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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle, unlike many other 13th-century Welsh castles, was not built by King Edward I in his effort to suppress the Welsh lords. Rather, Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, a powerful Norman nobleman built it as a response to a dispute between himself and the Prince of Gwynedd, Llywelyn the Last. Construction began in 1268 AD but was not finished during de Clare's lifetime. Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain after Windsor Castle.

Caerphilly Castle
Caerphilly Castle has a concentric design which provided for a multi-layered defense. In addition, water defenses were extensivley utilized. The castle was assaulted unsuccessfully in 1294-5 and 1316, but later captured for brief periods in 1403 and 1405.

Caerphilly Castle

In 1648, Cromwell's Parliamentary Army damaged Caerphilly Castle; this damage resulted in one of the castle's most prominent features, its leaning south-east tower (see below). The tower is 20 metres high but leans 3 metres out of the perpendicular. After several centuries of continued disuse and deterioration, Caerphilly Castle's owners since 1766, the Marquesses of Bute, began an extensive restoration. During the 1930s, streets around the castle were levelled to restore the dominant view the castle once commanded, and in 1950, the castle and grounds were handed over to the British government.

Caerphilly Castle

Visitors to Caerphilly Castle can view the Great Hall (see below) which has been remodeled and is licensed for use in wedding ceremonies.

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is located between the B4600 and B4623 in central Caerphilly in southern Wales just north of Cardiff. Visitors to Caerphilly Castle may also want to visit the nearby Caerleon Fortress Baths, Caerleon Amphitheatre or Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon.

CF83 1JD
Tel:029 2088 3143

Caerphilly Castle Map

© 2010 John Westby

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