Saturday, November 20, 2010

Castle Coch

Castell Coch (English: Red Castle) is a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle built on the remains of a genuine 13th-century fortification. It is situated on a hillside near the village of Tongwynlais, in the north of Cardiff in Wales.

In 1871, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, ordered the site to be cleared of vegetation and debris while his architect, William Burges, drew up plans for a full reconstruction. Burges and the Marquess had been working for over three years on the rebuilding of Cardiff Castle; the aim at Castell Coch was to achieve another Gothic Revival masterpiece in the appropriate thirteenth-century style.
Though this is considered a "fantasy castle", I found that it had genuine robust fortifications and was not designed in baronial style (eg. Craigvar Castle). 

Neither the architect nor Lord Bute had any knowledge of defensive tactics, nonetheless.  There are no gunports or rooks and no observation or signal posts.  It certainly is intimidating, and deterrence is always a good first strategy.

Castell Coch was built on the site of a 13th-century castle. The earlier fortification was built by the Welsh chieftain named Ifor Bach. In the late thirteenth century the castle site was claimed by the De Clare family because of its strategic importance, commanding both the plains area and the entrance to the Taff valley. Thus, this castle is very conspicuously located and can easily be seen from the M4 and for miles in all directions.    

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