Wedding Photography at Castell Coch: A Venue Near Taff’s Well, South Wales
The beautiful Castell Coch (meaning ‘Red Castle’) really is like something out of a fairytale. Germanic in appearance and set in a swathe of beech woods, it can be seen in the hillside for miles around. The castle is located just off the A470 north of Cardiff near Taff’s Well, and above the small village of Tongwynlais. It isn’t really a castle at all, but a fine example of 19th Century Gothic Revival architecture. However the site has Norman military origins (see history below).
As a Wedding Venue: Castell Coch was designed to look imposing in silhouette with contrasting ornate Victorian interiors. As a result, it presents as a striking and most unusual wedding venue. The main drawback is that it is only suitable for the smaller wedding parties as the maximum amount of seated guests is 26 (30 including the registrars and bride and groom). If you’re having a larger wedding ceremony, then you may have to look elsewhere… Hello Caerphilly Castle!
There is unfortunately no option for a reception or post-wedding ceremony function. However, it is an amazing venue and if it appeals to you, why not have a small ceremony there with close friends and family, moving on to one of the Cardiff area’s many larger wedding venues for your reception, evening meal and entertainment.
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Wedding Ceremonies are held in the cosy octagonal Drawing Room of which there is much to take in. The fireplace and panelled walls are festooned with murals and imagery including scenes from Aesop’s Fables, the Three Fates with Butterflies and Birds seemingly flying up through the apex of the vaulted ceiling. Bench seating is provided in a theatre style with a central aisle. After your wedding ceremony the couple and guests may exit into the courtyard for congratulations and photographs.
Wedding Photography at Castell Coch is encouraged throughout with time given before for arrivals shots and afterwards for portraits in the courtyard. Confetti is not allowed, but bubbles have become a popular option and make for some striking and fun shots. There is space outside and in the courtyard for any group shots including one of everyone together.
Bookings at Castell Coch are taken up to 13 months in advance and may be discussed by calling the custodian on 02920 810101. Bookings cost from £660-£780 (depending on day of the week) and include entrance for up to 30 people, 30 minutes for the ceremony and 30 minutes photography time in the courtyard and grounds afterwards. The venue can take up to two weddings a day (depending on timings) – presumably you’d only need the one!
Llancaiach Fawr Manor is another striking wedding photography venue.
Castell Coch – A Potted History:
- C1081 – the Normans built the a castle on the site to protect their new acquisition, the Cardiff and the Taff Gorge route. This was soon abandoned.
- Gilbert de Clare (Lord of Glamorgan – also responsible for building Caerphilly Castle) subsequently built a stone fort on the site in around 1267 to control his Welsh lands.
- The castle thought to be destroyed in the Welsh rebellion of 1314.
- 1760 – Castell Coch was inherited by the 3rd Earl of Bute – John Stuart as part of a marriage settlement.
- In 1848, John Crichton-Stuart the 3rd Marquess of Bute inherited the castle and employed architect William Burges (the ‘eccentric genius’) to reconstruct it to be used as a country residence for the summer.
- Work on Castell Coch was completed in 1891, and apart from planting a vineyard, Crichton-Stuart had little use for it. Wine was made on the site until the First World War.
- In 1950, the 5th Marquess of Bute placed Castell Coch under care of the state (along with Caerphilly Castle) and the conservation is now managed by heritage trust Cadw.