Caerphilly Castle: A Wedding Venue in Caerphilly, South Wales
One of South Wales’ top wedding venues, Caerphilly Castle is located in the small market town of Caerphilly, a few miles north of Cardiff. It is an impressive focal point of the town and holds the accolade of being the largest castle in Wales. It’s the second largest in the UK (Windsor being the first).
As a Wedding Venue: Surrounded by a huge moat and with its 14th century Great Hall, Caerphilly Castle is a must have wedding venue for couples wanting something just that little bit extra special on their wedding day. The venue opens for wedding bookings most of the year but the month of January is the exception, when the Great Hall closes.
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On entering the Great Hall, one is immediately struck by the grandeur and sense of history. It seats up to 200 people, although for very formal occasions, advice is for a maximum of 150. Once the venue books a wedding, the couple may organise their own catering service. Rare for a venue like this but very cost effective.
The Leaning Tower apparently leans at a more exaggerated angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa! There is now a large sculpture of a man holding the wall up – cue some daft wedding shots!
Really Excellent Service…
Guy photographed our wedding at Caerphilly Castle – he was very helpful and flexible. On the day he was not at all intrusive and took wonderful photos – they were ready for us in just a few days. Really excellent service!
– Morgan & Tom
Wedding Photography at Caerphilly Castle
Happily, the presence of your wedding photographer is positively encouraged at the castle. The venue allows the couple and their photographer access to any of the public areas for photographs and portraits. With the numerous rooms and features - I love the fireplaces - there is infinite scope for the photographer to take a great set of wedding photographs. These compliment any natural shots taken at the ceremony and the Great Hall at the wedding breakfast.
Two large wooden thrones are available for the couple to sit on throughout the meal - this however is optional and I have known some couples politely decline! As a wedding photographer though, I find the idea of photographing newly-weds on their thrones in the Great Hall of a medieval fort rather fun!
**Please note: The Cadw website states that Caerphilly Castle are no longer taking bookings until further notice for 'developmental reasons'.**
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Caerphilly Castle - A Potted History:
- The first records of there being a settlement on the site was in AD75 when the Romans built a fort there.
- However, it wasn't until 1268 when Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Glamorgan started building his castle that the settlement's future development into the town of Caerphilly was determined.
- The castle was only briefly used for the purpose it was designed for (as a defence against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd - Llywelyn The Last). King Henry III mediated in the dispute and sent a bishop to take control of the castle.
- De Clare quickly took back control but and Llywelyn fell out of favour with the King, being stripped of his Lordship. This left de Clare with less need for such a strong fortress. Instead he used it mainly as a family home.
- In 1326, Edward II briefly sought refuge in the castle from the army of his wife, Isabella. He ultimately met his end the year after in Berkeley Castle.
- It was largely vacated by the 15th century.
- After the Civil War, the Roundhead army of Oliver Cromwell reputedly tried to blow it up with gunpowder. This may have resulted in the Leaning Tower. What a shame there wasn't a photographer around at the time to document the occasion! Other theories as to the reason for the Tower's lean include subsidence when draining of the lake took place. Subsequent removal of stone to build other properties resulted in further dilapidation of the castle.
- Eventually restoration on the site started by medieval enthusiast Third Marquess of Bute in the late 19th century.
- In 1950, the 5th Marquess gave the castle to the state. So now the Welsh heritage trust Cadw manage the site in trust for future generations to enjoy.
Caerphilly Castle Wedding Booking Prices 2020
- Evenings only — 7pm to midnight with access from 4pm — £1,194
- Saturdays (full day) — afternoon and evening 12 noon to 12 midnight — £2,400
- Fridays & Sundays (full day) — 12pm to midnight — £1,860
- Weekdays (full day) — 12pm to midnight — £1,194
The couple can set up the day the Great Hall the day before at the venue's discretion. Additional charges apply.
The Caerphilly Castle Wedding Package Includes:
- The Great Hall with kitchen for your own caterers to use.
- Bar area for use of wedding guests throughout the reception.
- Up to 180 chairs for seated guests around 23 round tables.
- Access to all public areas available for wedding photography.
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