Castell Coch celebrates 125 years in pictures

Monday 01 February 2016

  • The frontispiece drawing from Burges’s original Castell Coch proposal, 1874 © Bute Archive at Mount Stuart

    The frontispiece drawing from Burges’s original Castell Coch proposal, 1874 © Bute Archive at Mount Stuart

  • Castell Coch during construction, 1875

    Castell Coch during construction, 1875

  • Aerial view of Castell Coch, 1947 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Aerial view of Castell Coch, 1947 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • Aerial view of Castell Coch, 1949 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Aerial view of Castell Coch, 1949 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • Banqueting Hall at Castell Coch, 1952 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Banqueting Hall at Castell Coch, 1952 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • View of Castell Coch at night, 1974 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    View of Castell Coch at night, 1974 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • Detail view of interior decoration at Castell Coch, 1974 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Detail view of interior decoration at Castell Coch, 1974 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • A section of the Drawing Room mural depicting Aesop's Fables

    A section of the Drawing Room mural depicting Aesop's Fables

  • Aerial photograph of Castell Coch, 2006 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Aerial photograph of Castell Coch, 2006 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • Aerial photograph of Tongwynlais and Castell Coch, 2009 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

    Aerial photograph of Tongwynlais and Castell Coch, 2009 © Crown copyright (2016) RCAHMW

  • Castell Coch across the water © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Castell Coch across the water © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • Castell Coch at sunset, 2013 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Castell Coch at sunset, 2013 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • View of Castell Coch bathed in sunshine, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    View of Castell Coch bathed in sunshine, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • Castell Coch's pop-up cinema event, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Castell Coch's pop-up cinema event, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • View of the intricate Drawing Room, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    View of the intricate Drawing Room, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • View of the magnificent banqueting hall, scene of many dinner parties over the decades 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    View of the magnificent banqueting hall, scene of many dinner parties over the decades 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • Shot of the kitchen, equipped as it would have been during the site's heyday, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Shot of the kitchen, equipped as it would have been during the site's heyday, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • Shot of Lady Bute's intricately decorated bedroom, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Shot of Lady Bute's intricately decorated bedroom, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • View of Castell Coch from the inner courtyard, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    View of Castell Coch from the inner courtyard, 2014 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

  • Castell Coch's 'Frozen' inspired makeover, 2015 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

    Castell Coch's 'Frozen' inspired makeover, 2015 © Crown copyright (2016) Cadw

2016 marks Castell Coch’s 125th anniversary year and to celebrate, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw) has released an archived suite of images of the site as it reopens (Feb 2016) following the winter break.

Released in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the collection of images spans multiple decades, from the site’s 1891 re-build up to the present day.

Partly taken from the Royal Commission’s archive (the National Monuments Record of Wales) this specially selected collection contains some of the oldest and most intriguing photographs ever taken of Castell Coch – from black-and-white interior shots taken in the 1940s, to a grainy Victorian photograph of the castle during construction, and even historic snaps of the site from above.

In addition, iconic shots from the site’s more recent past – including a shot of its latest ‘Frozen’ makeover in December 2015 – are featured, offering a modern perspective to the much-photographed monument.

Together, the photographs show how both the landscape around the castle and the progression of photographic technology has changed over the course of 125 years.

Boasting a long and rich history, Castell Coch was built upon the ruins of a medieval fortress once known as ‘castrum rubeum’ or ‘the red castle’ – a site which lay in ruins for centuries before its revival at the hands of the Third Marquess of Bute and his architect, William Burges.

Since its completion in 1891, Castell Coch has transformed from a decadent holiday home into a romanticised historic monument, welcoming thousands of visitors each year.

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport said: “The collection of images celebrating Castell Coch’s 125th anniversary reveals a series of unfamiliar, historic and unique images of Castell Coch through the decades in a bid to celebrate a site which is greatly admired for its extraordinary Gothic design and historic appeal.

“The collection offers a history of the castle in photographs, bringing the site’s story across the decades to life to online audiences and potential visitors. This is a great way of celebrating the site’s 125 year milestone and I’m pleased that the Welsh Government and the Royal Commission has been able to present this collection for the public to enjoy.”

For more information about Castell Coch’s admission fees and opening hours visit the Days Out page, find Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales on Twitter.