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.
*NEWSFLASH* — Adventure awaits at Caerphilly Castle, with Gilbert’s Maze and the Dragons’ Lair now open!
Wales’s largest fortress has become even bigger and better with the installation of two new family attractions.
The epic transformation celebrates 750 years of the medieval stronghold, providing castle explorers with even more unmissable on-site experiences to say a big “diolch” for their continued love and support for the site.
It’s all part of Cadw’s Castles Alive! campaign and a £9.5m Welsh Government investment to enhance visitor experience at Wales’s captivating sites over the next three years.
To find out more about Gilbert’s Maze, the Dragons’ Lair and other on-site activities, check out our Castles Alive! webpage.
1 November 2018 - 28 February 2019
Monday to Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
For yearly opening times please click 'View all visitor information'
The Great Hall of Caerphilly Castle will be closed to visitors from Monday 7 January–Friday 1 February 2018. This is to allow our conservation specialists the safety to carry out essential maintenance work on the interior of the hall. We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
Adult - £8.50
Family - £24.60*
Member - Am ddim/Free
Disabled and companion - Am ddim/Free
Student and children under 16 - £5.10
Senior Citizen - £6.80
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16
All children under 5 receive free entry.
Prices valid until March 2019
Facilities and information
View all visitor information
- 02920 883143
- Disabled visitors can be dropped off by car at the main entrance
- Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
- Dogs on leads welcome
- No smoking
- A toilet is available for users with a disability and limited mobility
- Please do not feed bread products to the birds. Bread is harmful to the birds.
- Cadw do not allow drone flying from or over its guardianship sites, except by contractors commissioned for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and are operating under controlled conditions.
- This site is registered on the No Fly Drone website
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 0800 464 0000 or National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50.