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Castell Coch

Welcome to CastellCoch.com

I’ve been writing about Castell Coch for about 8 years so I thought it was about time I created a dedicated website for the memorabilia, stories and images that I’ve collected. I’m going to focus on four main areas of interest to me: Art The castle has probably inspired thousands of artists over the years. …

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Three illustrations of patterns in Castell Coch

Patterns of Castell Coch – Part 1

Castell Coch is famous for its spectacular interiors. I’ve decided to illustrate the stencils, murals and patterns that decorate Cardiff’s iconic Gothic Revival landmark. This first instalment includes designs from the banqueting hall and Lord Bute’s bedroom. The detailed stencilling in the banqueting hall was completed by the interior decorators Campbell, Smith & Co. under …

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Black and white photo of Castell Coch and vineyard

The Castell Coch Vineyard

There are 31 vineyards in Wales and 739 in England, according to WineGB’s 2020 report. In the late 19th century, however, wine was imported from Europe and there were no commercial vineyards in Britain. The Experiment Began This changed in 1873, when Lord Bute asked his head gardener, Mr Andrew Pettigrew, to plant a vineyard …

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Magic Lantern Slide photo of Castell Coch

Magic Lantern Slide

The magic lantern is an early version of the image projector and was invented in the 17th century. The original versions of the 35mm photo slide were painted glass or oiled paper. For these early lanterns, the light source was either sunlight, candles or oil lamps. Magic lanterns were used as entertainment, combining images with …

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Linocut print of Castell Coch by Ian Phillips

Castell Coch Linocut by Ian Phillips

Ian Phillips has been working as a print maker in Wales since 2001. His passion for relief printing was fired by a chance encounter with the work of Utagawa Hiroshige. Hiroshige was considered a master of ukiyo-e, the genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings, which were popular from the late 17th to late 19th …

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Postcard featuring pencil drawing of Castell Coch

Postcards of Castell Coch – Part 2

For this second instalment of “Postcards of Castell Coch”, I’ve chosen a trio of postcards featuring pencil drawings by Joyce Capon. Dating the cards is tricky because they haven’t been posted. They were printed by “William Lewis (Printers) Ltd., 43, Penarth Road, Cardiff.” Some quick research tells me that William Lewis died in 1918 but …

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Decorative panel featuring a bird

Creating the Castell Coch Exhibit

If you’ve visited Castell Coch in recent years, you’ll have seen the fantastic exhibit that tells the story of this wonderful building. We spoke to Glyn Parry-Jones, who designed and installed it. It’s hard to believe that the exhibit is nearly 30 years old! Glyn explained that the exhibit was created in 1987 and that it …

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Aerial photo of Castell Coch by Nick Russill

Photographer Profile – Nick Russill

You may have seen this spectacular image from local photographer Nick Russill in your Facebook feed recently. His otherworldly image of Castell Coch, nestled in the familiar woodland but surrounded by a sea of mist has enraptured people online. I spoke to Nick about the image and how he got into photography. Nick studied Mining …

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Wooden sculpture of animals on a bench

Fforest Fawr Sculpture Trail

It’s been over two years since Simon O’Rourke installed the new sculpture trail in Fforest Fawr. Simon has shared his initial sketches for the carvings and I take a look at how the sculptures have changed. When I spoke to Simon during the installation he explained that the sculptures would change colour quite dramatically over time. Back in …

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