Castles & Culture
Everything’s great about this place, from its great tower, which evokes memories of earlier fortresses like Caernarfon, to the great gatehouse, which ‘wows’ the visitor just as its owner intended.
Built for show rather than with battle in mind, it still held off Oliver Cromwell’s forces for thirteen weeks in one of the last sieges of the Civil War. The castle was eventually taken and was systematically destroyed by parliament. Enough remains to still impress.
Perhaps one of Wales’ best kept secrets, the castle at Caldicot sits on an ancient site. Restored to much of its original outstanding condition, it is a lovely place to spend the day. The castle contains all the elements of the typical medieval fortress, and has been lovingly cared for by its present owners, who have opened it to the public.
White Castle is an 11th century earthwork motte and baileys fortress, founded by William fitz Osborn. In the late 12th century, King Henry II founded the stone castle, when encasing the motte with a curtain wall, flanked by a small square keep. In the 13th century, the entire castle was extensively remodelled by Lord Edward, when the defences were turned, through 180 degrees. The keep was demolished and the high curtain wall flanked by four huge D-shaped towers and an impressive twin-towered gatehouse.
St Fagans is one of Europe’s leading open-air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction. It stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth.