Castell Coch is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built above the village of Tongwynlais. The first castle on the site was built by the Normans after 1081 to protect the newly conquered town of Cardiff and control the route along the Taff Gorge. Abandoned shortly afterwards, the castle's earth motte was reused by Gilbert de Clare as the basis for a new stone fortification, which he built between 1267 and 1277 to control his freshly annexed Welsh lands. This castle was likely destroyed in the native Welsh rebellion of 1314. In 1760, the castle ruins were acquired by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, as part of a marriage settlement that brought the family vast estates in South Wales.

John Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, inherited the castle in 1848. One of Britain's wealthiest men, with interests in architecture and antiquarian studies, he employed the architect William Burges to reconstruct the castle, 'as a country residence for occasional occupation in the summer', using the medieval remains as a basis for the design. Burges rebuilt the outside of the castle between 1875 and 1879, before turning to the interior; he died in 1881 and the work was finished by Burges's remaining team in 1891. Bute reintroduced commercial viticulture into Britain, planting a vineyard just below the castle, and wine production continued until the First World War. The Marquess made little use of his new retreat and in 1950 his grandson, the 5th Marquess of Bute, placed it into the care of the state. It is now controlled by the Welsh heritage agency Cadw.

The exterior, based on 19th-century studies by the antiquarian George Clark, is relatively authentic in style, although its three stone towers were adapted by Burges to present a dramatic silhouette, closer in design to mainland European castles such as Chillon than native British fortifications. The interiors were elaborately decorated, with specially designed furniture and fittings; the designs include extensive use of symbolism drawing on classical and legendary themes.



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Founded: 1875-1891
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Emily Matthews (8 months ago)
Enjoyed walking around this amazing place with my son listening to the audio tour. We were both fascinated by each room and what we could learn by the audio tour. There was no queue and the staff were so friendly and helpful.
Zahir Malk (8 months ago)
This is a very quaint little castle. Lots of work has been done to offer to the public a castle that world have looked in it's heyday. The rooms were well laid out. Some extraordinary decorations in the rooms.
Carl Walmsley (8 months ago)
Wonderful castle rebuilt on medieval footings by the butes . Fairytale like castle with beautiful roofs . Little cafe for lunch and coffee's . There is also an audio guide for information the whole way round the castle . stunning castle and only 14 mins away from Caerphilly castle did both in one day and I actually preferred these 2 castles over Cardiff castle 15 mins in the other direction
Mel (11 months ago)
Nice castle. Always see it from m4 so decided to go see it as people call it the fairy castle. You get little speakers to put around your neck which you scan to tell you all about diffrent areas of the castle. Has a shop and little cafe. Very nice afternoon out there. Lots parking and free and nice walks around area
M. YILDIRIM (11 months ago)
Castle Coch is a true fairytale delight in Cardiff! This charming castle captured my heart with its enchanting architecture and rich history. The moment I stepped inside, I was transported to a world of wonder. The attention to detail in every nook and cranny is impressive. The colorful interiors, intricate designs, and stunning views from the castle are a visual treat. It's a perfect blend of history and fantasy that left me amazed. The beautiful surroundings and well-maintained grounds provide a serene escape from the city. Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply looking for a magical outing, Castle Coch is a must-visit. It's a short journey to a bygone era that's sure to leave you with a smile. Notes: *There are free parking spaces. *Entry to castle is £8.70 for adults.
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