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The oldest parts of the Castle’s residential buildings date from the 1500s. As times became less turbulent, priorities began to shift from defence to comfort and the Earls of Pembroke set about creating a luxurious home here.

However, the house had fallen in to a state of disrepair by the time the Bute family inherited the Castle in 1766. Lord Bute employed the architect, Henry Holland and his father in law, Capability Brown to undertake an ambitious programme of demolition and rebuilding.

In 1865, the 3rd Marquess of Bute began a remarkable collaboration with art-architect, William Burges. These two men, both fascinated by the past, transformed Cardiff Castle in to their vision of the ultimate medieval dream palace.

Included in the price of your Castle admission ticket, you can explore parts of this gothic feudal extravaganza. See the spectacular fairy-tale rooms below, rich with murals, gilding and elaborate wood carvings, stained glass and marble.

Lord Bute's Study


This room was originally a working room for Lord Bute’s librarian but later became a study for the Marquess himself. Although the Herbert Tower dates from the 1580s, all the decoration you see today is Victorian. Look out for the four parrots decorating the chimneypiece.

The Arab Room


This amazing interior was one of the last William Burges designed and dates from 1881, the year he died. The incredible ceiling is of a style known as a ‘muquarnas’. It is made of wood which has been covered in gold leaf and decorated.

The Banqueting Hall


The Banqueting hall is the largest room in the castle and is in the oldest part of the building. Although the actual walls date from the fifteenth century, all the surface decoration, ceiling and floors are Victorian.

Small Dining Room


This room was used as a dining room for members of the Bute family when there were few or no guests. The room was transformed from a plain interior by William Burges and the 3rd Marquess of Bute around 1875.


This is the only major interior at Cardiff Castle that survives from the Eighteenth century. The room was once very densely furnished with paintings, furniture and ornaments, but these were removed when the family presented the castle to the city in 1947.

The Library


The Library is in the oldest part of the house and part of it once formed the fifteenth century Great Hall. The room is one of the most important in the castle as it still contains the original Burges bookcases and tables that were designed and made for this interior.


Upgrade your Castle Ticket for a small additional fee you can join an expert guide on one of our fascinating and informative castle tours. Follow in the footsteps of the Bute family and delve a little deeper in to the history of this amazing building.



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