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Great Castles & Historic Attractions in South and West Wales


Caerphilly CastleThis large area from the Wales-England border to Pembrokeshire in the far west , is a surprisingly diverse stretch of national parklands, high mountains, wooded valleys, spectacular beaches and towering headlands.

Its history is as richly patterned as the landscape. Prehistoric settlers, Roman soldiers, Christian missionaries, medieval warlords and industrial magnates have all made their mark here, leaving a wonderful legacy of places to visit.

Pentre Ifan Cromlech in the Preseli Hills is one of Wales's finest ancient burial chambers, made of local 'bluestones' which were somehow transported all the way to Salisbury Plain to form Stonehenge's inner circle. In AD75 the Romans established an important base at Caerleon - today it is the most varied and fascinating Roman site in Britain.

But the largest impact on the landscape came in medieval times when the castle builders erected a chain of fortresses from east to west. They began on the border at Chepstow, where they constructed one of Britain's first stone-built castles.Tintern Abbey

In later centuries the art of castle building reached a high point at places like Caerphilly, home to one of Europe's most magnificent medieval fortresses. And at Raglan, it came to a stylish conclusion in the handsome mansion-cum-stronghold, the finest late medieval fortress-palace in Britain.

South and west Wales is also dotted with evocative and fascinating religious sites, the great Bishop's Palace at St Davids, lonely Strata Florida Abbey, and the soaring architecture of Tintern Abbey to name but three.

The industrial heritage of the south Wales valleys is recalled at the pioneering Blaenavon Ironworks, a milestone in the Industrial Revolution. The immense wealth generated in this part of Wales during the 19th century is expressed in an amazingly flamboyant way at Castell Coch near Cardiff, a fairytale castle built by the Marquis of Bute, owner of Cardiff's booming docklands.

Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments. Crown Copyright.


For further information on Wales's Wealth of historic sites write to:-

Cadw, Plas Carew, Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed, Park Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QQ, Wales, UK.

Telephone:- +44 1443 33 6000

Fax:- +44 1443 33 6001

Website:- http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/


 

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