Due to concerns over the spread of Coronavirus and the well-being of our visitors Caerphilly Castle will be closed to the public until further notice. Please check the Cadw website for further updates.
Fear of a Welsh prince inspired the mightiest medieval castle in Wales
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd didn’t build Caerphilly Castle. In fact he twice tried to knock it down before it was finished. But he was certainly its inspiration.
The rise of the powerful Prince of Wales persuaded Marcher lord Gilbert de Clare that he needed a fortress in double-quick time. And it had better be truly formidable.
So from 1268 de Clare constructed the biggest castle in Wales — second only to Windsor in the whole of Britain. Massive walls, towers and gatehouses were combined with sprawling water defences to cover a total of 30 acres.
That’s three times the size of Wales’s modern-day stronghold and home of Welsh rugby, the Principality Stadium.
On the death of Llywelyn this frontline fortress was transformed into a palatial home with a hunting park and northern lake. It passed into the hands of Edward II’s ruthless and greedy favourite Hugh Despenser, who revamped the great hall in ornate style.
By then Caerphilly must have appeared like some mythical castle floating in an enchanted lake. An effect oddly enhanced by the Civil War gunpowder that left the south-east tower at a precarious angle.
In fact Wales’s very own Leaning Tower — even wonkier than that of Pisa — is probably the castle’s best-loved feature.
Caerphilly Castle Guidebook
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Toilets available with baby changing facilities.
There are both short and long stay pay and display car parks available; the short stay car park is approx 110m away. The long stay car park is approx. 500m away. There is dedicated disabled parking.
Please be aware:
The Great Hall will be closed from 2020 until further notice for conservation and developmental work.
Digital trails available on the Cadw app.
Central level paved areas but restricted access to towers due to steps and slopes.
Disabled visitors can be dropped off by car at the main entrance.
Gaps within the access bridges across the moats may pose difficulties to wheelchairs, buggies and those with walking aids.
Dogs on leads welcome to access ground floor levels of the site.
On-site exhibition within monument.
Gift shop at this site offering a range of products and guidebooks.
Site guidebook available to purchase online and in selected visitor centres.
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.
Smoking is not permitted.
A portable induction loop is available.
Visitor toilets are available at this site.
A video presentation is available at this site.
This site is available to hire for events, filming and exhibitions.
Cadw free public WiFi available at this site.
Water refill station available at this site.
Postcode CF83 1JD
For further information, please contact: Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 0000 or National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50.
Telephone 02920 883143
Castle St, Caerphilly CF83 1JD