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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' leading historical sites. Located in central Cardiff, the capital of Wales, the castle has a 2,000 year history.

Cardiff Castle

The earliest history of Cardiff Castle dates to a Roman fort which was probably established on the site at the end of the 50s AD. The castle grounds were then a strategic site that afforded easy access to the sea. This fort was the first of four that occupied the present site. Remains of the Roman wall can be seen today.

After the Norman conquest, the Castle's keep was constructed on the site of the Roman fort. The first keep on the motte (probably built of wood) was erected by Robert Fitzhamon, the Norman Lord of Gloucester.

Cardiff Castle then passed through the hands of many noble families, and in 1766, it passed to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute turned Cardiff into the world's largest coal exporting port. The Castle and fortune was inherited by his son John, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who by the 1860s may have been the richest man in the world. The 3rd Marquess died in 1900 having transformed the Castle into a Welsh Victorian Camelot.

Cardiff Castle
50 soldiers from the C Company 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (see below) marched through the streets of Cardiff from Millennium Plaza to Cardiff Castle.

The servicemen were accompanied by the Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh, and the procession was led by the battalion’s mascot, Taffy the Regimental Goat.

Cardiff Castle
The keep and motte (see below) on the Cardiff Castle grounds was built by the Normans around 1081 AD. The original keep was wooden but was replaced by the current stone stucture in the 1130s. The keep never had a roof and this type of keep is called a 'shell keep'.

Cardiff Castle
From 1866, the 3rd Marquess of Bute employed the architect William Burges to transform the Castle lodgings (see below). Burges created opulent interiors utilizing murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings. Each room has its own theme, including Mediterranean, Italian and Arabian decoration.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is located on Castle Street in central Cardiff. Visitors to Cardiff Castle may also enjoy seeing the nearby Caerphilly Castle, Caerleon Fortress Baths, Caerleon Amphitheatre or Roman Legionary Museum Caerleon.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle
Castle Street
CF10 3RB
Tel: 029 2087 8100

Cardiff Castle Map

© 2011 John Westby

Cardiff Castle

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