"A Wonderful Castle" Cardiff Castle by Balam
Cardiff Castle Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 5 photos
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.
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)
- Pros:In the centre of Cardiff
- Cons:It's not cheap
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