To trace Cardiff Castle to its beginnings, you must go back 2,000 years to the Roman era. The Roman fort, in what is now Cardiff, Wales, was probably established just after the death of Jesus Christ. After the Norman Conquest, the Castle’s keep was built, re-using the site of the Roman fort.
The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world’s greatest coal exporting port. The castle and Bute fortune passed to his son John, the 3rd Marquess of Bute. By the 1860s he was reputed to be the richest man in the world.
From 1866 the 3rd Marquess employed architect William Burges to transform the Castle lodgings. Burges created lavish and opulent interiors with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings.
When the 3rd Marquess died in 1900, his son, the 4th Marquess, completed many of his father’s restoration projects and the family continued to stay at the castle until the 1930s.
Following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, the family decided to give the Castle and much of its parkland to the city of Cardiff.
Today the castle welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world. Featured are the Norman keep and the lodgings of many generations of Butes.