Cardiff Castle, Cardiff

Cardiff Castle, Cardiff (must see)

Castle building in Wales started early. The future site of Cardiff Castle was a Roman defensive encampment in 55 AD. By the 3rd century a new fortification emerged. It was Roman again, 635 feet by 603 feet and made from limestone. It was abandoned in the 4th century.

By 1080, forces of William the Conqueror had reached into South Wales. The Normans liked forts. William is said to have built the original Cardiff Castle while returning from a pilgrimage to St David's in 1081. The castle was close to the sea and easily defended.

The 12th century was the time of the Anarchy, with civil strife and bloodshed. The castle passed from Henry II to to the de Clares. From the de Clares it went to the Despensers. During the Wars of the Roses, title passed at last to Prince Henry, soon to be Henry VIII. In 1776 the Bute family acquired the Castle.

In 1868 Architect William Burges was given the job of remodeling. Work started with the 150 foot ashlar stone Clock Tower. It holds a suite of four rooms. The rooms are opulently decorated and gilded. There are murals of the seasons, legends and myths. The floor is a mosaic of the world.

The Guest Tower, the Arab Room, the Chaucer Room, the Nursery, the Library, the Banqueting Hall and bedrooms had been constructed in the 18th century. The Bute Tower includes a roof garden with a sculpture of the Madonna and Child.

Burges redid the castle in a Gothic Revival style. Extensive landscaping was done around the castle. During the 20th century work continued. The Bute lands and commercial holdings were sold off. After World War II the castle belonged to the City of Cardiff.

Today the castle is a tourist attraction and a venue for events, concerts and festivals.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cardiff. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cardiff Castle on Map

Sight Name: Cardiff Castle
Sight Location: Cardiff, Wales (See walking tours in Cardiff)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cardiff, Wales

Create Your Own Walk in Cardiff

Create Your Own Walk in Cardiff

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cardiff is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping Arcades Tour

Shopping Arcades Tour

A city of castles and culture, Cardiff has plenty to entertain those who travel with the shopping bags in tow. The Welsh capital has long been reputed as the "City of Arcades", due to the highest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary indoor shopping arcades in the UK. Back in the day, these fascinating, covered pedestrian thoroughfares were designed to enable locals and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Cardiff Introduction Walking Tour

Cardiff Introduction Walking Tour

"Cardiff" came from the Welsh word "Caer-Taff" which means "Fort on the river Taff." Cardiff cannot be separated from the Cardiff Castle nor the castle from the city. People had been living in the neighborhood of Cardiff on the banks of the Taff when the Romans arrived and built a fort in 55 AD.

The fortification was strategically located. It was possible to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles