A radical new design for Caernarfon’s Castle Square has turned a traffic-dominated place into an elegant shared space.

This ambitious scheme has revitalised the square. By removing ‘rights of way’, traffic speeds have been greatly reduced and the design has created a place for people, where vehicles are accommodated.

The scheme was deliberately simple in approach, aiming to create an uncluttered foreground to the castle and surrounding Georgian and Victorian buildings. Pedestrians feel happy to stand and chat anywhere in the square whilst traffic wends its way around them at low speeds (circa 10mph). Cafes and restaurants now spill out into the space developing real economic gain, tourists are dropped off from coaches in the square creating a favourable first impression and encouraging them to spend their money in the town. The twice weekly market now operates in a higher quality environment attracting more custom and a better offer.

Existing civic sculptures were relocated in the new square, a stepped seating area and a new fountain was built at the western end to create a counterpoint to the castle. Tree planting will mature, soften and naturalise the space in time. Paving used high quality slate and granite, all Welsh products quarried from within 30 miles of the site turning the project into a showcase for local industry.

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