BEAUMARIS, Conwy and Harlech castles are among several heritage sites in North Wales to benefit from an £850k boost it was revealed today.

This year, Cadw embarked on one of its most complex conservation projects to date, with Conwy Castle and Town Walls, Beaumaris Castle and Harlech Castle undergoing extensive masonry conservation.

The restoration is on the work of Master James of St George — the master mason behind their original design.

Work began on the three medieval castles, which alongside Caernarfon Castle and Town Walls collectively form a UNESCO World Heritage Site in January 2018.

There are some 60 skilled masons from Sally Strachey Historic Conservation working to preserve the monuments.

Today (October 11) Cadw revealed that a total of £850k has been invested into the ambitious project, which is set to to be finished in November of this year.

All planned activity at Beaumaris and Harlech was completed in August.

It is the conclusion of ongoing works at Conwy Castle that will mark the end of the 11-month-long programme.

The use of GoPro cameras and aerial drones were used in the complex conservation projects. They were used to analyse the hidden, out-of-reach areas of the three historic sites.

Facilitated by rope-access personnel and more than 200 tonnes of scaffolding, the specified works carried out at Conwy Castle have already included the removal of high-level vegetation, surface moss and weed growth from the medieval fortress walls.

Unsteady stonework has also been re-stitched and open joints across the mighty structures have been repointed.

Outstanding activity to the Castle — which includes stonemasonry works to the East Barbican — will take place during the next month.

Meanwhile, Conwy Town Walls will also benefit from the project, with conservation work taking place at Mill Gate Tower, which includes repairs to the existing staircase used by visitors to access the Town Walls.

Project Manager, Nick Sharland, from Sally Strachey Historic Conservation said: “It has been a great privilege for myself and the Sally Strachey Historic Conservation on-site team to have been given the opportunity to work on these remarkable, historic structures.

“It has been a very exciting project to have been involved with and we’re extremely happy with the results”.

Chris Wilson, Cadw’s head of conservation, said, “The conservation works carried out this year at Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris are of an extremely high standard and Cadw is keen to see this exemplar continue at its historic monuments across Wales.

“By example, at Conwy, we wanted to replicate the Castle’s appearance as it was back in 1283, so we repointed the open joints to bring them flush with the face of the stonework. This has lightened the external faces of the towers, which truly is an impressive sight from any direction”.

Minister for Culture and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “The Castles of Beaumaris and Harlech, alongside the fortified complexes of Conwy and Caernarfon, form one of Wales’s only three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it’s crucial that we continue to protect and conserve them to retain north Wales’s place on a world-wide stage.

“The sites were collectively inscribed in 1986 in recognition of their unique architectural style and unparalleled feats of medieval engineering — and this year’s conservation project will work to further highlight these impressive qualities to an audience of visitors from Wales and beyond.

“In doing so, we can hope to preserve the sites for future generations to enjoy and in turn, continue to drive a positive impact on Wales’s wider economy.”