Like the famous cheese, the castle has long been synonymous with Caerphilly. It dominates. Hogs the limelight. Think slumbering giant awaiting a call to arms. It’s also a great backdrop for TV and film. It secured a starring role recently in the popular BBC TV series Merlin.
This stone behemoth, surrounded by a series of moats and watery islands was the brainchild of Gilbert ‘the Red’ de Clare, a redheaded nobleman of Norman descent. He also built the original Castell Coch, ‘Red Castle’, located the other side of Caerphilly mountain.
Gilbert de Clare and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd were contemporaries at war and early attempts by Gilbert to build a castle were thwarted by the Welsh prince. Gilbert eventually won through and built a mammoth stronghold using the concentric ‘walls within walls’ system of defence. He also made sure there were large and comfortable rooms to live in.
However, once the threat posed by Llywelyn was quelled by Edward I, the raison d’etre for this massive fortress changed. The castle’s condition worsened until late in the 19th century when the third marquess of Bute began preservation work. We have a lot to thank the Butes for in South Wales!
Caerphilly is one of eight sites chosen by Cadw as a hub for community projects in support of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations in Wales.
1 March - 30 June 2013
Daily 9.30am - 5.00pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Adult - £4.75
Family - £14.25*
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 - £3.60
Disabled and companion - Am ddim/Free
*Admits 2 adults and all children under 16
Postcode CF83 1JD
Road A468 (from Newport), M4 (J32), A470, A469 (from Cardiff).
Rail 1km/0.6mls Caerphilly, on the Cardiff-Bargoed Rhymney route.
Bus Opposite, Caerphilly/Islwyn No 26, Cardiff-Caerphilly/Tredegar.
Bike NCN Route No.4 (200m/219yards).
For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0871 200 2233 or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.