Dominating an impressive 30-acre site, Caerphilly Castle is Wales’ largest and Britain’s second largest castle behind Windsor. With towers to explore, a maze to negotiate, a dragon’s den and the grandness of The Great Hall to discover; Caerphilly Castle offers the perfect playground for budding historians.
This medieval fortress was built mainly between 1268 and 1271 by Gilbert de Clare. Known as Gilbert ‘The Red’ because of his red hair, denoting his Norman heritage, he built the castle to take control of Glamorgan and to prevent the Welsh Prince Llewellyn ap Gruffudd from achieving his southward ambitions.
Though the focus of many Welsh attacks, Caerphilly Castle has remained a formidable fortress and perhaps one of the greatest strongholds of all-time. Even the efforts of Oliver Cromwell’s roundheads failed to break the Castle’s boundaries, though they did leave a rather remarkable scar – the famous leaning tower, which has leaned 3m out of the perpendicular since 1648.
Funding from the Welsh Government has helped Valleys Regional Park to develop the landscape and nature corridors that successfully link the castle to the surrounding areas and paths.
What you can expect to find at Caerphilly Castle