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.
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.
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.
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.
The ceiling in the Arab Room looks impressive in photographs, but it is even more impressive in real life. It’s breathtaking.
The interior of the castle was created between 1869 and 1881 for the Bute family.
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.
This detail on a decoration on top of a fireplace in the Banqueting Hall looks rather unusual.
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.
The library would have been two rooms, made into a large library in the Victorian times. Originally it was part of the Great Hall.
Between books in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian, Hieroglyphics, and Runic… one can see the diaries of Samuel Pepys.
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.
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.
These create a stark reminder of recent wars.
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.