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Castell Coch

nr Cardiff, Glamorgan

Featured Location Guide

Castell Coch translated is Red Castle, and is a 19th century fairytale castle built on the remains of a 13th century fortification. The building you see today is a full reconstruction, nothing of the original castle remains as the site was completed cleared of vegetation and debris by the Marquess of Bute, of Cardiff Castle and his architect William Burges for this new build. Most refer to it as a romantic folly.

It stands upon a platform overlooking the gorge of the Taff and was protected towards the higher ground by a deep dry moat from the bottom of which the walls rise with a very broadly battered base. It is surrounded by woodland on approach its three towers peep out of the trees and is a magical site when you first arrive.

This is a stone keep castle, full of beautiful features and definitely something that looks like it came out of a fairytale book. It has 3 conical roofs to its towers and the interior of the rooms are decorated to the same standard and lavishness of Cardiff Castle, with dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings and lots of it.

The three towers, of the Keep, Well Tower and Kitchen Tower, incorporate a sumptuous, series of apartments of which the Castellan's Rooms, lie within the Keep. The Hall, the Drawing Room, Lord Bute's Bedroom and Lady Bute's bedroom comprise, in total, one of the most exhilarating suite of rooms in the High Victorian Gothic style. The ceilings and wall paintings are dazzling in their richness and almost equal the best achieved at Cardiff Castle. Work on the interiors was not complete by the time of Lord Bute's death in fact it carried on 10 years beyond being finally completed in 1891. It was never intended to be the main residence of the family, however in 1900 the Marchioness and her daughter, Lady Margaret did reside it for a period following the death of the Marquess. The army sided it during the Second World Ware and in 1950 it was placed in the care of the Ministry of Works and is now administered by CADW as a national treasure.

There are many rooms to explore including the lavish bedrooms of its designer, at the top of one of towers is a chapel highly decorated with painted glass. Some of the rooms are overwhelming with design and it is a place to stop and admire. You can also go into a small room to see the mechanism of the castle gates and how they are put into place. The rooms at ground level include a cafe and exhibition rooms, toilets all very narrow and tiny, but quaint. Most of the rooms are on the first level. However you can also walk around the top of one of the towers outside. All rooms are accessed via stone staircases, which are narrow and in some cases steep.

Highly decorated Doorway

One of the Chapel Windows

Click on the small images to see larger versions

Inner Courtyard

Use this link to see the photo gallery showing more images for this location.

Further information Grid



Castell Coch, Glamorgan

Ceremonial County: Glamorgan

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Multimap Aerial View      Googel Aerial



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:

Castles of Wales      Wiki        Castle Xplorer   

Castle UK

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:

Castle Coch

Castles of Wales

How to photograph a castle



Planning Grid


Castell Coch, Glamorgan

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

M4 J32 take the A470 north towards Merthyr Tydfil take first exit and go round the roundabout onto the A4054 to Tongwynlais following the signs. Castle Road is on your left just past a pub, follow the road round and the entrance is on the left. Follow the drive to the car park.


From the car park, over the wooden bridge and through the gatehouse.


Its own car park - up a long drive


Site exhibition, parking, toilets, cafe, shop.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Medieval fairy tale castle surrounded in woodland. Highly decorated inside.

What to take:

Wide angle lens for outside views. Use high ISO's for indoor shots.

Nature highlights:



Castle Coch

Castle Road




CF15 7JS


02920 810101

Opening times:

Nov-Mar Mon-Sat 9am-4pm and Sun 11am-4pm
April-Oct Daily 9am-5pm


Adult 3.60; concession 3.20; Family 10.40

Welsh Residents Pass for the 60+ or 16 and under living in Wales gives free access to all CADW sites. See Here for Details.

English Heritage Members FREE (2 yrs +) 50% first year of membership.

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
Special Needs Access: Steep wooden ramp to entrance, yard is cobbled. Most rooms are on the 1st floor with stone steps going up and narrow walkways. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  baby changing facilities
Dogs Allowed: Assistance dogs only

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Classification from the Grids above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: Castles Key:
Page Ref: castell_coch Topic: Castles Last Updated: 03/2009


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