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Castle of history

CARDIFF, WALES – Nearly 2,000 years of history can be found within the walls of Cardiff Castle in the heart of Cardiff, Wales. A Roman fort once existed on the site, later replaced by a Norman motte and bailey castle that gave way to a shell keep, a slightly different type of castle, later on. Eventually, the extensive grounds became the peaceful estate of the Marquesses of Bute, who gave the entire property to the city of Cardiff in 1947. In addition to seeing many periods of Welsh history, including being stormed, damaged and remodeled more than once, the castle also served as an air raid shelter in World War II, with tunnels in the castle walls able to hold 1,800 people. The castle is now a tourist attraction and has been used for concerts and festivals, as well as a location for television shows, including Doctor Who and Sherlock. For information on visiting the castle and the variety of tours offered, access the website at cardiffcastle.com.

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Photo by Anna-Maria Oléhn

The lodgings built by the third Marquess of Bute, including the iconic clock tower, can be seen from the vantage of the South Gate.

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Photo by Anna-Maria Oléhn

During World War II, tunnels were dug under the castle walls to act as air raid shelters. The tunnels, which have also been used as locations for television shows, could hold about 1,800 people. Most are not as narrow as this tunnel.

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Photo by Anna-Maria Oléhn

The South Gate and Black Tower are framed by a window in the north wall. Traces of the original Roman fort have been found and excavated on the grounds of the castle.

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Photo by Anna-Maria Oléhn

Built in the 18th Century, the library still contains some of the books of the vast collection of the third Marquess of Bute. It has been used as a location in television shows, including serving as the TARDIS library in Doctor Who.

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Photo by Anna-Maria Oléhn

Ornate decorations mark the interior of the rooms built by the third Marquess of Bute, who inherited the castle before his first birthday, in 1848. He built the castle into the “fairytale” version that is now one of Cardiff’s biggest tourist attractions.

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