Rebuilding the past with the latest technology

Wednesday 02 July 2014

Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, is combining the latest technology with the best of the past to rebuild some of Wales’s most iconic monuments.


Cadw has today (2 July 2014) announced plans to use CGI technology to bring a number of its historic sites to life by revealing a reconstruction of Caerphilly Castle – one of the largest castles in Europe.

The video, which is now available on Cadw’s YouTube channel, gives viewers an idea of how the famous site would have looked in the early 1300s when it was able to withstand an attack from 10,000 Welsh rebels.

The video captures the ‘walls within walls’ system of defence that was favoured by Gilbert de Clare, the nobleman responsible for building Caerphilly Castle.

Viewers can make their way through a series of drawbridges, gates and wooden doors to breach the castle that comes to life throughout the video.

Missing sections of the castle rise from the ground as the south-east tower, that today out leans Pisa’s famous tower, straightens and returns to its former glory.

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, said: “This project is a perfect example of how we can use the latest technology to engage with new audiences and encourage them to celebrate Welsh history.

“It’s important to look at new ways of promoting our heritage so that the people of Wales and tourists alike will visit and enjoy the historic monuments we have to offer.”

The castle, which is the largest in Wales, is famous around the world as it has been used as the backdrop to TV programmes including Doctor Who and Merlin.

To complete the project a team of CGI designers worked with experts at Cadw using detailed floor plans, aerial footage, artists’ impressions and mapping information from the land registry office.

The Caerphilly Castle video is the first in a series of CGI projects to be revealed by Cadw this summer as part of its ‘Time Traveller’ campaign, which aims to inspire people across Wales to engage in their local history.

The campaign has also seen the release of a series of videos filmed by Welsh comedians Chris Corcoran and Elis James and a YouTube playlist called ‘Castles from the Clouds’, which shows off ten historic Welsh sites from the air.