Cardiff Castle, Cardiff

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 59 Reviews

Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 2RB +44 (0)29 20 878100

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  • Cardiff Castle
    Cardiff Castle
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  • Cardiff Castle
    Cardiff Castle
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  • Cardiff Castle
    Cardiff Castle
    by spidermiss
  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Cardiff's Castle

    by Balam Written Aug 10, 2009

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    Cardiff Castle's Keep
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    Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance , it is located at the heart of the capital within parklands and at first it does not look like the Castle's fairly modern looking walls and fairytale like towers could conceal over 2,000 years of history.
    A Roman fort was probably established at the end of the 50s AD in what is now Cardiff, well placed on a strategic site that afforded easy access to the sea. Some archaeological excavations made during the 1970s indicate that this was only the first of four forts, each a different size that occupied the present site After the Norman Conquest, of south Wales the Castle's keep was built, upon the site of the Roman fort (remains of the Roman wall can still be seen today in the Visitors centre).
    The site was originally divided into inner and outer wards, separated by a huge stone wall. The first keep on the motte was erected by Robert Fitzhamon, the Norman Lord of Gloucester, and would have been constructed from wood as would many of the early defences. Not long after many more medieval fortifications and dwellings followed The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families in the following centuries until in 1766 it was passed by marriage in to the famous Bute family.
    It was the 2nd Marquis of Bute who was responsible for making Cardiff into what was once the world's largest coal exporting port, On his death the Castle and Bute fortune was passed to his son John,( the 3rd Marquis of Bute), who by the 1860s was reputed to be the richest man in the world.
    It was the 3rd Marquis of Bute who employed the genius architect William Burges to transform the Castle lodgings were he created some lavish Victorian Interiors.
    When the 3rd Marquis died in 1900 aged just 53 the castle had been transformed into a ‘Welsh Victorian style of Camelot’ now being regarded as being of international significance. Despite some huge death duties on the estate, the 4th Marquis completed many of the restoration projects that his father had started which included the reconstruction of the old Roman wall.
    The Bute family continued to stay at the Castle throughout the 1920s and 30s, Until when the 4th Marquis of Bute died the family decided to give the Castle and most of its parkland, (now known as Bute Park), to the city of Cardiff.

    Open every day except 25 December, 26 December and 1 January
    March - October: 9am - 6pm (last tour 5pm)
    November - February: 9am - 5pm (last tour 4pm)

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by rexvaughan Written Aug 8, 2009

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    Tower above the Norman keep
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    For about 2000 years there has been a fort on this site and parts of the 1st century Roman one can be seen in the walls. In the 19th century the castle passed into the hands of the Bute family who had put Cardiff on the map as one of the biggest shippers of coal in the world. This family was also reputed to be one of the richest in the world and that is easily believed when you tour the inside of the lodgings. Bute spared no expense in turning the interior of this medieval structure into one glittering room after another filled with lavish decor of various themes. I don’t remember seeing this kind of opulence anywhere this side of Windsor Castle.

    I also like the clock tower with its brightly colored figures and shields even though it is a relatively late addition. The grounds are spacious and almost invite picnics and the walk up the old tower in the Norman keep is not too strenuous and gives some different views of the whole area.

    In the area just to the right and as you come in the entrance is an exhibition and film show that is quite well done and only about 20 minutes. Of course there is also a cafe and gift shop there as well.

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  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by Myfanwe Written Jul 13, 2009

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    Cardiff Castle was built on what was originally a Roman fort probably dating back to 50AD, remains of a Roman wall can still be seen today. The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766 it was passed onto the Bute family, the 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the Worlds greatest coal export port. The 3rd Marquess of Bute was reputed to be the richest man in the World at the time and was responsible for the lavish decorations which adorn the state rooms. Following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, the family decided to give the Castle and its' surrounding parkland to the City of Cardiff.

    The state rooms are magnificent & not to be missed. There is also a new addition to the Castle - an interpretation centre which opened in June 2008, it offers a great start to your visit where you can take in an exhibition and film presentation or relax in the coffee shop after you've walked your socks off!!

    If you walk past the Castle entrance towards Bute Park (away from the shopping centre) you can see a series of stone carved animals along the Castle walls. (see last two pics). These used to scare the life out of me when I was younger & on a day trip to the big City!!

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by aukahkay Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Cardiff Castle
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    Cardiff Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerdydd) is a medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion, transformed from a Norman keep erected over a Roman fort in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. Cardiff Castle was a Roman garrison, a Norman stronghold and a Gothic fantasy all combined into one remarkable monument in the heart of Cardiff city with a history that spans over 2000 years. Architect William Burges was given free rein to create the lavish and opulent interiors, each breathtaking with murals, stained glass, gilding and superb craftsmanship.

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    Cardiff Castle

    by Tom_Fields Written Mar 11, 2008

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    Entrance to Cardiff Castle
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    The Romans built a fort here about 2,000 years ago. The Normans, the next great builders, added the Keep and other structures. In 1866, the Victorian architect William Burgess was hired by Lord Bute to add some more modern amenities, mostly inside. In 1947, the Bute family turned over the castle to the city.

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    Go for a guided tour.

    by Pod Written Sep 19, 2007

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    Cardiff castle apartments
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    Matthew Williams, Castle Curator and one of Britain's leading experts on William Burges takes you on the most interesting Hour-long tour of the Castle Apartments. I would highly recomend if your in Cardiff not to miss this oppertunity to meet a very entertaining man. Book your tour in the morning.
    Price £12 till 2008.

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    Go back in time.

    by Pod Written Sep 19, 2007

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    Cardiff castle moat.
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    2007 OPENING TIMES

    Cardiff Castle is open every day, all year round, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

    March to October: 9.00am to 6 pm (last tour/entry 5pm)

    November to February: 9.30am to 5 pm (last tour and last entry 4.00pm)

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by roamer61 Updated May 15, 2007

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    The castles history dates to the 11th Century when the original castle was built by the Normans. It is on the grounds. The castle overall was built up in later centuries and took on its present form the Middle Ages through the 19th Century. The photo shows looking out toward the clock tower from another wing. The clock tower was added in the mid 19th Century.

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  • veigapaula's Profile Photo

    Castle is a must!

    by veigapaula Written Apr 27, 2007

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    Cardiff Castle
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    I didn't went inside the Castle, (you have to pay and have time for it, I didn't), but the area is fantastic!

    Castle: http://www.cardiffcastle.com/

    http://www.visitcardiff.com/

    International airport: http://www.cwlfly.com/

    National Museum: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/cardiff/

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  • take the guided tour

    by LFChachere Updated Mar 3, 2007

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    Although a lot of other tourist attractions get much more acclaim: Stonehenge, Warwick Castle, Buckhingham Palace, etc., this underrated castle was one of the main highlights of my many visits to the UK.

    Many of the rooms are very intricate, with secret panels, secret doors, etc.; and took many years to complete.
    Peacocks wander around the castle grounds (and it seemed like there was really nothing stopping them if they wanted to wander outside the walls into the city); it was just surreal to see a place like this in the center of a capital city.

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  • diocletianvs's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by diocletianvs Updated Feb 23, 2007

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    Cardiff Castle
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    Although the history of the Cardiff castle dates back 2000 years ago to the Romans times, what you'll see inside is basically a 19th century transformation initiated by John Bute (apparently of The famous Bute family) and done by an architect William Burges. Within a gothic structure he created new interiors, each room with its own special theme from the Mediterranean to Arabic.

    As castles are really not my thing I did not go inside, but the castle's location in the center of the city is definitely interesting and you can't miss it if you go for a stroll in Bute park as it dominates its southern part.

    The website below has details about opening times and admission prices.

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  • neilward's Profile Photo

    Old amongst the modern

    by neilward Written Nov 11, 2006

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    Up we go then Sam !!!

    This magnificent castle is in the middle of a great lively and bustling city,with transport,people mixing together as one.
    sam and I spent a couple of hours just wandering around,climbing up over 100 steps to the top of the "Keep",the views from here were spectacular.
    Inside the castle is a military museum,full of memorabilia,stories,pictures and history.

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  • musbars's Profile Photo

    Castle of Red Dragon

    by musbars Updated Sep 4, 2006

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    Most likely, the Romans built earliest settlement at Cardiff in the mid-first century AD. A site of great strategic value along the extensive network of Roman roads in Wales, Cardiff sat along the main link between Caerleon (with its wonderful, virtually intact, amphitheater) and Carmarthen (where another, less well- preserved, amphitheater was built). The Romans constructed a 10- acre fort on the spot where the castle now rests. Inside the walls would have been barracks, workshops, stores and other essential buildings. Apparently, three successive forts were erected by the Romans during their tenure at Cardiff. However, it was not until Lord Bute's building program in the late 1800's that any Roman ruins were uncovered. Much of what does remain from the Roman period is now clearly visible as you approach the main entrance into the castle, at the base of the later Norman walls, separated from later stonework by a narrow layer of red sandstone.

    Much of Cardiff Castle's history revolves around conflicts with the native populace. In 1183-84 the Welsh revolted, and caused much damage to the castle and its associated town. Even though the powerful de Clare family took hold of the castle (as well as numerous other estates) in the following century, problems persisted with Welsh insurgency. In the 1270's, when Wales was unified under the leadership of the charismatic Welshman, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (the Last), Gilbert de Clare refortified the castle in anticipation of further Welsh rebellion. The curtain wall was strengthened and construction of the Black Tower and south gateway was initiated. The much awaited assault never occurred and de Clare's work remains in solid repair to this day.

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Castle

    by sue_stone Updated Aug 29, 2006

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    Cardiff Castle wall
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    Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of the city, next to Bute Park and close to the main shopping drag. It is enclosed by a tall wall, making entry into the grounds an exciting experience.

    Buy your ticket at the street front shop/ticket office, deciding if you just want access to the grounds (£3.50 - Aug 06) or access to all areas, as part of a tour (£6.95 - Aug 06). Then you enter through the castle gate and you are in the large, grassy inner courtyard.

    This lovely courtyard area is quite unique, with its green lawns, shady chairs and tables for picnics, and best of all, its resident peacocks!! The birds just wander about, posing for the occasional photo and calling out to their friends across the yard. There were some cute baby peacocks too.

    The castle itself is made up of several sections - I particularly liked the cute Norman Keep, which sits on a little hill, and the interesting clock tower. Under the main house of the castle is a tea room which is housed in the oldest part of a castle. We didn't eat here, but it is well worth a look. There are also a couple of museums in the grounds (which you can visit without having the full priced ticket).

    Oh, and they don't take the grounds tickets from you, so you can always wander in later the same day if you want a second look....not sure if you are actually supposed to, but we did ; )

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  • jetwind's Profile Photo

    The castle

    by jetwind Written Aug 14, 2006
    The french part of castle
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    Cardiff Castle is one leading tourist attractions in the area. Situated in the heart of the capital, alongside city shopping and the graceful Bute Park, the Castle's offers a tanlising taste of history. The castle dates back as far as 55AD and has a vast and interesting life, you’ll discover for yourself when you pay it a visit.

    The entrance fee is £6.95 for an adult and just £4.30 for a child, there are also numerous other concession tickets available which can be found the website.
    The fee includes a 40 minute tour of castles interior which is both informative and entertaining. After the tour you can visit the Welsh regiment museum and stay in the grounds for as long as you like.

    I recommend that you allow around 2 to 3 hours to enjoy this attraction to its full.

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