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1. Who lived in Cardiff Castle?
The Romans were probably the first to live here but, after they left in the 5th century, the old fort was largely abandoned until the 11th century when the Normans established a motte and bailey castle here. As the seat of the Lords of Glamorgan, ownership changed hands many times before passing to the Bute family in 1776. They held Cardiff Castle for nearly two centuries, although they never spent a great deal of time here. In 1947, having sold their remaining lands in the local area, the 5th Marquess gifted the castle and its grounds to the people of the city.
2. What is Cardiff Castle famous for?
Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ most popular tourist attractions and a heritage site of international significance. Successive generations of occupants have made changes according to the needs and fashions of the time and, after almost 2,000 years, we’re still going. Today, visitors to Cardiff Castle have a unique opportunity to explore a Roman fort, a Norman stronhold, and an extravagant Victorian palace all in one place, plus much more besides.
3. Where is Cardiff Castle located?
Today, Cardiff Castle sits proudly at the very heart of the city centre, just a stone’s throw from the modern retail, leisure, transport, and business of the Welsh capital. Over the last 150 years, a vibrant metropolis has grown to encompass the Castle and surrounding parklands, however, that wasn’t always the case. The medieval town, nestled within its defensive walls, was much smaller and occupied the area immediately south of the Castle. Outside the town walls the Castle was adjoined by two monastic settlements, Greyfriars to the east and Blackfriars to the west.
4. When was Cardiff Castle built?
If you count the starting date as the construction of the first Roman fort in around AD55, then Cardiff Castle is currently 1,967 years old! There was a series of four separate forts built here by the Romans over a period of two hundred years. Next, the Normans established their castle here shortly after the battle of Hastings in 1066, major medieval additions were constructed in both the 12th and 15th centuries. In the late 1800s, the 3rd Marquess of Bute Completely transformed the castle in Victorian, Gothic revivalist style. The most recent addition to the site is the new Visitor Centre, which opened in 2008.
5. How big is Cardiff Castle?
6. How tall is Cardiff Castle?
The imposing Norman Keep at Cardiff Castle sits atop a man made mound (or motte) 10.67m (over 35ft) high. The stone shell keep replaced an original wooden structure in the mid 12th century, the tower that defends the gatehouse is 17.02m high (over 55ft). However, the tallest building at Cardiff Castle is the iconic Clock Tower. Built for the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the late 1800s, the tower rises to an impressive height of 132ft (40m). Consisting of seven stories, it contains some of the most impressive rooms in the Castle, including the the wonderful Summer Smoking Room.
7. Who owns Cardiff Castle now?
Nobody lives at Cardiff Castle anymore, unless you count the various wildlife who call the grounds home. The Bute family were the last to use the Castle as a private residence, although they rarely spent any time here. Since 1947, Cardiff Castle has been owned and operated by Cardiff City Council as a tourist attraction and public events venue. It was also home for a time to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, with Anthony Hopkins among those who studied here, until they took up residence in the Castle’s former stables in 1974.
8. What is Cardiff Castle in Welsh?
The Welsh name for Cardiff Castle is Castell Caerdydd. In fact, the city of Cardiff owes its name to the Castle as Caerdydd is very likely derived from Caer-Taff, meaning fort on the (river) Taff.
9. Did Cardiff Castle have a moat?