The Castle, situated at the mouth of the Taff Valley amidst the trees, is one of Wales’ most picturesque and breathtaking castles’. Most commonly know for it’s fairytale appearance, Castle Coch was primarily used as a second home of John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, third Marquess of Bute. Following the Norman Conquest a fortress of Earth and Timber was built on the site which was later recognised to be of strategic positioning. It was the Clare lords of Glamorgan who, no later than 1290, decided to begin rebuilding the castle as a stone fortress. Although, there is no written evidence, it is suggested that the castle was razed during the Welsh Rebellions some time between 1314 and 1316.
During the Industrial Revolution, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, third Marquess of Bute employed William Burges to create the castle as we know it today. Building began during the summer of 1875 but sadly the project was never completed by Burges as he passed away in April 1881. The construction of the castle continued for a further ten years by Burges’ assistants, craftsman and Lord Bute
Castle Coch is, indeed, a reasonably accurate representation of a 13th century castle in working order. However, it was not a practical residence: although there is a large room for dining, there is no guest accommodation. Burges had only occasional occupation in the summer months and Bute has very little interest in completed projects.
As you wander around the interior of the castle, you establish just how lavish and rich Lord Bute really was. Each room has it’s own individual feel, each hand crafted and hand painted to make it a unique place of residence. With it’s very busy walls of hand painted animals, birds and insects together with it’s domed ceiling representing the night sky and lined with gold leaf, the drawing room is by far the most extravagant room in the Castle.
Castle Coch sits just above Tongwynlais with it’s own Car Park so accessing Castle Coch by car is very easy. There’s a bus stop near by so it is possible to catch a bus, but the hill up to the Castle is pretty steep!