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EXCURSION No. l.­TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1947. The first place visited was Rhuddlan, where the Castle, Friary, and Church were inspected under the direction of Mr. A. J. Taylor, M.A., F.S.A., H.M. Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Wales. At the Castle, which with the attached grounds, has recently (1943) been generously handed over by Admiral Rowley Conwy to the guardianship of H.M. Ministry of Works, Mr. Taylor said The earliest structure now surviving is the great earthen motte, known as the Twthill, which was thrown up in 1073 by Robert of Rhuddlan at the order of William the Conqueror. It traditionally occupies the site of the residence of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, which was destroyed by Earl Harold in 1063. Robert's castle changed hands many times in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as the struggle for the border lands favoured first the Welsh and then the English. Recorded evidence shows that as late as 1241 Henry III was erecting timber-framed buildings in the bailey, and it is uncertain whether or not a stone keep ever crowned the motte. When Edward came to Rhuddlan in August, 1277, he began at once the building of the present masonry castle and the laying out and enclosing of the adjacent borough. Work was very largely completed by the time of the outbreak of March, 1282, and in the ensuing campaign Rhuddlan's facilities had been so powerfully reinforced that it took the place of Chester as the main base for the English operations by land and sea. The plan of the castle, generally similar to that of Aberystwyth, is in marked contrast to that of Flint. All three were building at the same time. The difference of plan arises quite naturally from the difference of site. Flint, being protected on three sides by the tidal waters of the Dee, had no need of any artificial outer defensive ring. Rhuddlan, on the other hand, with three landward fronts and the narrower course of the Clwyd for a fourth, has a concentric curtain on those three sides, with a connecting line of defences along the margin of the river. Wide moats, originally water-filled, edge the curtain on all the land- ward sides, while the defence is further strengthened by the provision of twin-towered gate-houses to the inner ward. Until the time of the Civil War, when armies equipped with siege guns had revolutionised the art of war, Rhuddlan was impregnable and never fell into an attacker's hands. In 1646, however, the garrison had no choice but to surrender to the parliamentarian General Mytton. The castle was thereupon slighted and rendered incapable of defence possibly artillery fire at this time caused the rents in the N.E. and S.E. curtain walls and the partial destruction of the adjacent towers of the inner ward. The Ancient Monuments Branch of the Ministry have recently commenced the clearance and excavation of the site and the conservation of the ruins. From the Castle the party proceeded to the site of the Dominican Friary, Plas Newydd, where Mr. Taylor read a paper prepared by Mr. E. W. Lovegrove who was unable to attend,