward interpreted this to mean Segontium (Roman Caernarfon) was the city of Maximus’ dream and drew on the imperial link when building it. Recent work by historian Abigail Wheatley suggests that the design of Caernarfon drew on different imagery with the intent of creating an illusion of Arthurian legitimacy for the king.
It’s an awe inspiring place and today its very warm, which is nice, when in the shade. It felt a bit like hard work this afternoon, a sensation not diminished by the fact that my watch seems to be displaying everything in a different format for no obvious reason. Consequently I just started running and kept going, with no real idea of pacing apart from how uncomfortable, or not, things felt!
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1790.8 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
Thanks as ever for all the support!