Castell Coch (Red Castle) is located high above the village of Tongwynlais on the outskirts of Cardiff. It overlooks the river Taff gorge and guards the gateway into the Rhondda Valleys and the city of Cardiff. It is a stunning castle and is recognised as one of the finest examples of 19th century architectural restoration in Europe. Visibly, it is in part a solid medieval masonry structure but also and in particularly inside the castle, it is high gothic masterpiece.
Castell Coch and William Burges
There has been some sorts of defensive structure on the site of Castell Coch from the eleventh century onwards. There were various skirmishes between local Welsh chiefs, the Normans and others but it is widely recorded that Castell Coch became a ruin in 1530. It remained a ruin until the 1870's.
In 1865, William Burges (1827 - 1881) met the John Crichton-Stuart, the third Marquis of Bute. Burges was an English architect and designer. Burges's most notable works include Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch both of which were built for the Marquis of Bute.
The Marquis was a fabulously wealthy man. He subsequently engaged Burges to recreate a fabulous vision of the Middle Ages on the foundations of the medieval castle. Burges started work in 1875 and although he died in 1881 his work was carried on by his team of craftsmen and assistants. The result is a high gothic masterpiece rich in colourful decoration, furniture and fittings that parallels Burges' earlier work with the marquess at Cardiff Castle. It is now a Cadw guardianship monument and open to the public.