Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval castle occupying a prominent hilltop site above the town of Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales. The presently visible castle was probably built in the 1260s by Gruffydd Maelor II, a Prince of Powys Fadog, on the site of several earlier structures, including an Iron Age hillfort.
Dinas Brân has been variously translated as the “crow’s fortress” or “fortress of Brân”, with Brân as the name of an individual or of a nearby stream. An English name, “Crow Castle”, has also been used since at least the 18th century.
The first building placed at Dinas Brân was not the castle which now stands in ruins on top of the hill, but an Iron Age hillfort built around 600 BC. An earthen rampart was constructed probably topped by a wooden palisade and this was further protected by a deep ditch on the shallower southern slope. The walls of the hillfort encircled a village of roundhouses. Dinas Brân is one of many hillforts in this part of Wales; Moel y Gaer is just a couple of miles to the north-west near the Horseshoe Pass, and another is close by at Y Gardden in Ruabon to the east. There are many others on the Clwydian Hills further to the north and in the Marches to the south.
Castell Dinas Bran, Llangollen. LL20 8DY
The ruins are open at all times.