Caerphilly castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and the complexity and scale of its defences make it one of the most important castles in Wales. The castle is in the care of Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s historic environment service and is open to the public throughout the year.
The Inner East Gatehouse has never previously been accessible by members of the public, but the introduction of floors and extensive conservation work that has been carried out has changed that and opened a new area within the castle for visitors to explore.
Alun Ffred Jones said:
“The size and scope of Caerphilly’s castle is a testament to the difficulties its builders had in subduing the surrounding area and is a tremendous feat of medieval military architecture. The Inner East Gatehouse was blown up and partly demolished in the Civil War 350 years ago. It was partly reconstructed under the orders of Lord Bute but World War Two brought that project to an end.”
“The first-class work that has been carried out here by Cadw’s skilled staff means that visitors will be able to explore a space that few have seen before and adds a substantial extra dimension to a visit to this monumental fortress.”
The work has been carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of craftspeople and technical specialists including staff employed by Cadwraeth Cymru, Cadw’s specialist conservation and repair team, and the Minister met members of the team who’d worked to re-open the gatehouse, including Chris Fleet, Cadwraeth Cymru’s Caerphilly Team Leader, who is shortly to retire after 30 years work in preserving the historical fabric on south Wales.
Alun Ffred Jones added:
“I understand that Chris has been instrumental, not only in this conservation work at Caerphilly, but in work to preserve our rich history at Cadw sites across south Wales over his 30 years of service and I wish him well for his retirement.”
25 November 2009