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Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle

Artist: Buckler, John Chessell

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1815

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36396

Item number: f.147

Length: 25.3

Width: 34.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

Caerphilly Castle was built in 1268 by Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan under Henry III. De Clare erected other castles along the boundary between England and Wales as a response to the increasing strength of Llywelyn the Great. Llywelyn, who controlled much of mid and north Wales, was looking to extend his authority further southwards. In 1270, Llywelyn and his men attacked the castle in a bid to stop its completion. He succeeded in destroying some of its defences but these were rebuilt the following year and Llywelyn retreated northwards.

The castle, covering an area of over 30 acres is the biggest in the country after Windsor castle, is concentric in design and considered to be one of the finest examples of its kind in Europe. The sheer scale of its water defences and massive gatehouses made it almost impregnable against capture. Its most famous feature however, is its "leaning tower", which even manages to out-lean its world-renowned leaning counterpart at Pisa!

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