Cardiff Castle, west view
Artist: Buckler, John Chessell
Medium: Pencil on paper
Robert Fitzhamon built his castle beside the River Taff on the site of an earlier Roman fort in 1095. When he died in battle in 1107, the castle passed to his daughter Mabel. She married Robert, the son of Henry I, who later became Earl of Gloucester and Lord of Glamorgan.
In the 13th century, Llywelyn the Great was busy uniting Welsh princes against English domination and capturing Cardiff Castle was a crucial aim of their strategy. The de Clare family, holders of the castle at that time, recognised the very real threat of defeat and set about reinforcing their stronghold.
Over the next five centuries, the castle and its residents experienced many bloody battles, family feuds, victories and losses. The Bute family acquired the castle in the second half of the 18th century. They employed Capability Brown, the renowned landscape gardener and architect, to redesign the grounds and modernise the lodgings. Thus began the remodelling of the medieval fortress into the Gothic-style stately home it is today.
In 1814, the Lordship of Glamorgan passed to John Stuart, second Marquess of Bute, who later was to be remembered as "the founder of modern Cardiff".