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.
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'Gilbert's Maze' is currently closed temporarily for essential maintenance work. Apologies for any inconvenience.
1 March - 30 June 2019
Daily 9.30am – 5pm
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
For yearly opening times please click 'View all visitor information'
Adult - £8.90
Family - £25.70*
Member - Am ddim/Free
Disabled and companion - Am ddim/Free
Juniors (Aged 5-17) / NUS / Armed Forces and Veterans - £5.30
Seniors (Over 65) - £7.10
*Admits 2 adults and up to 3 children
All children under 5 receive free entry.
Prices valid from April 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.