Cardiff Castle was erected in 1090 by Robert FitzHamon on a bluff overlooking the river Taff. Covering an area of 189,000 sq ft (17,800 sq meters), it is the largest medieval castle in Europe apart from Windsor Castle and includes concentric rings of defences, including two moats and a series of towers and curtain walls.
The castle’s strength comes from its Royal Hall which is 30ft (9 metres) high. The castle also boasts the oldest building in the city which is now home to the Welsh regimental museum.
During the 16th century, a round tower was constructed on the highest point of Cardiff Castle, roughly 30 meters (100 ft) high and known as “the Round Tower” or “King Arthur’s Tower”. The tower was demolished by dynamite in 1867 after it became unsafe and a wooden folly was built in its place. The site of King Arthur’s Tower is visible between the inner and outer walls of Cardiff Castle itself; there are steps leading from the castle grounds up to where King Arthur’s Tower sat.
Cardiff Castle has been transformed over the years into a Renaissance palace. It is owned by the city of Cardiff and is one of the principal tourist attractions in Cardiff. Guided tours are provided daily, and during the summer, special events are held often including medieval jousting. The castle is also used for civil wedding ceremonies (the ceremony being held in the ancient courtyard) as well as a formal location for military weddings and receptions.
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Cardiff Castle History
During WW2, Cardiff Castle was used to hold many German prisoners of war (POWs). The cells built into the foundations of the castle were particularly secure because they were below ground level so no-one could get out from them. In addition, they did not have windows so there was no way of a POW communicating with anyone outside the cell even if he obtained a piece of wire or other material to that end. The German POWs were released into society in 1945 as part of the general repatriation process.
In 1961, RCA recorded George Harrison’s song “Tell Me What Has Happened to You” at the castle. This song is featured on the album “Two Virgins” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (which, as stated on the cover, was recorded in but not limited to their bedroom). It is also featured on “Anthology 1”, which was released in 1995.
In 1962, Welsh singers Mary Hopkin, Lewis Owen and Ivor Emmanuel performed a version of The Beatles’ ” Another Girl” here, which was released as a single on the Decca label. The Beatles were said to be impressed with their version of the song. It was also recorded by The Hollies, who released it as a single that reached number 3 in the UK charts in 1964, although they had not been allowed to record it first.
The castle hosted many Llandaff Cathedral Choir performances throughout December 2011
On 1 April 2012 the Tour of Britain cycle race passed through Cardiff city centre and ended on Cardiff Castle’s grounds where it was presented to the winner.
Cardiff Castle is a castle in Cardiff, Wales, overlooking the River Taff. It is well known for its preservation of extensive grounds and impressive fortifications. The grounds include a lake, the Great Hall, the ruins of a Roman fort and various ancient monuments; while within the walls there is a working Victorian Prison. The main entrance to the castle is via the Norman Gatehouse. However some notable features in Cardiff Castle consist of:
The Great Tower
The Great Tower was used primarily as an office for its keepers. It was also used as prison cells for higher ranking prisoners awaiting trial or execution; this was particularly common prior to execution by hanging which took place at Cardiff Prison next door until 1947.
The keep of the castle was originally built on the basis of a square; however, there was not enough funding to finish the keep. This resulted in an odd shape, similar to a rectangle. This shape is now commonly found on castles throughout Wales, but was uncommon in other parts of Europe. The top floor has walls that are almost impenetrable because they are so thick. On its west side, it has two large bastions that are used for ventilation purposes.
Originally this tower had a height of 135 ft (41 m); however, over time it grew higher and was capped with battlements which were added in 1636.
Welsh Regimental Museum
The Castle is home to the Welsh Regimental Museum, a collection that began in 1910 as part of the Edward VII Volunteer Training Corps. It moved to Cardiff Castle in 1926 and was renamed The Welsh Regiment Museum in 1951. The collection includes military artefacts from both the First and Second World Wars. It also includes ceremonial dress, weapons, medals, badges and flags from both world wars.
Cardiff Castle Grounds
The castle is surrounded by parkland which can be walked in half an hour and contains a lake with water fowl such as swans and ducks.
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