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The 1947 Handover

The 10th September 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of when, in a grand ceremony, Cardiff Castle was given as a gift to the city and people.

By 1938, the remaining Bute estates in the county, excluding the Castle itself, had been sold for the (then) enormous sum of £3 million, bringing centuries of ownership by the Lords of Cardiff Castle to an end. On the death of the 4th Marquess in 1947, the Bute family were faced with considerable death duties and the 5th Marquess decided that the Castle with its surrounding parkland, as well as Sophia Gardens were to be given as a gift to Cardiff and her people.

The city came to a halt to acknowledge and celebrate Lord Bute’s magnificent gift. The family standard flew over the Norman Keep for a final time as Lord Mayor, Alderman George Ferguson was presented with the key and the Castle Mace.  Crowds packed the processional route from City Hall to the Castle and the event was even recorded on film…

Play Play

Watch the incredible newsreel from 1947 showing the handover of Cardiff Castle to the city.


Today the castle is one of the city’s premier tourist attractions, visited by thousands of people each year, but we still want local residents to be able to enjoy their castle as much as they can.

If you currently live or work in Cardiff then you are entitled to your very own Castle Key with FREE admission to this world-class heritage attraction for a minimum of 3 years.



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