Featured image of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle- History, Architecture, Events & Facts

LocationCastle Quarter, Cardiff, Wales (Google Maps Location)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byCardiff Council
Official WebsiteCardiff Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Weddings, Events, Corporate)

Cardiff Castle is a beautiful castle standing tall and proud in the heart of Cardiff, Wales. Built on the land of the Roman fort, Cardiff Castle shows the Norman stronghold and Victorian Gothic masterpiece. This castle is open for visitors to explore and serves as a venue for events and filming.

Cardiff Castle History

This castle was originally a motte and bailey castle. It was built in 1081 by Norman invaders on a Roman fort. In the 12th century, the castle was rebuilt using stones by Robert of Gloucester. He focused on adding a shell keep and substantial defensive walls. The castle was then passed to the de Clare family in 1216. It’s where the famous Black Tower was added inside the castle.

Since the castle was built, it was involved in various conflicts between Anglo-Normans and the Welsh. It was attacked several times in the 12th century and was stormed in 1404 during the revolt of Owain Glyndwr. In the early 14th century, the castle was passed to Despencers. They held the castle until 1414 and then passed it to Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick, as a marriage gift. They did many significant constructions in the castle.

In 1550, the castle property was taken over by the Herbert family. They remodelled the main parts of the castles, including the exteriors. Parliamentary forces took the castle during the English Civil War, but Royalist supporters regained it in 1645. Many other conflicts took place in the castle for the entire century.

In the mid-18th century, the castle was passed to the Stuart dynasty, the Marquesses of Bute. They renovated the entire castle and demolished many older parts of the medieval model. They introduced the Gothic revival style to the castle and made it look ravishing. The 4th Marquess of Bute inherited the castle in the early 20th century. He continued the construction work in the 1920s. However, by the Second World War, the lands around the castle were sold off or nationalised. During the war, air raid shelters were built in the castle, which could hold about 1,800 people.

In 1947, the 4th Marquess died, and the castle was left to the City of Cardiff. The castle is now open for tourists and is a famous events venue.

Cardiff Castle Architecture

Aerial view of Cardiff Castle
Aerial view of Cardiff Castle, by Clint Budd, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The castle has Victorian Gothic architecture. It is a 12-sided Norman keep located on the top of a small hill, including luxurious rooms following astrological and Biblical themes. You can still see the 15th-century Great Hall in the castle.

Interior of Cardiff Castle keep
Interior of Cardiff Castle keep, by Charles D P Miller, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Inside Cardiff Castle

Arab Room Ceiling
Arab Room Ceiling, by Dylan Moore, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The castle looks magnificent and rich from the inside. It includes overall themed decor and furniture. Some rooms of the castle have gold and sandalwood themes. You will even find impressive mirrored ceilings and marble fireplaces in the castle. Some major parts you must explore inside the castle are:

  • The Arab Room
  • The Banqueting Hall
  • The Small Dining Room
  • Library
  • The Nursery
  • Lord Bute’s Bedroom
  • The Roof Garden
  • Chaucer Room
  • The Clock Tower
  • Winter and Summer Smoking Room

You will admire the unique theme and design of each part of the castle. You can book a guided tour to explore the castle to understand the real idea behind each theme. You can choose to stay in some of the finest hotels near the castle. Since the parking is also open for visitors, you can easily go by your own vehicle.

Cardiff Castle Events

Cardiff Castle is an exclusive event venue located in the heart of Cardiff. From Corporate Meetings to Concerts, you can book the venue for any event. You can even select tailor-made packages to make your event unique or even book for ice skating in winter. To book, you can simply connect with them through their website or call them directly.

Cardiff Castle Weddings

Cardiff Castle weddings are famous for their fairytale vibes. The castle is known as one of the exclusive wedding venues in Wales, with a perfect stage and enchanting spaces. The unique architecture and interiors of the castle make your wedding day more memorable. There are many options for weddings, such as Banqueting Hall, Library and Drawing Room, The Undercroft, and Guest Tower Rooms. The castle’s in-house team will understand your needs, suggest the most suitable location, and tailor-make the services.

Cardiff Castle Facts

  • Green Day and Tom Jones once performed at a Cardiff Castle concert.
  • The castle was used as a filming location for many movies, including Doctor Who and Sherlock.
  • A giant rugby ball was installed on the exteriors of the castle’s wall during Rugby World Cup, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Cardiff Castle built?

The castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman Invaders on top of an already existing Roman fort.

Who built Cardiff Castle?

The castle was built by Robert Fitzhamon, the Lord of Gloucester or William the Conqueror. Many debates are going on regarding the actual individual who built the castle.

Who lived in Cardiff Castle?

The castle was the home of many families. However, the Bute family was the last owner of the castle. After the death of the last inheritor, the castle was passed to the Cardiff council.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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He is a versatile E-Learning Support Officer and former Academic Officer at the University of York, United Kingdom. Not just an expert in education and technology, Debayan also has a deep love for castles and mountains. With a passion for travel, having explored 168+ cities worldwide, and a keen eye for photography, He brings a unique blend of experiences to the table. Specializing in E-learning content, IT support, AR development, and software engineering, Debayan has made a significant impact, educating over 200,000 students on Udemy.

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