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!
Please note the castle will have restricted/no access on the following dates:
Tuesday 13 September — Last visitor access 3.00pm
Wednesday 14 September — Last visitor access 3.00pm
Thursday 15 September — Last visitor access 3.00pm
Friday 16 September— Last visitor access 3.00pm
Saturday 17 September
12.00pm — Castle Closed
(Inner Ward Concert Arena — Closed All Day to Visitors)
Sunday 18 September — Castle Closed
Monday 19 September — Castle Closed
There will be restricted access at times in until 29 September. We apologise for any inconvenience.