06 July 2018

Major plans for Caerphilly Castle revealed

Cadw has revealed ambitious plans for Caerphilly Castle as part of its Castles Alive! campaign, which will see investment over three years to enhance the visitor experience at Cadw’s top sites, which have seen a 27% increase in paid visitors since 2012.
The immediate plans for Wales’ biggest castle, which attracted record visitor numbers in 2016 and again in 2017, include an interactive maze, Dragons’ Lair complete with audio-visual effects, and regular live firings of the medieval Siege Engines. The planned attractions also coincide with the Castle’s 750th anniversary year.
Designed by specialists behind top attractions such as The London Dungeon, Warwick Castle and Madame Tussauds, the Caerphilly maze ‘Gilbert’s Maze’ will invite visitors to ‘break through its defences’ and ‘capture Gilbert De Clare’s castle without getting caught’. There’ll be secret passageways, interactive obstacles, and photo opportunities for visitors to enjoy along the way.
Meanwhile, a permanent home will be created for Cadw’s much-loved family of Dragons, which pulled in more than half a million visitors to the site last summer. Visitors will get the chance to hear their epic tale, narrated by actor Gareth Potter who has featured in the likes of Hinterland and Torchwood, choreographed to an audio-visual display and set in the shadows of Caerphilly Castle’s iconic leaning tower.
Finally, after months of restoration and training a team in medieval warfare, visitors can expect to see regular live shows where 12th century-inspired Siege Engines will catapult ammunition high above the castle grounds, travelling an impressive 150ft across the spectacular medieval backdrop into the surrounding moat.
It is hoped that all the new attractions will be in place at Caerphilly Castle by summer 2018, complemented by an action-packed events programme.
Cadw is also rolling-out a series of new and improved visitor experiences at castles across Wales — with a new attraction to be announced at Caernarfon Castle later this spring.
To keep up to date with Cadw’s Castle’s Alive! campaign and the full events programme at Cadw sites during 2018, visit Cadw's website, follow @CadwWales on Twitter and find Cadw on Facebook.
Caerphilly Castle dragon’s lair – artist’s impression