Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly, 9th March 2014

March 19, 2014
Written by: Rob Slusar

I am a man who very much likes a castle, so whilst on our trip to Wales, we headed up to Caerphilly.

Caerphilly Castle is an imposing structure with a rich history which dates back to the 13th century where it was constructed by the De Clare family as a stronghold during the extensive fighting at the time.

It is the largest in Wales and one of the largest in Western Europe and is well known for the elaborate water defences that and large gate houses.

The castle was in use until well into the 1400’s at which point it started to fall in to disrepair and its moats drained away leaving it open to decay.

By the end of the 18th century, with some of the towers fallen and stonework taken to construct the town, the site was purchased by the Marquesses of Bute who took steps to protect and restore the castle before the family gave it to the state in 1950. The castle was restored further and the lakes flooded once again to bring back the true scale of the castle in its glory.

We spent a while walking around and taking it in. It really is a grand structure.

As there was a group of us, I had the camera on auto and was mainly snapping away, so I am not overly happy with all of the shots, so I have edited the photo’s in such a way to give hopefully give a sense of the castles age and history.

The view of the castle from the town gives a view of its size over its massive dam walls

The walls holding back the water and providing imposing defensive structures

A view from the Middle Ward heading into the Inner East Gatehouse, one of several on the site

Looking back at Outer East Gatehouse

the South East Tower, leaning due to years of neglect and subsidence

Sculpture symbolically holding up the falling tower, I forget who he is but I will endeavour to find out

Looking out from the top of the Inner East Gatehouse over the town of Caerphilly

From the same place, this time overlooking the North Lake and North Dam

Up on the roof….. of the Inner East Gatehouse

A fireplace inside one of the many halls in the castle

A stairway to nowhere at what would have been the Private Apartments

We all love a good mouldy hallway, this one between the South East Tower and South West Tower

Looking out from that same hallway over the South Lake

Inside the leaning South East Tower…. glad that matey at the bottom had strong arms

Looking at the Inner East Gatehouse from the Inner Ward, apologies for the cables and tape etc, they were filming a movie with Vinnie Jones

Looking back at the Inner West Gatehouse

Looking at the South West Tower, this is probably the best shot giving a true idea of how this castle would have looked in its prime

“Murder holes” in the gatehouses. It is unclear if these were in case of defensive needs or just to lift items up to the floor above, given their size I like to believe the former

More gatehouse details, the groove in which the portcullis would have slid up and down, there would have been one on either side of the gatehouses, presumably in order to trap attackers in so they could be attacked

As mentioned earlier, I wasn’t happy with all of the shots on the day, but this one was one of my favourites.

The castle and the South Lake

Another shot I liked, if not for the sluice gate we would have seen a full reflection of the castle

In a place that has been left to ruin it is nice to see some wildlife making it’s home there

Thanks for looking


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