The earliest building on the site of Cardiff Castle in Wales was a Roman fort, built all the way back in 55 AD! The fort was a defensive structure during the conquest of the Silures, actually much bigger than the current buildings, and was changed and re-modeled many times over the years, until eventually being abandoned at the end of the 4th century.
After the Norman conquest in the 11th century, the Castle's keep was built on the site of the old Roman fort, by Robert Fitzhamon, the Norman Lord of Gloucester. The castle itself was built by William the Conqueror in 1081, and was followed by many more medieval buildings and residencies, including the magnificent Medieval manor built by Richard Beauchamp in the early 1400's. The manor is still in perfect condition, and tours of its many elegant rooms are available to visitors.
The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766, where it was passed by marriage to John Bute, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who was the richest man in the world by the 1860's. The Bute's remained living at the Castle until 1947, when they donated the Castle and it's lands to the City of Cardiff. The Castles parklands, which is now a stunning public park, is named Bute Park, after the family.
A ticket to the Castle costs £11, and includes -
A tour of the House and the Castle Apartments,
The Norman Keep,
War Shelters ,
Interpretation Centre including film,
Audio Guide and
Firing Line: Museum of the Welsh Soldier.
However, residents of Cardiff are entitled to a pass that allows them to visit the Castle for free, as many times as they like.