Plans approved for Caerphilly Castle’s conservation and development works
Following submission to Caerphilly Council in December 2021, planning permission has been granted in June 2022 for the enhancement works at Wales’ largest castle.
With details of the plans first revealed in June 2021, the £5m enhancement project is set to strengthen Caerphilly Castle as a world-class heritage attraction — while safeguarding the monument for future generations.
Plans include conservation works to the Inner East Gatehouse, including a new roof and windows; refurbishment of the Great Hall and the Earl’s Apartments; improved access across the monument; bridge improvements; and new exhibitions telling the stories of Caerphilly Castle.
Around £1m will be spent on interactive exhibits featuring digital and audio-visual media, detailing the power struggles, betrayals, intrigues and liaisons of the people who built the castle, who fought over it, and lived in it through the ages.
In the Great Hall — the largest of its date in the UK — the space will be redecorated to reflect how it might have appeared in its medieval heyday. Using a combination of replica furniture, wall hangings and brightly painted wood panelling — along with digital enhancements — visitors will be transported back to the 1320s when the Great Hall hosted a mighty feast.
A new energy-efficient welcome centre will also be built, with air source heat pumps and a living green roof. It will provide a welcoming place to greet visitors, food and drink facilities, along with new toilets. A new educational space has been included in the design to allow a people of all ages to learn and enjoy more about the castle’s long history.
The existing shop will also be re-fitted, with improvements to the bridges and paths around the castle to ensure easy access for visiting. A peaceful wildlife garden is also included in the proposals, along with two bespoke play areas — a first for any Cadw property.
Gwilym Hughes, Head of Cadw, said:
‘With plans being accepted for the enhancement works at Caerphilly Castle, we are all set to break ground in September 2022.
‘We would like to thank Cadw members, and visitors from near and far, for their ongoing support during the works. We look forward to offering exciting new facilities and interpretation for our visitors to enjoy once works are completed, and we’re delighted that this project will safeguard the site for future generations.’
Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts & Sport said:
‘Caerphilly is already renowned as the home of Wales’ largest fortress, and following these conservation and development works, I have no doubt that this magnificent site will become a world-class heritage destination.
‘We look forward to seeing these developments come to life and to the impact it will bring to Caerphilly town centre — not only attracting more visitors to the area but also protecting the site for the future.’
To bring the enhancement works to life, Cadw is working in partnership with Caerphilly Council, Mace project management, Purcell Architects, Bright interpretation designers, Studio Hardie, Mann Williams Engineers, Holloway Partnership M&E, Wessex Archaeology, BSG Ecology, Austin Smith Lord landscape Architects, and John Weaver Contractors.