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Traditionally Caerphilly was in the county of Glamorgan and later became part of Mid-Glamorgan which was abolished in 1996 and became part of the preserved county of South Glamorgan. In 2003 the ceremonial borders were further adjusted, placing the entire Caerphilly county borough into the preserved county of Gwent. Virtual Tourist places Caerphilly in Mid-Glamorgan and that will do for me.
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Updated Jun 5, 2012
Caerphilly Castle surely is a high point in medieval architecture and a model in fortress building. Spread over 12ha it is the biggest castle in Wales. The Norman marcher Lord of Glamorgan Gilbert de Clare, the Red Earl of Gloucester, started building the castle in 1268. The aim was to protect the lowlands from attack by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, who by then was overlord of all Welsh territories. But in the same year Llywelyn destroyed the partly finished castle, and continued to threaten it during the 1st decade of its 50-year construction, until his death in 1282 led to a quieter period. Gilbert de Clare began to build again in 1272, but died in 1295 without seeing the castle completed. Caerphilly had to withstand several sieges during local uprisings in 1316, when Llywelyn Bren burned the outer ward in a surprise attack, and again in 1326/ 1327, but each time the attackers failed to capture the island stronghold. The last siege, also unsuccessful, was by Owain Glyndwr in the early 15th century, who threw his last dice in a final effort to reunite the Welsh.
When the setting sun casts its shadows over the darkening walls, locals have often seen the spectre of a Lady, with a sad story adding to the medieval romance. The ghost of the Green Lady has looked out from the ramparts of Caerphilly for centuries, waiting for the return of her lover. She is said to be Alice of Angoulême, niece of Henry II and wife of Gilbert de Clare, whose neglect drove her into the arms of Gruffydd the Fair, a prince from nearby Brithdir. Her secret, revealed in the confessional, was passed on by the monk to Gilbert, who promptly divorced her and sent her back to France, where she later died. Upon his return to Brithdir, Gruffydd the Fair is said to have waylaid the loose-tounged monk at Ystrach Mynach and hangend him.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: In Caerphilly town centre
Phone: +44 (0)29 2088 0011