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This week, Pegman’s challenge takes us to Caenarfon Castle in Gwynedd. The year is 1283.See the source image


Diary of Queen Eleanor of Castile, Queen Consort of Edward 1

1283 July : Marriage to Edward solemnised today. I remember our childhood betrothal in 1254, in Gascony. He’s good, takes no mistresses. Processed then to Caenarfon Castle in Wales. Construction is in progress. Handsome building, set beside the wild beautiful Welsh coast. They built us comfortable apartments away from the hubbub. We stayed a month.

1284 April : Came to the Castle, to be safely delivered of a boy child. We named him Edward, to be our heir.

I know the politics of this Kingdom better than Edward. These errant English barons dared to challenge us. We  defeated them with my Gascony archers. I hear that some sneering English have a rhyme – ‘ The king wants to get our gold, and queen would like our lands to hold.’ I  disagree.

The years pass…

1290 Summer : I am old, residing in London’s Westminster Palace. I have had sixteen children, six of whom survive, God Willing. The stench from London’s foetid streets rises up to my casement window. I dream of Caenarfon Castle and the craggy Welsh coast. I long to smell the wildness of the Welsh sea again.