The county town of Merioneth is situated on the West Coast between Barmouth and Portmadoc, and is dominated by the famous castle. On Harlech Morfa, the low ground to the west, between the hills and sea, there is a really excellent golf course, and a half mile of sandy beach offering safe bathing. The castle, one of Edward I's great forts, is perched on a steep rock, right up to the base of which the waves used to lash. But the sea has now gone back a good distance, leaving the castle high and dry. This rock has been fortified since very early times. The Mabinogion, the collection of Welsh sagas, tells us how Bran the Blessed was seated on the rock, surrounded by his court, when the Irish King Matholwch came to seek the hand of the fair Branwell, the king's sister. What happened then is a long, long story, but Bran is historically supposed to have introduced Christianity from Rome, and that takes us back a good bit in the History of Harlech. Edward's Castle, built in 1283, is all but impregnable from the seaward side by reason of the cliff, while to landward a moat cut deep into the living rock adds to its safety. The ruins are quadrangular, with massive corner towers, and walls of great thickness. The entrance gateway, flanked by twin towers, is a noble sight. Harlech is supposed to have been built by the architect who designed Caernarvon, but it does not quite rival that mighty fortress. Harlech was captured by Glyndwr in 1404. In the Wars of the Roses it was held for Lancaster by Dafydd ap Ifan; who boasted that having held a castle in France till all the old women of Wales talked of him, he would now hold Harlech till all the old women of France did likewise. He made a good attempt, too, but was at last starved into surrender.