Caerphilly Castle

Sunset at Caerphilly Castle

The fortress sprawls over a huge area making it the largest castle in Wales.

Like the famous cheese, the castle has long been synonymous with Caerphilly. It dominates. Hogs the limelight. Think slumbering giant awaiting a call to arms. It’s also a great backdrop for TV and film. It secured a starring role recently in the popular BBC TV series Merlin.

This stone behemoth, surrounded by a series of moats and watery islands was the brainchild of Gilbert ‘the Red’ de Clare, a redheaded nobleman of Norman descent. He also built the original Castell Coch, ‘Red Castle’, located the other side of Caerphilly mountain.

Photochrom of Caerphilly Castle
Photochrom of Caerphilly Castle

Gilbert de Clare and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd were contemporaries at war and early attempts by Gilbert to build a castle were thwarted by the Welsh prince. Gilbert eventually won through and built a mammoth stronghold using the concentric ‘walls within walls’ system of defence. He also made sure there were large and comfortable rooms to live in.

However, once the threat posed by Llywelyn was quelled by Edward I, the raison d’etre for this massive fortress changed. The castle’s condition worsened until late in the 19th century when the third marquess of Bute began preservation work. We have a lot to thank the Butes for in South Wales.

Caerphilly Castle Postcard
Caerphilly Castle Postcard

You can also have your wedding in Caerphilly Castle’s Great Hall.

The function can take place during the afternoon or in the afternoon/evening, but the ceremony can only be held between 12.00 noon and 6.00 pm.

Caerphilly Castle Great Hall (Photo © Brian Jenkins - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
Caerphilly Castle Great Hall (Photo © Brian Jenkins – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

 

Address

Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly. CF83 1JD

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Opening hours

  • Monday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday
    9:30 am - 6:09 pm
  • Thursday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm

These are the peak summer opening times.
Other times may vary. For full details please visit the CADW website.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Closed 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January.

There is both short and long stay pay and display car parks 200m from monument. There is dedicated disabled parking.

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