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Cardiff Castle
Well Preserved Medieval Motte & Bailey Castle in Wales

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Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle but also a nineteenth century Gothic Revival mansion. Located in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, this is a castle that has been transformed from a Norman keep into a Victorian fantasy of a medieval castle.

The Norman keep, of which the shell remains, was constructed about 1091 by Robert Fitzhamon, lord of Gloucester and conqueror of Glamorgan. The keep was built on a motte on the site of a Roman castrum, first uncovered during the building campaign of the third Marquis of Bute in the nineteenth century.

Today the castle is run by Cardiff Council and is open to the public. The Victorian interiors are spectacular.


Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
Castle Street
Cardiff CF10 3RB

Telephone from the UK: 029 2087 8100
Telephone from the US: 010 44 29 2087 8100
Telephone from France: 00 44 29 2087 8100
Telephone from other countries: +44 (0)29 2087 8100

Fax: 029 2023 1417



Google Maps


Small scale map showing the location of
Cardiff Castle

Google map showing the location of
Cardiff Castle

Large scale map showing
Cardiff Castle


In Welsh Cardiff Castle is known as Castell Caerdydd

After the failed attempt by Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror's eldest son, to take England from Henry I, Robert was imprisoned here until his death in 1134. The castle, rebuilt in stone, was an important stronghold of Marcher Lords, in the de Clare and Despenser dynasties, also those of the Beauchamps Earls of Warwick, Richard of York (through his marriage into the Neville family), and the Herbert family, Earls of Pembroke.


An 18th Century print of Cardiff Castle


In the 18th century the castle became the property of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who became through his Herbert wife a major landowner in the area. His heirs developed the docks that transformed Cardiff from a fishing village to a major coal exporting port during the 19th century.

In the early 19th century the castle was enlarged and refashioned in an early Gothic Revival style for the Marquis of Bute who commissioned William Burges to undertake a massive rebuilding which turned the castle into a 19th century fantasy of a medieval palace. Rebuilding began with the Clock Tower, planned 1866–1868 and began in 1869. The towers continue westward, the Tank Tower, the Guest Tower, the Herbert Tower and the Beauchamp Tower. From the park, all five towers appear in enfilade to produce a crowded variegated and romantic Victorian skyline.

The Marquis was the richest man in Britain so Burges could realise his dreams. His imagination, his scholarship and his high spirits combine to make Cardiff Castle the most successful of all the fantasy castles of the nineteenth century except perhaps Neuschwanstein in Bavaria.

In 1947, the Bute South Wales estates having all been sold, the castle and surrounding park was given to the City of Cardiff by the fifth Marquis. It is now a popular tourist attraction, and houses a regimental museum in addition to the ruins of the old castle and the Victorian reconstruction. It sits in the expansive grounds of Bute Park.





Cardiff Castle in 1775, by Charles Knight


Cardiff Castle Apartments


Ceiling of the The Arab Room in Cardiff Castle


The Victorian Clock Tower in Cardiff Castle


AVictorian Fireplace in Cardiff Castle






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