#11 & #116 Castell Coch
Glamorgan, Wales
Mid-12th century & rebuilt 1875-91
This is NOT an official Lego site

This now glamorous castle began in the early twelfth century as a massive motte and bailey castle, built by the Norman invaders to help protect their principal castle at Cardiff in Glamorgan. While some have attributed the stone castle to Anglo-Norman hands, antiquary Rice Merrick wrote in 1578 the "old castle or pile called Castell Coch [is] supposed to be builded by Ifor Petit [Ifor Bach], a gentleman...who...took William lord of Glamorgan" Ifor ap Meurig [Ifor Bach] was a native ruler of upland Senghennydd who is 1158 raided Cardiff and captured William, Earl of Gloucester, Lord of Glamorgan, his countess and his son, holding them for ransom. Merrick's history presumes Ifor built the stone castle on the motte at Castell Coch soon after his lands were returned. The earthen motte is 112 feet across and 30 feet high. The entire motte was clad in stone and the walls of the initial stone castle, probably a ring, were later thickened. The towers were added to the shell keep by Gilbert de Clare and perhaps others in the mid- to late-13th century, with the castle obviously in Anglo-Norman hands.
Castell Coch was probably severely damaged in early 1316 by the forces of Llywelyn Bren, whose father Gilbert de Clare had dispossessed in 1267. In the 1530's John Leland noted "Castelle Goch [is] al yn ruine no bigge thing but high." A watercolour painted in 1792 depicts the kitchen tower standing considerably higher than when the castle was formally surveyed in 1850. Apparently the stone was used as material for a nearby lime-burning industry. The eccentric Third Marquis of Bute commissioned William Burges to rebuild the castle, exactly following the plan of the ruin, which then stood up to 25' in the air. The castle that emerged has three cylindrical towers of about 40' diameter, a square gatehouse, hall, apartments and a tiny courtyard of just 45' x 60'. The interior is sumptuous, fit for the Lord and his Lady. It is certainly the "cutest" castle in Wales but it was a small but formidable military structure in its time.
Drawing of restored
castle from the east
Section of the ruin as found in 1875

Section from
the north
Keep Section
Basement Plan
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
Second & Third
Floors of Keep


Photos of the Lego Model
Built June 1987
South Southwest View
West Northwest View


Photos of the Lego Model
Built July 2007
Construction began on July
6, 2007. Here is the northeast
view ...
...and from the east with
the tower keep.
The hall range is flanked by
the kitchen and keep towers.
From the northwest the stone-
covered motte and two-level
battle curtain are demonstrated.
The gatehouse hugs the keep.
The drawbridge is only one of
the entrances defenses.
Each tower has a garderobe.
The keep garderobe is available
on 3 levels, and is capped with
five chimneys.
The well tower is nicely
machicolated with double
embrasure covers.
The courtyard is quite compact...
Stairs lead to the Hall Door, the
Kitchen and the Gallery...
...with surrounds virtually the
entire courtyard...
...with doors into the well and
keep towers and the gatehouse.

Build Your Own
Lego Plan
East Elevation South Elevation East Section South Section

Other Castell Coch pages:

Return to the
main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed by
Anne Sullivan
Page enlarged & maintained by
Robert Carney