Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Cardiff Castle


Thanks for popping in.

You are in for a treat today! We're visiting Cardiff Castle and there's so much to see.

From the City centre, the clock tower stretches up beside the high wall, part of it bedecked in animals, which gives hints of what might be inside but once you're through the gates, there are a number of interesting areas to excite you.

On the grass were the remnants of the previous day's festival, Joust!, colourful tents, bunting and a trebuchet set the scene.  Walking high up around on the castle walls, gave great views over the City and the Castle grounds - the Keep on the grassy motte standing proud surrounded by the moat  - continuing on, the many-towered House appeared from behind the trees as did the cafĂ©, better make a note of that for later!

You can't get all the way round on top of the wall but there were stairs down near the North Gate. The Roman foundations can still be seen at the bottom of the restored wall showing just how old the Castle is.

Going down just one flight of steps in the Gate led to the tunnels used during WW2.  Eerily, Vera Lynn was singing as we walked along the dimly lit passages, blackouts still covered the windows, wartime posters on the walls suggested that careless talk costs lives.  A rather grubby kitchen showed how things used to be and heading down the next tunnel, Winston Churchill repeated his famous radio message.  Before we knew it, we were back at the ticket office again in the fresh air.

Sculpture to the Fallen Heroes

The clock tower looks intriguing and the collection of towers that make up the house have all been added at different times for this was the 18th century residence of John Crichton-Stuart, an exceedingly wealthy man and the 3rd Marquess of Bute.  He engaged Architect William Burges to turn it into a series of gothic, themed bachelor rooms, no expense spared.

The Keep with the Welsh flag flying, looks just like a Castle should look.  Who can resist climbing up the stairs to see what's inside. Passing the well at the bottom, the steps go steeply up and then get steeper still till you reach the top of the tower.  There's a great view, even over to Castel Coch, another castle about 7 miles away, on my list for the next visit to Cardiff.

Here's a better view of the house with the Millennium Stadium in the background and Bute Park off to the right.

We'll have to stop off for a refreshing cup of cranberry tea (no scone) now.  Next time we'll have a look inside the house.  Be prepared for a bit of glitz, as the Tour Guide said, the things that look gold, most probably are!



  1. Replies
    1. You'll need your sunglasses to protect you from the glitz tomorrow!

  2. It's an amazing place as is Castle Coch. There was a programme on iplayer recently about john Crichton-Stuart that wa fascinating. Not sure if it's still there. Think it was in the history section. B x

  3. Bute: The Scot Who Spent a Welsh Fortune: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08y60r0 via @bbciplayer

    1. Brilliant, thanks Barbara. I'll have to have a look at that before it disappears. I'd love to have visited Castle Coch but we were only there for a couple of days. Next time. x