Castell Coch Red Castle

Castell Coch Red Castle

Cardiff, United Kingdom.Castell Coch ( Welsh for Red Castle) is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales. The first castle on the site was built by the Normans after 1081, to protect the newly conquered town of Cardiff and control the route along the Taff Gorge. Abandoned shortly afterwards, the castle's earth motte was reused by Gilbert de Clare as the basis for a new stone fortification, which he built between 1267 and 1277 to control his freshly annexed Welsh lands. This castle was probably destroyed in the native Welsh rebellion of 1314. In 1760, the castle ruins were acquired by the Marquesses of Bute as part of a marriage settlement that brought the family vast estates in South Wales. While resting on ancient foundations, Castell Coch (Red Castle) is relatively modern, the by-product of a vivid Victorian imagination, assisted by untold wealth. The Middle Ages fascinated the Victorians as much as the Victorians fascinate us today. High Gothic was the order of the day.The ‘eccentric genius’ William Burges was given free rein by his paymaster, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd marquess of Bute, to create a rural retreat to complement the opulence of his main residence, Cardiff Castle. He didn’t hold back. Dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings and furniture were liberally applied.Detailed architectural drawings still survive today and following Burges’s death in 1881, colleagues faithfully continued work on the interiors for another ten years. The castle was not suitable for, nor was it intended to be, a permanent residence and the family’s visits were infrequent.We think Burges would approve of our conservation efforts to date and like him, we are not afraid either to embrace the latest technologies. Multi-sensory resources allow easy exploration of the site using touch screen technology which are of particular benefit to our visitors with sensory or physical disabilities. cadw.gov.wales

831 18/06/2015 8
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