#11 & #116
Mid-12th century & rebuilt 1875-91
This is NOT an official Lego site
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.
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.
castle from the east
the ruin as found in 1875
of the Lego Model
Built July 2007
began on July
6, 2007. Here is the northeast
from the east with
the tower keep.
range is flanked by
the kitchen and keep towers.
northwest the stone-
covered motte and two-level
battle curtain are demonstrated.
gatehouse hugs the keep.
drawbridge is only one of
the entrances defenses.
has a garderobe.
The keep garderobe is available
on 3 levels, and is capped with
tower is nicely
machicolated with double
courtyard is quite compact...
lead to the Hall Door, the
Kitchen and the Gallery...
surrounds virtually the
doors into the well and
keep towers and the gatehouse.
Other Castell Coch pages:
Return to the main castle page.
Castles created by
Page designed by Anne Sullivan
Page enlarged & maintained by Robert Carney