Wales Travel

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is a must see if you are visiting Cardiff. It was quite busy when we visited, despite being Autumn. As usual, I picked a few highlights to show from the Castle. We didn’t have a lot of time to visit it, so we didn’t book the guided tour, but I will book it, if I’m to visit Cardiff, and the castle, again.

Cardiff Castle

There are two buildings to see and a rather impressive bomb shelter, so there is plenty of things to see there. I would suggest allowing over an hour for the castle, without taking into consideration time for the tour and refreshments.

Cardiff Castle

The Castle has a long and rich history, starting as a Roman fort, a Norman castle, and now a Victorian Gothic fantasy palace.
This is the old castle, from the 15th century. The building works started in 1423, by Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. Additions were made in 1570s and 1770s, before being rebuilt in late 19th century.

 Stained glass at the Cardiff Castle

At the entrance in the castle I spotted this stained glass window, which depicts three couples, from left to right: Katherine Woodville and her husband Jasper Tudor, Henry VII (Jasper’s nephew) with his wife Queen Elizabeth, and on the right is, rather surprisingly, Richard III with his wife, Anne. It has some family connections, but I haven’t read much about that.

 Arab room

Ceiling of the Arab room

The ceiling in the Arab Room looks impressive in photographs, but it is even more impressive in real life. It’s breathtaking.

 Interior of the Cardiff Castle

The interior of the castle was created between 1869 and 1881 for the Bute family.

Staircase at Cardiff Castle

 Room at Cardiff Castle

This is one of the walls in the Banqueting Hall. Highly decorated, like all the other rooms in the castle, it is part of a very large room. It was the oldest part of the building, dating back to the 15th century.

Detail of the fireplace

This detail on a decoration on top of a fireplace in the Banqueting Hall looks rather unusual.

Fireplace

The fireplace is in the Small Dinning Room, only used by the members of the family. The table on the right of the picture is original to the room.

 Library at Cardiff Castle

The library would have been two rooms, made into a large library in the Victorian times. Originally it was part of the Great Hall.

Books on a shelf

Between books in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian, Hieroglyphics, and Runic… one can see the diaries of Samuel Pepys.

Cardiff Castle

This is the Keep and it would have been used for accommodation for the lord’s household. In 1640s the Keep was ruined and floors were replaced in the 1920s.

View from Cardiff Castle

View from above

 View of the interior courtyard of the castle

Tower

 Cardiff seen from Cardiff Castle

 Bomb shelter

Wartime Shelters are located in the castle walls. Noise of bombing was broadcasted and made the trip down those walls a bit terrifying, thinking of people who would have had to take shelter during the bombing. Up to 1,800 people could take refuge in these walls.

 Bomb shelter

These create a stark reminder of recent wars.

Beds in the Bomb shelter

 Bomb shelter

 Cardiff Castle

There is a small car park nearby I would recommend. It’s cheap and close to the city centre as well. The entrance to the Castle is £13.50 and includes an audio guide. The guided tours are an additional £3.75. The tours last for an hour and they offer a view into rooms which are not open to the public otherwise.

3 Comment

  1. OK, I think I just put Cardiff on the next year list. Richard II’s wife was Anne Neville, She was Elizabeth Neville’s sister (the one married to Edward IV (I think) and Elizabeth (Henry Tudor’s wife’s) aunt. (This is somewhat fresh in my mind because the White Queen was recently on tv in a marathon and I watched the whole thing. Not sure how close it is and how many liberties they took with the actual history but the people are the same!)

    That ceiling took my breath away. And that stained glass. And the library. Oh yes, I need to go here! I don’t think it’s far from Bath, so maybe next fall!

    1. You should consider Cardiff for sure, it has a lot of interesting things to see. My next post will be dedicated to Cardiff, with a short round-up and a few pictures I haven’t shared before.

      Edward IV was married to Elizabeth Woodville and their eldest daughter was Elizabeth of York, the one who married Henry VII. Katherine, Jasper’s wife, was Elizabeth’s sister.
      Anne Neville had a sister, Isabel, married to George, Edward IV’s brother. The other brother was Richard, who usurped the crown after Edward’s death, to become King Richard III. He was king for two years before Henry VII came with an army and took the crown. Richard died on the battlefield.
      Henry VII and Jasper Tudor were born in Wales and had welsh support at that time. I think there were some connections between the family who owned the castle and them. The puzzling part is that Richard III and his wife appear on the stained glass.

      I haven’t seen the movie, but I would love to. 😀

  2. This looks spectacular! When reading historical fiction, I’m always looking things up and I remember seeing those stained glass likenesses when reading about Jasper Tudor not long ago. Everything you’ve shown here makes me want to visit. I’d love to see that ceiling in person!

    I made a weekend visit to Wales when I spent that summer in Oxford, many years ago, but can’t remember where all I visited. I must pull out my photo albums and check.
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