Castell Coch: The 1980s


I was sorting through my collection recently and noticed quite a few pieces from the 1980s. Hopefully these items will bring back memories of school trips and visits during this decade.

This pamphlet is one of a series for various Cadw monuments across Wales. It was produced in 1984 and markets Castell Coch as “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle”.

More information could be obtained by sending a large S. A. E. to the Marketing Department. (You need to be a certain age to remember doing this!)

Words are not enough to describe this unique castle; “Rapunzel’s Tower,” “a Sleeping Beauty’s Castle,” “pure Disney,” are simply inadequate descriptions for its magnificence.

"Castles and Historic Places" pamphlet
Postcard featuring Castell Coch
Postcard featuring Castell Coch
Cadw logo

Postcards from the 1980s

These postcards were published by Cadw in 1986 and 1987.

Postcards from this era begin to use professional, high quality photography and printing. They are also larger (4.6″ by 6.7″) than older examples.

Cadw Welsh Historic Monuments logo and wordmark

Cadw have been responsible for managing the castle since 1984. The first guidebook published by Cadw, pictured below, was produced in 1985 and cost 75p. It replaced the older guidebooks by Peter Floud that were published from 1954 to 1980.

This guide to the castle was written by Sally Rousham, designed by Harry Williams and edited by David M. Robinson. It contains additional photos and illustrations and has a more modern layout. Like the older versions, there’s a brief summary in Welsh.

Castell Coch guidebook by Sally Rousham

Photos from the 1980s

Castell Coch at Christmas 1985
Castell Coch, Christmas 1985
Iron bridge tramway and Castell Coch from M4 on Taff, January 1985
Iron bridge tramway, Castle Coch folly from M4 on Taff, January 1985


While looking through these items and researching designs from the 80s, I was inspired to create some “retro” illustrations. The background shapes in this article are taken from patterns in Castell Coch.

Retro style text, "Castell Coch"
Stylised neon landscape featuring Castell Coch


  • All postcards and guidebooks are from my collection.
  • “Castell Coch, Christmas 1985” by David Short via Flickr.
  • “Iron bridge tramway, Castle Coch folly from M4 on Taff, January 1985” from the Mary Gillham Archive Project.
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Jack is the editor of and

1 thought on “Castell Coch: The 1980s”

  1. Another great article Jack. It is really impressive how much you know about the Ton and its Castle.


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