Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Caerphilly Castle, Wales

Wales is said to have more castles per square mile than any other nation on Earth. I will be visiting many of them in the next few months, and will be taking pictures and sharing them on this blog as I go along.


Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales,
and the second largest in Britain (Windsor is bigger).

If you want to know more about the history of Caerphilly Castle,
please check Wikipedia out:

Here are some of the photos I took during my visit.

Caerphilly Castle from the grounds.

The grounds are beautiful, and used by lots of local people
as an amenity area and for eating lunch in
(the castle is right in the centre of the town),
but sadly everybody seems to leave their litter behind,
which spoils things....

Perhaps some of the people of Caerphilly don't realise
what a marvellous historic site they have in the middle of their town,
or what a poor impression the litter left everywhere gives
to the visitors who come from all over the world...

The castle covers several acres,
and is built on islands surrounded by moats and lakes.
This makes it extremely easy to defend and very difficult to attack.
The lakes are currently used by lots of local fishermen.

The main entrance, over a bridge over part of the lake - and
if you look carefully you can see the visitor centre through
the archway - it is very modern,
but built using traditional materials and glass,
and sits well in the castle.

The 'front' of the castle close up.
It really is gigantic.
You can see the 'leaning tower' to the left of the picture.
If you look at the top of the picture you can see a full size flag flying.
I took some of the pictures in this post from up there...

The view from the outer gate to the inner gate.
This bridge spans a moat.

The famous leaning tower - which is
probably leaning due to subsidence,
rather than as a result of battle damage

There is a new (9 years old) visitor centre/shop
inside the castle walls - made of glass and oak beams
and slate and steel - it is very modern and I think it
looks beautiful in the castle - this is a view of the roof
from deeper in the castle - you can see through the glass walls
and also see how it snuggles into place!

One tower and part of a 'hourd' which is the name for the
wooden structure overhanging the castle wall.
There are holes in the floor of the hourd, and these would have been used by defenders to drop things (boiling oil? flaming rags?) onto any attackers below.
There are also small arrow slots in the sides for archers to fire through.
This tower wasn't leaning - but I obviously was when I took the picture!

Below - Inside wall where the hourd is attached
View of part of the castle from a tower,
it is hard to see just how big this castle is!

One end of the Great Hall.
The people in costume have been undertaking art activities
with children as part of the castle's half term
events programme - they have made salt pots out of clay,
and pictures using glue sticks, paper and herbs.

I couldn't get a photo which went from wall to wall
and floor to ceiling - the hall is too big.
It is possible to hire this room to get married in - current fee is £1350.

A television series called 'Young Dracula' is filmed here, by the BBC.
They use part of the castle which is not open to the public,
but which may be opened to the public in future,
as it has recently been restored.

The other end of the Great Hall.
The panelling is 9-10 feet high, so you can see the scale of the room...

Caerphilly Castle at dusk

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