Caerphilly Things to Do

  • The Winding House
    The Winding House
    by Balam
  • The Winding House
    The Winding House
    by Balam
  • The Winding House
    The Winding House
    by Balam

Most Recent Things to Do in Caerphilly

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    The Winding House

    by Balam Written Mar 26, 2014

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    The Winding House
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    Situated in New Tredegar in Caerphilly Borough is the Winding House Museum, This is the Museum for Caerphilly County Borough and is situated On the site of the old Elliot Colliery next to a Winding house which has a Working Steam Winding Machine which once used to transport the men down to the pit face as well as bring the Men and coal back up! This is the main attraction of the Museum and was very interesting.
    The historic winding engine runs at 12pm on the last Saturday of each month (except for December). The engine runs for approximately 10-15 minutes.

    Vicki even found a picture on the wall of somebody we may be a relative that was sadly killed in The Senghennydd Mining disaster in 1913.
    The rest of the museum although only small was interesting and if you are passing it is well worth calling in.

    There is a cafe that serves teas, coffees etc as well as cakes and snacks. there is also a shop.

    Entrance is Free

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    Statue – Tommy Cooper

    by grayfo Updated Jun 6, 2012

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    Tommy Cooper - thought by many to be the greatest comedian of his generation - was born in Caerphilly on 19th March, 1921 and died of a heart attack during a TV show in 1984. The 9ft (2.7m) bronze statue on a 4ft (1.2m) plinth was sculpted by James Done and depicts him wearing his trademark fez. The statue was commissioned by the Tommy Cooper Society and unveiled by its patron Hollywood star Sir Anthony Hopkins in February 2008.

    September 2011

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    Caerphilly Castle

    by grayfo Updated Jun 5, 2012

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    Caerphilly Castle was built in 1268-1271 by the Anglo-Norman lord, Gilbert ‘The Red’ de Clare to defend against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ('Llywelyn The Last'), the last Prince of a united Wales before the conquest of Edward I. The castle was Britain's first concentric castle, with a ring of shallow lakes surrounding it. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain. The castle is also well known for it’s leaning tower, which has leaned 3 metres out of the perpendicular since 1648.

    The castle also has Toilets and a shop with a good selection of souvenirs

    November to February
    Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    Sunday: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Summer – Various, but predominately
    Sunday to Saturday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

    Adults: £4.00
    Seniors and Children (Under 16): £3.60

    email cadw@wales.gsi.gov.uk

    September 2011

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    Tourist Information Centre

    by grayfo Updated Jun 4, 2012

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    The friendly staff offer independent advice with the planning of routes and the booking of accommodation and also give lots of information on places to visit. The centre also houses an impressive gift shop showcasing locally made quality crafts & foods and a café where they do an “orgasmic Lemon cake and hot chocolate”. The nearest public toilets are below the tourist information centre

    Sunday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

    email visitcaerphilly@caerphilly.gov.uk

    September 2011

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    Lest We Forget

    by grayfo Written Nov 27, 2011

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    War Memorial

    The Caerphilly War Ms memorial commemorates the town’s residents who were killed or missing in World War I and World War II, and the conflict in Northern Ireland. The memorial was unveiled in 1922 by the Earl of Plymouth.

    September 2011

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    Twyn Community Centre

    by grayfo Written Nov 25, 2011

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    The Twyn Community Centre is a traditional building close to Caerphilly Castle which doubles as a home for the monthly Caerphilly Farmers Markets, from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, usually on the second Saturday of each month.

    September 2011

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    learn about the castle defences

    by uglyscot Updated Oct 29, 2011

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    The foremost defence is in the construction of the castle which was built with walls within walls.
    In one of the forecourts are examples of some of the engines of war:
    1. mangonel which dates from classical antiquity. It is a massive catapault which hurled stones and missiles. It was powered by torsion froma large skein of twisted rope. It was inefficient, cumbersome and limited with a range of about 120 yards.
    2. Ballista- a great crossbow, from ancient Greek. It had twin arms powered by twisted rope or hair. It shot large darts and was a powerful anti-personnel weapon, reputedly able to skewer 7 men by a single shot.
    3.Trebuchet =the largest siege machine of the Middle Ages. it was accurate and could breach castle walls and could hurl dead animals to spread disease.
    4. Perrier , like a trebuchet which propelled stone missiles from a sling. The arm of the swing was by human muscle power, not a counterweight. It was easily transported and had a range of 120 yards.
    The castle walls were thick and the moats deep. There were several obstacles before anyone could reach the inner ward, the heart of the castle.

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    Caerphilly Castle, the floating fortress

    by aaaarrgh Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    the bit attackers never saw
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    Definitely worth the admission price (£4 for adults in 2011) for such a spectacular fortress. To get to the inner bailey you have to travel through four gates and over three bridges. I don't believe it was ever captured by the Welsh Princes, though they did try while it was still being built!!

    Caerphilly Castle was the 13th century creation of "Red Gilbert" de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan, desparate to defend his lands from Llewellyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales.

    What I found so impressive about the castle was its superb defences. A lake, followed by two moats!! The moats are at higher levels than the lake, which allowed them to flow out and power the castle's mill.

    There is also a Great Hall (in use for a wedding when I visited) and the famous leaning tower, which leans at 10 degrees, more than the leaning tower of Pisa.

    And a museum describing the history of Wales.

    And a large Gift Shop.

    Opening hours vary. Generally 9.30am to 5pm, but longer in mid-Summer and slightly shorter in mid-Winter. I spent over an hour wandering around. Last admission half hour before closing time.

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    sculptures in the city

    by mindcrime Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    Tommy Cooper statue
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    Walking the streets of Caerphilly nothing really could attract our attention except some modern sculptures here and there (pics 3&4), a pyramid near the castle (pic 2), small details that can ease the eye in a boring city.

    We also saw a statue in the city center (pic 1). It was made by the sculptor James R. Done and shows Tommy Cooper. Tommy Cooper (1921-1984) was born in Caerphilly, he was a famous comedian and magician. In most of his appearances he was wearing a red fez. He was making popular stand up comedy but many people remember him because he died on stage from heart attack but it took a while to the millions of viewers to realize that it wasn’t just another joke… he really died on stage… just like that! You can see the video on youtube.

    The statue unveiled on February 23rd 2008 by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

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    Castle entry and inner yard

    by mindcrime Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    Gatehouse of Caerphilly castle
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    Once inside the castle we realized that we still haven’t reached the heart of the castle, we could see the defence walls and the main entry.

    The Gatehouse (pic 1) leads to the real castle, where the “real life” was taking place. The Gatehouse had its own protection too, concentric defences like Chinese Boxes, one within the other so each person had to be penetrated in turn before the next could be entered. Hopefully, we just walked through the small arch (pic 2), there weren’t many visitors that day anyway :)

    After the Gatehouse there is an open air area. It’s the inner yard (pic 3), surrounded by strong walls, towers at each corner and gatehouses at either end, obviously a very heavily protected area or a good place for a Big Brother show to be filmed :) The main water supply was also located here.

    The 3 story towers had the apartments at the upper floors while the lower one was used for storage and/or defence. The eastern gatehouse had 3 floors while the western 2. Gilbert de Clare must used the eastern gatehouse as private residence the first years before new apartments were built for him near by.

    It’s open daily 9.30-17.00 (july&august till 18.00, November-february 10.00-16.00)
    The entrance fee is £4

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    caerphilly castle-Hall Range

    by mindcrime Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    Hall Range
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    Hall Range (pic 1) was the other main accommodation inside the castle.

    It housed several buildings, a pantry and buttery with the castle chapel situated above them reached by external stairs from the courtyard. At the far end added later the floors that housed the private apartments of Gilbert de Clare.

    But the most interesting room to see here is the Great Hall (pic 2) that lies at the centre of the Hall Range. It was erected during the first phase of the castle building but according to the sign inside it was extensively remodeled by Hugh le Despenser in 1326 that raised the floor and added a new roof and larger windows. The roof we see today is a reconstruction of 1870.

    It’s supposed to be the most impressive space in the castle because it measures over 22m x 11m but we felt a bit disappointed because it was empty, just some shields on the walls and a table. Here was the room were guests were received, business was transacted etc It was also the area were huge meals were taking place so I was expecting to see something more, like the huge tables I have seen on paintings that shows the Great Hall full of people enjoying a great medieval meal. Gilbert’s wife was princess Alice of Angouleme, she had a lot of free time while her husband was preparing for war so usually she was arranging dances in the Great Hall, I guess it was called "dancing with the stars.. oups sorry with the knights" :)

    The legend wants Alice to be very beautiful and I guess Albert was always in dirt due to the lack of asphalt on the medieval streets so she felt in love with another man, Gruffydd, the prince of Brithdir. The stupid prince decided to keep the relationship without telling anyone except a monk but the monk was more a servant to the king (and his money) and not to God so he preferred to inform his boss. That caused the anger of Gilbert that decided to kill Gruffydd by hanging him on a tree…

    Alice must be a ghost now, wandering around the castle but we didn’t manage to see her no matter how hard we tried! :)

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    Caerphilly-water defences

    by mindcrime Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    Caerphilly castle -exterior
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    Caerphilly Castle is an impressive medieval castle that was built in the 13th century. Its costruction started at 1268 by the powerful lord of Glamorgan, Gilbert de Clare, he tried to secure his territory from Llywelyn the last that was controlling North Wales. Although several additions were made in the next 2 centuries it felt in decay from the 15th century.

    I didn’t know how big it was before our visit. According to the sign at the entrance tt is actually the largest in Wales and second in UK after Windsor Castle covering over 12 hectares with its extensive lake defences!

    The castle was at the forefront of the military technology of the day. The first deliberately planned concentric castle, with new “walls-within-walls” defensive system. What’s more it was also surrounded by lakes to make the siege more difficult. There is a modern bridge that spans the inner moat to lead to the castle but originally a drawbridge linked the spot to the outer east gatehouse and there was also a similar bridge at the western end of the castle so the result was a floating island fortress! The surrounded lakes were fed by natural streams but there were also fortified dams to held back the water.

    Before we enter inside we took some pictures of the exterior walls (pic 1) and the massive outer entrance (pic 2). We bought the entrance ticket (there’s also a small gift shop there) and checked the inner part of the castle. Between the outer entrance and the inner area there were 3 drawbridges, 6 portcullises and 5 sets of double doors!! Can you imagine the king walking outside and suddenly “oh god, I forgot my umbrella in the bedroom!” He would need an hour to return :)

    It’s open daily 9.30-17.00 (july&august till 18.00, November-february 10.00-16.00)

    The entrance fee is £4

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    the city

    by mindcrime Updated Jun 11, 2011

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    Caerphilly town
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    Ok, I know, Caerphilly town isn’t attractive and if it wasn’t the impressive castle no one would bother visiting this boring welsh town. But after visiting the castle we decided to spent some time in the town, there are some small squares, some small pedestrian streets full of stores with low prices, locals on their daily activities.

    The best part is just outside the castle where there is walking path and you have view of the city (pic 1), the row of houses that face the lake are picturesque anyway but we also took some more pictures from squares (pic 2), this structure with the clock on top (pic 3) and the Twyn Community Center (pic 4) although it was closed so I don’t know if it houses some kind of exhibition or something similar to keep a visitor that is more into galleries, museums etc

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    caerphilly castle-exiting the castle

    by mindcrime Written Jun 11, 2011

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    tower at Caerphilly castle
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    We took some more pictures of the upper towers (pic 1) and started to walk down again.

    We checked again some parts of the castle that try to stand still and proud (pics 2-3) but time is the winner here…

    We walked on the south platform (pic 4) that hold back the waters of the south lake, actually the was a tower once that contained a sluice gate to regulate the water lake but Felton’s Tower has gone and I just read about it on the sign, the same sign that also informs us that probably the grassy strip would also have made it very suitable for tournaments.

    The most interesting for us was to see several types of medieval siege engines in full-size replicas, we went closer to check, the sign informs us that they are fully workable! They hurled stones usually by means of torsion from twisted ropes or by counterpoise action using weights or human muscle power. I wonder what damage they could do to the castle walls, maybe they were just anti-personel weapons but after a while gunpowder was the new toy on planet earth and the kids (I’m sorry they leaders) could get more excited by killing the enemy… :)

    By the way the 4 engines are:
    ballista (a giant twin-armed crossbow)
    mangonel(a torsion-powered catapult)
    trebuchet(a counterweighted sling-catapult)
    perrier(a man-powered sling-catapult)

    There are also remains of a mill for grinding corn, the mill was powered from the lake waters.
    At the far end of the southern platform is a tower and gatehouse that leads to the town, we were ready to check the town and leave the kings behind us…

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    checking the rooms of Caerphilly castle

    by mindcrime Written Jun 11, 2011

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    castle stones
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    After visiting the Great Hall we went up to one of the towers and checked some of the rooms, we walked through dark corridors (pic 2) making stupid jokes about kings and queens, it was funny we were alone and could hear the echo of our voice, we opened some doors (pic 5) to see smaller rooms but in general there wasn’t something really interesting to catch our eye for too long.

    As I said it’s a mistake they have left the rooms empty, they could put remodeled furniture so to have better point of view. Of course I know that the medieval times weren’t something special when we the issue is decoration of inner spaces and probably the local craftmen didn’t do much better job than IKEA :)

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