Only one hundred and twenty years after Edward 1st built this formidable castle, another English king was imprisoned and deposed here – his grandson, Richard II!
In 1399 whilst Richard fought in Ireland, his cousin Henry Bolingbroke was stirring revolt at home. When the king returned he rode north to Conwy to gather support. Sympathisers from North Wales included Owain Glyndŵr and his cousins, who had served Richard loyally in Ireland.
Yet Richard was tricked into leaving Conwy Castle by the Earl of Northumberland, a staunch supporter of Richard’s rival. The earl claimed Bolingbroke wanted to meet to discuss the return of his confiscated lands. He even swore a holy oath that they meant the King no harm… Richard’s mistake was to believe him.The King left Conwy Castle disguised as a monk only to be stopped by Northumberland’s men, and taken captive.
He was eventually brought here to Flint to await Bolingbroke’s arrival from Chester.Flint castle was a formidable fortress, a perfect prison for a captured King. Richard was probably held in the comfortable Royal quarters – but he was still a prisoner. Having heard mass in the chapel he climbed onto the walls to watch Bolingbroke and his men approaching across the marshes – and awaited his fate.
Perhaps even Richard’s dog could see where the future lay. When the King and Bolingbroke met in the courtyard, it’s said that Richard’s ever faithful Greyhound left his side, and went instead to Bolingbroke… Richard took this as a sign of what was to come