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Castle Coch

Listed under Visitor Attractions in Wales, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Castle Coch
  • Photo of Castle Coch
Photo of Castle Coch
Photo by flickr user Scott Kuperus
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Perched high over vertical cliffs and surrounded by dark, wooded glades, Castle Coch (Red Castle) was rebuilt in 1890 to serve as a country retreat for the third Marquis of Bute. The castle was built upon the foundations of an earlier castle and W. Burges’ design incorporates a drawbridge, circular towers and conical roofs to give it a very Disneyesque quality.

Not much is known about the original medieval castle, but that it started out as a motte castle in the 11th or 12th century. During the 1260s, De Clare and other Marcher overlords were fighting the native Princes of Wales, men such as the scrabble-tastic Gruffydd ap Rhys of Senghenydd. In an attempt to keep those treacherous Welsh at bay, Gilbert de Clare erected a series of large fortresses in South Wales, including Castle Coch and nearby Caerphilly Castle. Some time in the 15th century fire however rendered the original derelict.

By the late 19th century, the remains of the castle belonged to the 3rd Marquis of Bute, who was one of the richest men in the world. The castle is suitably furnished to his wealth, with stunning ceilings, scenes from Aesop's Fables on the walls, bird and animal mouldings around the doors and fantastic furnishings and fireplaces.

Written by  John Johnston.

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