It is hoped that the regeneration of Caerphilly Castle will encourage more locals to visit as well as people from further afield.
That’s the view of Dr Kate Roberts, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments at Cadw, as further plans to regenerate Caerphilly Castle are revealed.
Dr Roberts said it was intended to attract the local community to the castle by introducing some of the intriguing and lesser-known stories relating to the colorful life of the medieval monument.
The plans are part of a £5million project to improve the visitor experience and conserve the castle, which is due for completion around 2023.
“A lot of people tend to visit places like Caerphilly Castle when on vacation, but tend to forget they have them at home,” Dr Roberts said. “We hope that with this regeneration and improvement work, we will see more locals coming to enjoy all that we do.”
Conservation work on the gatehouse is currently beginning.
“The gatehouse is currently leaking water,” Dr Roberts said. “So, we are starting work to limit this leak and preserve the stone.”
The story of the gatehouse is one that should come to life as part of the upgrades.
“We hope that with this conservation work we will understand how the Marquess of Bute was able to recreate the single gatehouse wall to such a standard that unless you were told you would not realize that one side of the gatehouse was medieval and the other was rebuilt in the 1920s and 1930s,” Dr Roberts said.
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Dr Roberts hopes that during this conservation work and improvements Cadw will be able to learn more about how John Crichton-Stuart – the 4th Marquess of Bute – carried out the many renovations he carried out on the castle as well as the impact it had. on the local economy during the Great Depression.
They also investigate the origin and cause of the destruction of a number of stones found near one of the towers.
Cadw also plans to tell the story of Eleanor, daughter of the builder of Caerphilly Castle, Gilbert de Clare, and the fascinating story that led her to inherit the building.
The improvement project will see a new visitor center with a classroom for school visits as well as interpretation of life in the castle and dramatization of stories.
Cadw will work with Caerphilly Council, Mace Project Management, Purcell Architects, Bright Interpretation Designers, Mann Williams Engineers, Holloway Partnership M&E, Wessex Archaeology, BSG Ecology, Austin Smith Lord Landscape Architects and John Weaver Contractors.