A visit to the Visitor Centre would be a must,especially if you didnt have a friend showing you around..The staff here were very friendly. There are many booklets and pamphlets so you wont get bored. Dont forget to take your wallet, as there are some really great little gifts to take home with you,including some local crafts and jewellry..
The impressive 13th century Caerphilly Castles looms over the town of Caerphilly like an ancient guardian. It was built by Gilbert de Clare and later used by Hugh Le Despenser (who would eventually end up beaten, hung, decapitated, and quartered... I wonder which one killed him?). Dark and gargantuan, the fortress and its inner grounds occupy a total area of 30 acres.
Incredible waterworks surround the walls in a double-moat, making it nearly impossible to siege. There are plenty of inside areas, including a great hall where people now hold functions and have weddings, a small museum and history of the castle, and a gift shop. The views are breathtaking, and the history (which you can view at your own leisure in one of the castle's towers) is exciting and rich. It took us nearly three hours to explore the castle and the grounds - take your time and do it right. It is well worth paying the nominal fee and spending a day at Caerphilly Castle.
Llancaiach Fawr Manor is a large semi fortified manor house on the outskirts of Nelson near Caerphilly in Glamorganshire South Wales.
Built in 1530 for Dafydd ap Richard (Prichard) under the turbulent times of the Tudor Kings and Queens the house was designed to be easily defended with only the one entrance, walls some 4ft thick with strong wooden doors and originally a stone spiral staircases for access between floors. After the end of the Tudor period the country now under the Stuarts the Prichard family prospered and the house was extended in 1628 with a new Grand Staircase being constructed and two of the rooms used by the family panelled in fine oak.
Peace in the country did not last though, and in 1642 the country was in a Civil war with the King on one side and Parliament on the other. The owner of the Manor Colonel Edward Prichard was appointed as Commissioner of Array to the King and was responsible for raising men and money for the Royalist cause in the county of Glamorganshire.
This is the period of time that visitors to the Manor step back to, for after paying your money in the separate reception and restaurant building you walk through a small museum that houses some of the many items found during the restoration of the house, you step out of the door and are transported back to 1645. Met at the house by one of the many servants you must present your letter that introduces you as an acquaintance of the Lords friend and enables you to partake in the hospitality of the house. You then have a choice of exploring the house on your own or being guided around by one of the servants. (being guided around is by far the better option as you will find out a wealth of knowledge about the house but more importantly about life in 1645 for the people that lived in and around the house).
The house is said to be haunted and hosts regular Ghost Tours and there is even a Ghost Cam, see if you can spot a little girl who is sometimes seen.
See Llancaiach Fawr Manor Most Haunted
The Admission Prices in 2011 are:
Concessions: £5.50 (senior citizen, student, disabled)
Child: £5.00 (3 - 16 years)
Family: £19.00 (2 adults + 2 children)
Group Discount rates (20+ people)
Adult: £5.75 per person
Concessions: £4.95 per person
Admission to the Visitor Centre shop, café/ restaurant, exhibition and gardens is free
Weekdays: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Weekends: 10.00am – 5.00pm
November to February: Closed on Mondays (except during school half term holidays)
Last admission to the house is 1 hour before closing. Please allow at least 1½ hours to see the house and additional time to view the gardens and exhibition.
For over 40 years Gelligaer was a cornerstone of the Roman military network that controlled south-east Wales. It is sited on a ridge between the Taff and Rhymney valleys and commands an extensive view of this upland region, which was heavily wooded in Roman times.
The fort was constructed in stone, is almost square and occupies an area of 3.5 acres making it one of the smallest Roman forts in Wales.
The site was explored in 1899-1901 by the Cardiff Naturalists' Society and then by John Ward, Curator of Cardiff Museum and Art Gallery, who undertook further excavations outside the fort between 1908 and 1913. The results established that the site was a Roman fort garrisoned by an auxiliary infantry unit of 500 men. It was defended by a wide outer ditch and an earth rampart faced on both sides by a stone wall. There were corner and interval towers and four double-arched gateways. The impressive headquarters building stood at the centre of the fort and next to it lay the residence of the unit's commander. A workshop with a yard and two granaries completed the central range of buildings. The men lived in six barrack blocks, one for each century of 80 men and their centurion. Other buildings within the fort were probably used for stores and a stable for the baggage animals belonging to the unit.
Today, the excavations have been covered over leaving all but some raised parts of a field indicating where the Roman camp was. During our visit in January 2010 workmen were busy putting the finishing touches to new information boards which will help you pinpoint the site of the Roman occupation. We picked up a leaflet from the Llancaiach Fawr visitor centre which gives details of a circular walk along the lane to the side of the field (marked public footpath) around the site and back through the Church.
Llancaiach Fawr is a 16th Century Tudor Manor house which was built for the Pritchard family to provide a comfortable home and protection during the turbulent times in 16 Century Glamorgan. There is a lovely little exhibition between the visitor centre and the gardens. Here you will learn a little bit about the history of the house - I was especially impressed to read that the King, Charles I visited Llancaiach Fawr while en route to Brecon on 5th August 1645.
A gentle stroll throught the lovely formal gardens will take you up to the entrance porch of the manor. As you step inside the door, you are taken back in time to the year 1645 and will be greeted by one servants of the house, dressed in traditional working clothes and speaking in Olde English. You will be asked if you would like a servant to take you around or take a look around on your own. We opted for the servant to show us around and realised there were lots of things we would have missed if we had gone around on our own. Rachel Edmunds - the under Dairy Maid took us around the servants quarters and the Kitchen. She gave us a factual and humourous account of the goings on in the servant quarters of those days. Bryn Llewellyn - the houseman gave us a really interesting and informative tour of the great hall, bedrooms and Colonel Pritchards study. This was where the armour was stored, letters written and interestingly the only room in the house with an opening window. We learned that the room also had access to a pigeon loft; during the time of the Civil war the only way to get messages to Cardiff was via a homing Pigeon. The message was attached to them and they were released via the small window in Colonel Pritchards study.
Llancaich Fawr is said to be among one of the top ten most haunted building in Britain. Thee figure most often experienced is that of what is believed to be a nineteenth century housekeeper known as “Mattie”. The rustle of her petticoats has been heard in the bedchamber where it is believed she died. Another of the ghosts is of a little boy who fell to his death from one of the upper rooms. He sometimes makes his presence felt by a little mischievous tug of a sleeve or someone’s hair, or else he’ll slip his hand into the hand of whoever is in the room as though he is looking for someone to take him home. Other figures have also been seen here. There is a ghost Cam on the Llancaich Fawr website although I keep looking I haven't spotted any of these ghoulies yet!!
I really enjoyed my visit here and would highly recommend it to others. There is a lovely gift shop by the entrance and a nice looking Coffee Lounge and Conservatory Restaurant.
During the year, Llancaiach Fawr plays host to a wide range of Special Events such as Medieval Fayre's and Ghost tours. Check the website below for details.
A lovely new addition to the Castle - you can now climb to the top of the remaining towers. The newly renovated rooms on the way up have some splendid features such as great stone fireplaces. Once at the top you will be rewarded with some great views of Caerphilly and the Valleys on a clear day.
If you have the time why not take a walk on Caerphilly Mountain.
There are various paths that you can follow and all will offer some great views over Caerphilly, Cardiff and the Bristol Channel. There are some nice pubs on the Mountain like the Travelers Rest and The Black Cock Inn which will make convenient stopping off points or are just nice places to visit by themselves.
Leaflets for walks on the Mountain including information about birds and plants can be obtained from Caerphilly Tourist Information, The Twyn, Caerphilly - phone 029 2088 0011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Caerphilly Castle is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Britain construction was begun in 1268 by the Anglo Norman marcher lord, Gilbert de Clare. It was concentrically planned with rings of both stone and water defences making it a formidable castle even today.
At the time of its construction in the late 13th century it was a revolutionary masterpiece of military design and would have been a fantastic sight as it still is today. Gilbert de Clare, The then lord of Glamorgan had the castle built with the purpose of securing the area and preventing lowland south Wales from falling into the hands of Welsh leader Llywelyn 'the Last', who then controlled most of mid and north Wales.
De Clare built many other castles on the northern fringes of his territory for the same purpose, such as Castle Coch.
In 1266 he had seized the upland district of Senghenydd, in which Caerphilly lies, from the Welsh to act as a buffer against the southward ambitions of Llywelyn.
Llywelyn realising the threat the castle tried but failed to prevent it from being built. Construction started on 11 April 1268 and Llywelyn attacked in 1270 after a slight pause the construction began again in 1271 and was completed without hindrance and apart from the remodelling of the great hall and some other domestic works in 1322 to 1326 for Hugh le Despenser there were no other major alterations making it a great example of late 13th century military architecture.
By the 19th Century the castle was in ruins but was meticulously restored by the 4th marquis of Bute
When i first visited it rained, not just drizzle, i mean really rained. i'm sure you can see by the pictures. On a recent visit in Febuary the weather was, err, well. better, at least it was not throwing it down so we visited again just to take some better pics. I thought about replacing these pictures with the newer ones but then i thought it might just spoil it, Somehow the rain just adds to it. I will put the newer ones in a travelog.
Adult - £3.60, Concession - £3.20, Family - £10.40
Entry is free for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.
A joint ticket for Caerphilly Castle, Castle Coch and Cardiff Castle is available: Adult £14.00, Concession £12.00.
01.04.09 - 31.10.09: Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00
01.11.09 - 31.03.10: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 16.00, Sunday 11.00 - 16.00
Caerphilly Castle is a Norman castle that dominates the centre of the town of Caerphilly in south Wales. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Britain after Windsor Castle. Built mainly between 1268 and 1271, it is an early example of a concentric castle.
The central island was the site of the main structure of the castle, comprising a retaining wall (the middle ward with gatehouses east and west, and an inner ward with east and west gatehouses and circular corner towers. To the north a ditch and bank formed a defensive moat.
The most notable features of the castle, its leaning south-east tower. The tower stands 20 metres high and leans 3 metres out of the perpendicular. The castle's condition worsened until the later part of the 18th century when the first Marquess of Bute began preservation work.
The Castle is by and large the main tourist attraction of Caerphilly, the Castle is huge in fact it's the second largest in Britain after Windsor.
It was built by Gilbert De Clare, Lord of Glamorgan to prevent lowland south Wales from falling into the hands of the Welsh leader Llywelyn the Last, who controlled most of mid and north Wales. De Clare built other castles on the northern fringes of his territory for the same purpose, such as Castell Coch. Llywelyn realised the threat and tried but failed to prevent the castle from being built; it was begun on 11 April 1268, was attacked by Llywelyn in 1270, and was begun again in 1271. This time it was completed without hindrance. Its message was not lost on Llywelyn, who retreated northwards. Apart from the remodelling of the great hall and other domestic works in 1322-6 for Hugh le Despenser, no more alterations were carried out, making it a very pure example of late 13th-century military architecture.
Throughout the year the Castle holds Medieval Fayres (normally on Bank Holidays) and is the focal point for the annual Big Cheese festival held at the end of July.
One of the finest medieval castles in all of Europe, Caerphilly Castle is a must-see for any historian. It's the largest in Britain, after Windsor Castle. It was the first with concentric walls (a multi-layered defence), and had an unusually wide moat. Built in the latter 13th century, it was among the last castles completed before King Edward I of England conquered Wales.
King Edward began his own ambitious programme of castles, some of which appear on my other pages. But none equal the size and formidable defences of this one.
I really love old buildings, especially pretty ones. My camera kept playing up as I was trying to photograph this old place; so I'm walking up the car park, trying to take the picture, when I shouted, 'The shagging camera won't work!' Little did I know, but there was a young Welsh bloke walking up near to me, he turned around to me and laughed, saying, 'You're supposed to press the button.' To which I laughed and replied, 'I am, but it won't work!'
Patty reckons she's not coming out with me anymore, because I show her up, I don't know why she thinks that, do you?
The first time we went up the mountains, which surround Abertridwr, it was in the dark and we couldn't see very much. But this time, we went up another mountain, on the same afternoon as we got to Patty's. You couldn't wish for more beautiful scenery than what Patty has surrounding her house.
Caerphilly common has a network of well developed footpaths for those nature lovers among us to enjoy. The car park at the top of the mountain road is ideally situated & is a good place to begin your ramble around the Welsh countryside. If it's great views you want, cross the road from the car park & follow the path to the top of the Mountain. This is a fairly easy walk, only a few steep bits to contemplate, the views from the top are well worth the effort. On a clear day you can see the Brecon Beacons to the North and the Bristol Channel to the South.
The Twyn Chapel was originally built in 1862 for £1,200. In recent years it has undergone exensive refurbishment which has retained its' gothic style of architecture. It is now used mainly as a community centre. Providing the local community with rooms to hire for all sorts of occasions. At the weekends the Twyn Chapel is host to Farmers Markets, Craft Fayres, Antique Fayres and art exhibitions. These are usually advertised on a big banner outside the centre.