Visiting Castell Coch in 1962


I purchased a guidebook for the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans from an online store as the description mentioned Castell Coch. There was no other information but I was intrigued and it wasn’t very expensive. It turned out to be this charming little pamphlet for Caerphilly Castle and Castell Coch.

The guide was produced for the Ministry of Works, who were responsible for protecting monuments and encouraging owners to place them in state guardianship. Castell Coch was placed in the care of the Ministry of Works by the 5th Marquess of Bute in 1950.

It features some illustrations and information about each site. Caerphilly Castle is titled, “The Thirteenth Century” and Castell Coch, “The Thirteenth Century Recreated”.

There are some handwritten notes that describe visiting the sites on September 6th 1962.

The illustration of Castell Coch is similar to the first edition of the official guidebook.

The information inside contains this description, “Castell Coch (Red Castle) is a “folly”, designed by William Burges about 1870 for the 3rd Marquess of Bute. The contrasting of its interior as Victorian and its exterior as medieval is misleading. Both represent a painstaking attempt to reconstruct a 13th-century castle on its original foundations – and a pretty successful one.”

St Fagans Welsh Folk Museum

The pamphlet was inside this guidebook for the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans. I love the illustrations on this front cover.

It looks like the tourists visited St Fagans in 1959 then again in 1962, when they included a visit to Castell Coch.

Ministry of Works

The guide looks like it was produced for the Ministry of Works in May 1962. This organisation was renamed the “Ministry of Public Building and Works” later in that year.

It contains admission details and some smaller illustrations.

The admission fee and season ticket prices are consistent with the dedicated Castell Coch guidebook from 1962.

More from 1962

If you’ve ever visited Castell Coch, I’d love to hear your memories. You can get in touch using my contact form or connect on Instagram and Twitter.

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1 thought on “Visiting Castell Coch in 1962”

  1. My mother always described the castle as a folly whenever we were driving past on our way from Swansea to somewhere in England. I see this description also uses the Folly term. Both seem to downplay the origins of the site? Was it that they didn’t know – or was the Bute/Burgess influence what really ‘sold’ the location.

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